September kicked in faster than I thought and with it comes the start of the longest Christmas celebration in the world. At this early, Christmas carols are being played on the radio, malls get spruced up with holiday cheers, and some households even start decorating their abode. One palengke destination that comes into mind when the “ber months” set in is a small block tucked in Quezon City where you can get house furnishing and holiday decorations at REALLY low prices! Sino bang hindi pa nakakapag-Dapitan Arcade?
Located along Dapitan corner Kanlaon Sts. in Quezon City, Dapitan Arcade is a your one-stop shop for almost anything for your home. This “artsy” palengke is like a surplus shop where manufacturers drop in production excesses and overruns. That means, you get quality items at cheaper prices versus prevailing market rates. The corner business area has expanded through the years with two adjacent warehouses and small stores along its side streets. The place is busier on weekends and during the holiday season.
The Old Arcade
The old arcade is a one level arcade where you would find home furnishings and gift items. Living room decorations are a handful from native lamps, decorative mirrors, wall decors, and decorative ornaments. Dining room necessities all come in different designs and sizes. You can choose home furnishings from different designs depending on the concept that you are working on.
The old arcade is also a good place to shop for gift items for every occasion. You can buy a nice locally made watch box or jewelry box for dad and mom. You can buy a nice coffee or beer mug for kuya and a nice candle holder for ate. For bunso, you can buy a nice looking piggy bank where he or she can store spare coins. You can also buy a nice desk lamp or a dinnerware set for a friend who is celebrating a birthday or a wedding. The arcade is a one stop shop for home items that won’t hurt your pocket.
There are two warehouses around the area. I guess the warehouses were “expansions” as Dapitan Arcade started to become popular. The warehouses offer a more “relaxed” way of shopping with bigger alleys and its high ceilings unlike the original arcade which is more cramped. Prices do not differ much and it only offers a more “breathable” shopping experience.
The warehouse adjacent to the old arcade, along Kanlaon Street, also has shops that offer home furnishings and decorations. One thing that I noticed though is that it has more shops that offer dining and kitchenwares. The Dapitan Tiangge is another warehouse is just across the old arcade along Dapitan Street. It also houses shops for home furnishings but this is where you can also find religious items for your home.
Side Street Stores
The Dapitan experience will not be complete without having to explore the stores that line the streets of Dapitan and Kanlaon. The small shops also sell native home decors. This is the best place if you are looking for native wooven baskets, wood products, dried flowers, and capiz products.
Again, the side street shops serve as an extension of the arcade and warehouse shops. These shops have more selections on local handicrafts. I usually scout the shops first before checking out the arcade because their prices are often cheaper if you know to haggle. Expect to have more side street shops on weekends and during the Christmas season.
POST TRAVEL NOTES
Dapitan Arcade is a home buddy and artists’ corner. It allows you to explore and execute your creativity with your home or room as your canvass without having to bust your pocket. It is also a great place to source out quality gifts for family and friends at a more affordable price compared to getting it in the mall. Dapitan Arcade is an all-season shop for everything that you need at home whatever the occasion may be.
I am glad that I have finally got to do a palengke run after a long time. I always check out public markets during my trips because it gives a glimpse of daily life of locals apart from scouting local products. It is the center for commerce of communities and you get to see business climate and behaviors when you visit the palengke. It is an attraction in itself showcasing local products, local hospitality, and the Pinoy smile.
Getting there: If you are coming from Quezon Avenue or from Cubao in Quezon City, you can take a jeep or a van heading to Quiapo and ask the driver to drop you off at Rotonda. If you are coming from Quiapo, you can take a jeep or a van to either Quezon Avenue or Cubao and also ask the driver to drop you off at Rotonda. You can take a trike beside Sun Residences to Dapitan Arcade.
Marc del Rosario
I believe in education, entrepreneurship, and caring for the environment.