The street market charm of Dapitan Arcade

Even before Shopee and Lazada, the Dapitan Arcade has been around for budget-conscious homemakers looking for export-quality finds for their homes and offices. Starting in a small property back in 2003, it has expanded into a cluster of three buildings and streetside shops selling export overruns at budget prices. The items used to be really cheap back in the day, but some consumers say they have gone up considerably in recent years. Nevertheless, it’s still a wonderful shopping destination, especially for those who like to walk around, handle items with their hands, and discover unique objects or vintage items for the home. (There is an online store at but it carries only a small fraction of the wide selection of available items for sale in the physical shops.) 

There is a huge assortment of porcelain and ceramic dinnerware, glassware, mugs, mason jars, wooden bowls and plates, and similar items. For plant lovers and gardeners, there are planters and pots, decorative jars, colorful bottles, and vases. If you’re remodeling or furnishing your home or office space, you can check the arcade for affordable furniture, wall displays, clocks, mirrors, candleholders, lamps, lanterns, and chandeliers. There are various kinds of wicker baskets, woven products, fountains, music boxes, plastic and dried flowers, and figurines. Discover altar pieces like Buddha statues, and scents for the home in the form of sprays, diffusers, oils, incense, and fragrant candles. This is just a basic list, you can be sure that there is so much more to see and buy at Dapitan Arcade.

Here is a list of reminders for those who plan to visit:

  1. The stores open around 9:00 a.m. and close around 7:00 p.m. It would be best to shop early in the morning or late in the afternoon because the place can get really humid and uncomfortable.
  2. Secure your cash and do not wear expensive jewellery and watches. 
  3. Wear simple and comfortable clothes and footwear because you will be doing a lot of walking.
  4. Bring some drinking water, a face towel, hand fan, and an extra shirt.
  5. Wear your mask and practice physical distancing. Have a bottle of alcohol handy to clean your hands with after touching the items and surfaces.
  6. Check the items thoroughly before paying for them. Count your change carefully before leaving.
  7. It’s okay to ask for discounts or to haggle.
  8. Say no to plastic wrappers and plastic bags; shop responsibly by bringing your own eco-bags.