Bargain stores (locally known as “ukay-ukay” or “wagwagan”) have been abundant since the early 90’s, I think. The first time I’ve heard of it was in 2004, made famous by a laundry soap commercial — the girl was asked where she bought her dress because it’s so white and pretty, then she answered “galing … UK.” LoL!
My first trip to a wagwagan was in 2005, when my photographer colleagues invited me to visit the famous bargain store in Lagro. Each item there ranged from P50-P100. I bought several blouses and bags there. Most of the stuff I bought are branded and the quality is still good. I’ve also visited a couple of other cheap stores in Cubao and Divisoria to scour materials for my cosplays. I stopped visiting bargain stores when I transferred to the call center business; mainly because our offices are too far from these stores and I already have the money to burn for expensive branded clothes.
The bad part about my work now is that we’re required to be semi-formal attires from Mondays to Thursdays and I am always running out of clothes to wear. I’ve kept my shopping sprees to a minimum because my credit card bills kept bloating. Thus, I had to recycle my clothes on a bi-weekly basis. I think I’ve worn my shirts and dresses for at least 20x in a span of a year!
Recently, mom showed me her pretty clothes which she bought for as low as P5 a piece! Most of them were of the same quality as the clothes I bought from Cinderella, Penshoppe, Dickies and some other classy boutiques! I then resolved that I’d return to purchasing cheap-yet-fancy clothes for work-purposes.
Mom said she just passed by this wagwagan in Bgy. Sta.Lucia — somewhere in the suburbs of Fairview, QC. They open one sack of clothes each week and they sell each piece for P35 on the first day the sack was opened. The price of the clothes become lower as the days pass. I’ve already passed by here twice and I have purchased a couple of dresses, blouses and jackets. I told mom that I’ll be coming back here each payday. LoL!
The local market is indeed filled with cheap yet “precious gems” but you need to be very patient as you dig deep in these piles of second-hand clothes.