While in Cebu, you may want to do some shopping for yourself, friends, or family back home. The Philippines is a shoppers paradise. A real place to shop till you drop.
You can find just about anything during your stay. If you are looking for designer labels, it's here. If you want Class A look-a-likes, it's here. If you want something custom or hand made, they can do it. Here you will find many specialty shops, markets and huge malls that offer all sorts of things you are looking for.
In the Philippines customer service is excellent and you can find some real bargains. It's best to bring extra spending money for gifts to take back home or to give a pasalubong to your with a Filipina friend =).
Cebu Shopping Malls
The Philippines has some of the biggest malls in the world and Cebu is no exception. Here you you can find malls so big that you will get lost in the maze of various corridors and open spaces loaded with vendors and shops.
Filipinos love to shop. They love to eat too. So you will find that malls are full of happy Filipinos enjoying the cool air conditioning and mall experiences.
To make your shopping experience enjoyable, we have listed below the major malls of Cebu City and on nearby Mactan Island. Each one has it's own collection of shops, chains, and restaurants. If heading out for some shopping fun, it would be best to plan to make a day of it. And since there is so much to see, we can provide your a Tour Guide to help you get around and finding everything you need.
SM City Cebu
Located in Cebu City, SM City Cebu is an expansive mall that houses vast shopping, dining and entertainment options. It caters to the mid to higher-end market. It is the 4th largest shopping mall in the Philippines and the 11th largest shopping mall in the world. It opened in November 1993, since expanded further, and is owned and developed by SM Prime Holdings, the country's largest shopping mall owner and developer. At SM City Cebu, there are many choices for shopping and places to eat.
Ayala Center Cebu
Located in Cebu City Business Park, Ayala Center Cebu is considered as the premiere shopping, dining and entertainment destination in Cebu. The mall has several high-end stores and a chain of local and international restaurants. It opened in November 1994, since then expanded, and is owned and operated by Ayala Malls. Here you will find a large selection of shops and great places to eat, all with different menu options.
Gaisano Country Mall
Located in Banilad, Cebu City, the Gaisano Country Mall has many places for shopping, dining, and entertainment. The mall caters to the mid level market and prices are cheaper than found at SM and Ayala Center. It opened in May 1992 and is owned and operated by Gaisano Malls. Here you will find many places to eat and shop.
Robinson's Place and Cybergate Cebu
Located in the heart of Cebu City, Robinson's Place Cebu is built on a smaller scale and offers a variety of shops and eateries. The mall has several mid to low prices shops and a few local and international restaurants. It opened in 2000 and is owned and operated by Robinson Malls. Just a few meters away from Robinson's Place is their newest addition - Robinson's Cybergate Cebu.
Located in Mandaue, Cebu City, the Parkmall is a newer large sized indoor/outdoor mall set in a parklike setting. The mall has many shops and places to sit and relax over a good meal. The mall caters to the mid level market and is a perfect place to stroll the various shops for goods being peddled by local venders. It opened May 2008 and is owned and operated by Parkmalls Corp.
Gaisano Grand Mall Mactan
Located on Mactan Island Cebu, the 4-storey Gaisano Grand Mall has many places for shopping, dining, and entertainment. The mall caters to the low to mid level market and prices are cheaper than found in Cebu City. It opened in November 2008 and is owned and operated by Gaisano Malls. Here you will find a many places to eat, shop and be entertained.
SM Seaside Mall - Under Construction
Great ready to break open your piggy bank and spend those pesos. SM Seaside City Cebu is an upcoming super-sized themed mall owned and developed by SM Prime Holdings. It is under construction and expected to open in the 2nd Quarter of 2013.
Brand Names You Will Find
Philippine malls are filled with shops from the world's best brand names. There are plenty of local and international choices. Actually, the Philippines has more international brands in one location than anywhere in the world. Why? Because the Philippines supplies the largest amount of overseas foreign workers and they know their brand labels. Below are some of the shops you will find.
Made in the Philippines
The Philippines is an excellent place to pick up such things as elaborate handicrafts, wood carvings, home-furnishings, jewelry, embroidery, silks, woven baskets, handbags and more. These Philippine handicrafts make great souvenirs for friends and relatives back home or even just as a memento of your visit to the Philippines.
Philippine baskets are exported and found in many fashion capitals of the world. These baskets are made from a range of natural fibers like bamboo, rattan, nipa and various palms. Appreciated for both their aesthetic and functional appeal, these baskets come in a wide range of colors, shapes and sizes. Their uniqueness is represented through their varying regional designs. The smoked fish traps, locust baskets and lunch containers are among the line of novelty baskets.
Philippine mats are a colorful combination of woven pandan leaves often used as adornment in fine restaurants, hotels and Filipino homes. The mats range from natural-colored to more elaborate designs and colors. Cebu is a great place to purchase these inexpensive pieces of folk art.
Shoes and Bags
Imelda Marcos made sure the Philippines is no stranger when it comes to shoes and bags. The Philippines is known for producing fashionable footwear with matching bags to keep up with the increasing demands of the fashion world. You might even want to order your shoes custom-made.
Embroidery There is a wide selection of hand-embroidered clothes for men and women such as the barong tagalog, the barong dress, the embroidered kaftans and jelabas with scarves, bags, and handkerchiefs to match. The Barong Tagalog is the traditional Filipino formal dress used by men for business and special occasions. They are finely hand-embroidered with translucent pineapple fibre (called piqa) and can be quite expensive. The humbler polo barongs (short-sleeved) are cheaper versions that are machine embroidered and good for the casual tourist.
The most common types of jewelry found in the Philippines are of shell or silver, which has been traded for centuries. Mother-of-pearl is the most popular, with coral and tortoise shells increasing in popularity, but discouraged from being bought by tourists. There is also wood and vine jewelry as well as beadwork such as necklaces, earrings and ornamental hair pieces.
A woodcarving is another must-have item when visiting the Philippines. High-quality woodcarvings produced by different tribes of the Philippines make a good take home gift.
Since the Philippines was part of the Chinese trading route, there is quite an amount of porcelain found in shops around the Philippines. Do make sure what you are buying is certified.
Brassware is a specialty in Mindanao as the first smiths of the Philippines were recorded here. They still continue to manufacture jewelry boxes, gongs, bed frames, betel nut boxes and canon replicas.
Cebu has been known for its hand-made guitars. They are often used for harana (singing to a lady outside her house). Most istambays (a group of people outside) use guitars to play a different variety of songs. These guitars are hand-crafted for the best vibra. Cebu has the most affordable guitars with the finest quality.