Sam and I, like thousands of other shoppers, have discovered how one’s peso can go a ridiculously long way–at 168 mall in Divisoria. We were shopping for gifts for the kids and godchildren and Sam had seen a t.v. spot showing just how much cheaper it was at 168 compared to the nearby malls.
The Superman costume (size 6 for a three-year-old) was just under P200. I had seen the exact same costume at a mall in Makati for P450.
Assorted toys, kikay little girl stuff, and huge art sets containing dozens of color pens and pencils and watercolor, all at P100 and below.
Electronic and remote control toys, prices of which start at P400 in the malls, can be had for as little as P150.
We were quite happy with what we had bought so far, after the huge bowl pancit lomi/mami (P60)at one of the Chinese counters at the third floor food court. We were finding our way out of the mall when we stumbled on the biggest, most fantastic find we made — at a small shop that sold replica European football jerseys. We almost missed it, since they had NBA uniforms prominently displayed outside. We would have ignored the place entirely had Sam not seen the small Zidane poster on display. I saw it too and so I stopped. And that’s when we saw the jerseys. Real Madrid, Arsenal, Chelsea, AC Milan, Juventus — you name it, they had it. Sam and I ended up buying his and hers Real Madrid shirts, plus a couple more to gift Sam’s younger brothers with.
And the piece de resistance, in that same store, was a set of UEFA Champion’s League pins. It was this year’s set, 2005-2006, thirty-three pins in all, made in HK as the store owner Tsai said. You can see in the pictures below that the pins are of excellent quality and detail.
We paid P1,500 for 4 jerseys and the set of UEFA pins. P1,500 is not even enough to get you one Beckham jersey at any Adidas store in any mall.
When we came home we surfed the net for similar pins online, to see how much they’d cost on the internet. We found one site that offered the Chelsea pin alone — for 2.99 British Pounds. That’s a few pesos shy of P300, for just ONE pin. We looked at Ebay and found similar sets with SRPs ranging from the equivalents of P1,500 to P5,000.
It’s a good thing that apparently none of the coÃ±otic futbolero set have discovered this tiny spot of football bliss. If they had they would have probably gnashed their teeth at the thousands of pesos they had spent per jersey that could have got them the entire team set in this store. And then again, maybe not. The status symbolism of original jerseys may still hold sway among the elite set.
But as for me, give me 168 — and my change please, thank you.