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An Ukay Experience in The City
By: Aura Tagon
category: spots comments
November 24, 2010 (07:14)

I am not normally a big fan of ‘ukay ukay’.. buying clothes here is  the last thing I wanna do... 

Practicality-wise, buying your clothes at department store is preferable because items and garments are well sorted out and they are of good quality even though it’s more costly.  I prefer the ambiance  in department stores as compared to the disorganized, uncomfortable and whiffy way  clothes in the ukay ukay are presented.  But this impression has changed and i will tell you why..

It  just so happened last month that I had to attend social gatherings of my two special friends who will  be celebrating their eighteenth birthday on both consecutive weeks. I don’t have semi-formal clothes to put on and I am broke that time. I’m hesitant to buy even a single dress for the occasion since I don’t have sufficient amount of moolah to buy a new one.

I’ve got no choice so I tried looking at some ‘ukay ukay’ here in Lucena City  given that they sell clothing at a very affordable price. I remember my friend told me, “Keep on rummaging all those pile of clothes inside. Later on, you’ll be able to find the gem you are looking for.”

Along Quezon Avenue  I walked and searched for the lucky dress I will wear at the party.  There are heaps of neighbouring ‘ukay ukay’ stores, a lot of choices  for you and  plus no snatchers nor shoplifters will come up to you except for the begging “badjaos.”

Within the stores I went through, what I found mainly are imported-used items for all ages such as blouses, polo, tee shirts, pants, shorts, skirts, dresses and rain clothes like coats and jackets which you can purchase for below Php100 only or 3 or 5 pieces  for Php100. You can also find shoes such as rubber shoes, step-ins or sandals inside. Also,  second-hand traveller’s bags, suitcases and the likes are also available at hand.

Starting my search attempt at ‘ukay ukays’ from corner Zamora ‘til Cabana Street, I ended up purchasing items from the last but not the least store I stopped by:  at “Ukay Ukay Baguio Branch.”

Although I faced a hard time looking for the best dress among those thousands mixed up clothes, my effort was worth it anyway. Finally, I had something to show off at my BFF’s debut  and I was able to wear a beautiful dress and a pair of wedge all for less than a hundred pesos only.

‘Ukay Ukay,’ although sells second-hand items, offers quality products which will surely last long. For “ukay-shoppers” I suggest youtake  a shower afterwards,  and have your bought items washed  too,  then let it dry under the sun for days to remove the bad odor and bacteria obtained from the place.


When and Where to Ukay?

Since December is the month where malls and department stores hold big sale or midnight madness sale, ukay ukay also open their boxes of new arrival of clothes and garments at the same time.  “Ukay Ukay Baguio Branch” used to be the most famous fashion house along Quezon Avenue. It is the only ukay that sells curtains, blankets, comforters and bed sheets. All items are traded from Baguio City and are high class in quality. It is located at corner Cabana St. at Gemini’s frontage.

Another one of the best ukay is the “Iyaman Fashion House” with two branches from Quezon Ave. One is at corner Rizal St. where the former KFC is situated and the other one is at the front of St. Ferdinand Cathedral, between White House and McDonald’s. All their items are directly imported from Bangkok and they’re the only one who sells cosmetic products such as soaps, lotions, facial creams and perfumes. 

Just like the saying “don’t judge a book by its cover”, we should not belittle the quality of clothes at ukay ukay just because they look worn out and unclean… once you wash them and try to fix the lost buttons or appearance of holes, it would serve the purpose longer than you can imagine.  After all, quality and affordability is the first thing we should consider in buying clothes.  Happy shopping!



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