Tutuban Center and 168 Mall – Go-to Shopping Malls

Tutuban Center and 168 Mall – Go-to Shopping Malls

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Shopping malls are the backbone of communities, the foundation of retail economies, and a social haven for teenagers everywhere. The Philippines is known for leisure plazas and street markets. Namely, the Divisoria. Divisoria Shopping Center is located between the crowded streets of Tondo and Binondo. It is the largest street market in Manila where everything you can find is cheap. Nearby establishments were built around this crowded area. Such as the Tutuban Center and 168 Mall. Tutuban Center consists of five retail buildings and a parking structure around Manila’s central train station. Which is located in the Divisoria shopping district of Tondo. Meanwhile, the 168 Shopping Mall is a shopping complex in Binondo, Manila – the Philippines’ Chinatown. The three-story building is located south of Recto Avenue and Divisoria. It is managed and owned by the 168 Group of Companies. Thus, where its name came from.

The Tutuban Center

The shopping mall concept became a full-fledged modern retail trend globally in the post-World War II years. As the Philippines goes along with the streamline flow, industrialization around Manila started. One of the results is the Tutuban Center. Tutuban Center is a historical project with a dynamic impact. It provided the country’s wholesale and retail center with a modern commercial and business environment. Indeed is a forerunner in the upgrade and redevelopment of Divisoria. Consequently, more people started recognizing the area and spending their weekends here for shopping. If you can handle the crowds and willing to look around, you can find some great products here. Ever found a mall you can haggle? Good deals of retails and wholesale merchandise are in cut-prices. Moreover, if you’re also planning on starting up a business, you might want to consider getting your products here.

The Main Station

Tutuban Center’s flagship is Tutuban Main Station. It is a two-story shopping mall that serves as the hub of activity for the entire Tutuban Center. Main Station is home to a variety of specialty shops and branded boutiques, as well as restaurants and fast-food chains.

The Prime Block Clusters

This is one of the most alive areas in Tutuban Center. You can find the most recent trends in fashion, accessories, textiles, home furnishings, and other goods here. Prime Block is undoubtedly where shoppers can find all of the “in” items that they seek. You can also find Robinson’s Department Store and Supermarket for grocery shopping here.

The Night Market

Of course, Filipinos love to shop during the nighttime specially during the Christmas Season. While other malls are closing, Tutuban Center continues to entice shoppers with merchandise until 12:00 midnight, the whole year. The area gets so alive with a lot of people jumping from one store to another. Indeed, it is a one-of-a-kind night market available only at Tutuban Center.

The Tutuban Mall Exhibit (TMX)

The Tutuban Mall Exhibit provides vendors with unique sales and marketing opportunities by bringing them face-to-face with the finest quality of qualified visitors with purchasing influence. The TMX is an outstanding choice of venue for events and sports activities because it has a multi-function hall. It can accommodate small to medium-sized events, trade shows, corporate and brand activation activities. In fact, it only has flexible layout of approximately 450 square meters. However, TMX can accommodate 50 to 100 exhibit booths on nearly 500 square meters.

The 168 Mall

History, culture and lifestyle have significant impact on commercial development. Filipinos are more likely to eat celebratory meals out than at home due to urban density and small size homes. The 168 Mall was built to accommodate the need for additional space due to overcrowding and the need for tenant space. The 168 Department Store, a subsidiary of the 168 Group of Companies, is housed within the mall complex. A food court could be found on the third and fifth floors. Providing customers more room to hang out and share meals with their loved ones. It is also the fastest growing mall in the area, having expansions in 2004 – 2007 with new facilities each year, respectively. Moreover, the 168 Mall is well-known for its wide range of merchandise, such as fashionable items, gift items, furniture items, gadgets, and much more. It is one of the best shopping malls in Divisoria.

The Divisoria Market

Divisoria Market is a commercial district in Manila, Philippines, located between Tondo and Binondo, and is known for its low-priced shops and diverse manufacturing activities. The area is densely packed with various bazaars, bargain malls, and points of interest. It is indeed crowded, but there are plenty of opportunities to score a cut-rate bargain there. Aside from shopping, there are a lot of people who visit here to start businesses by buying bulk products and reselling them at higher retail prices. You should visit here if you’re looking for some cut-rate products. Divisoria is a Spanish term that translates as “divide” or “division.” Back in the old time, Divisoria “divided” Intramuros, Manila’s  “gated/walled city”. It was where the Chinese were segregated racially before. Due to its historical function dating back to the Spanish colonial period, this region was dubbed Divisoria.

The Shopping Tips and Tricks

Indeed, when 168 Mall and Tutuban Center first opened their doors years ago, it gave many shoppers another reason to visit Divisoria. Not only will you find bargains here, but you’ll also find affordable items and home essentials—all in a somewhat comfortable, air-conditioned setting. However, as much as we want to visit every stall, moving from one store to another can be confusing. We’ve compiled a list of tips and tricks to help you make the most of your shopping and ensure you get everything you need hassle-free.

  • Create a shopping list. 
  • Research where the stores are located.
  • Walking is an important part of shopping experience, so wear comfortable shoes.
  • Bring water with you to stay hydrated, especially if you plan to shop at the sidewalk stalls.
  • When bargaining, be polite and reasonable.
  • Compare same items in different stores. Check the quality and pricing.
  • Bring a bag for your shopping items. Most of the stores give plastics. Let’s be eco-friendly.
  • It’s always cheaper in the stalls near the center and end of each floor.
  • Bring ample amount of cash because most of the stalls don’t accept credit card.
  • Be alert all the time. Secure your belongings and money as there are pickpockets around.

How to get there

As mentioned, you’ll fine the 168 Mall and Tutuban Center in Divisoria Market. It is in the center of Manila so going there is accessible. Here are various ways on how you can commute going there:

Via LRT 1

  • First, Take a ride from LRT1 bound to Doroteo Jose station, Then, walk towards Claro M. Recto Avenue. Finally, decide if you want to ride a jeepney or walk until you get to Divisoria.

Via LRT2

  • First, Take a ride from LRT2 bound to Recto station. Finally, decide if you want to ride a jeepney or walk until you get to Divisoria.


  • Fist, take a ride from MRT southbound to EDSA-Taft Station. Then, transfer to the LRT1 via an elevated walkway to EDSA Station and ride an LRT bound for Monumento. Finally, go down at Doroteo Jose and decide if you want to ride a jeepney or walk until you get to Divisoria.
  • First, take a ride from MRT northbound to Cubao. Then, transfer to LRT2 bound to Recto. Finally, decide if you want to ride a jeepney or walk until you get to Divisoria.

Via Taxi/Grab Car

  • Ride a taxi or book a GrabCar from any point of Metro Manila or Nearby Cities. However, this will cost more money considering the heavy traffic and distance.
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