A list to guide you on the things to do around Quiapo Church, so, on your next trip to Quiapo, you can enjoy every minute of your visit while discovering new findings that you never knew exist.
What are the things to Do around Quiapo Church
There is so much to do in Quiapo, especially just around the vicinity of Quiapo Church. Here is the list of 35 things to do around Quiapo Church, in which will tell you what to expect on the area so you can utilize your time and money, at the same time, enjoying the atmosphere that only Quiapo uniquely had.
1. Buy a handkerchief with a print of the Black Nazarene is one of the top things to do around Quiapo Church
These handkerchiefs are always used by a Black Nazarene devotee. Anywhere outside Quiapo Church you can easily find someone selling these Black Nazarene article, price is at 30 pesos, about $0.60. This piece of cloth is usually held and waved when the time of blessing is being administered on the end of each Holy Mass. This handkerchief is the one you will wipe on the Black Nazarene, when you fell in line at the side of the church – on Quezon Blvd side.
Use of the Handkerchief in Traslacion
In time for the Black Nazarene procession, in Traslacion, you can throw this handkerchief in the persons guarding the Black Nazarene at the top of its float. The one who could catch it, would wipe it on the Black Nazarene, and throw it back to you. Even if there are hundred thousand of devotees on the ground near the Black Nazarene, and numerous handkerchiefs were thrown continuously to the Black Nazarene, your handkerchief would eventually return back to you.
Use of the Handkerchief in other religious activities
You can always bring with you this handkerchief to wipe on the sacred images you would visit during your Visita Iglesia on the Maundy Thursday of the Lenten Week. Or wipe the images that were present on the Black Friday procession.
2. Light up a candle
There are stalls just outside the Quiapo Church in Carriedo side that sell different colors of candles. They called these candles as Wishing Candles in Quiapo. You will choose a candle color, depending on the listed intentions of these candles. To list, there are 12 colors to choose from.
Wishing Candles with their Meaning
- White – for Wish and Purity
- Red – for Love Life or love offering for families
- Green – for Financial
- Yellow – for Good Spirit
- Blue – for Peace of Mind
- Pink – for Love and Health
- Violet – for Material Wealth
- Orange – for Brightness
- Peach – for Studies and Exams
- Brown – for Travel and Fortune
- Maroon – for Thanking the Nazarene
- Black – for Conscience
Need to Haggle
You will then pay the candles, 50 pesos for the whole set, about $1, a pack of the 12 assorted colors. Or you can buy a pack with the same colors. Just try to haggle to get a great price.
You can light the candles there, for the stall had set a portion where you can place your lighted candles. And then, you can leave it there and let the flame flamed, flaming your intention.
3. Buy a religious article.
Some stalls selling different religious articles can be located outside Quiapo Church on Carriedo side. But there were more stalls in Evangelista St. There are lots of images displayed on every stall. Different sizes of the Black Nazarene from almost half-foot image to bigger ones are available. In fact, you can even request for the size you want, to make it personalized.
They also offer different images of Mama Mary, St. Joseph, Sto. Nino, San Lorenzo Ruiz, St. Calungsod and other saints. These images can have a chance to be blessed on every end of the Holy Mass.
4. Buy lucky charms
There are stalls in Evangelista St. loaded with necklaces and bracelets, with charms and pendants that are said to be a protection to whoever is wearing it. Many of their patronizers had proven that they were saved by these magical charms. Some wear it to protect them from sickness. Some wear them to be their lucky charm. Others said that they were so effective that they do not take it out and it became a part of their body, they would still wear it even though they are taking a bath. Sometimes you had to believe to make it effective.
5. Try buying herbal medicines, is a unique top things to do around Quiapo Church
Outside the church and within its vicinity, sellers of dried and fresh leaves, herbs, potion and drinking mixtures are being sold.
How to use herbal leaves
These fresh leaves and herbs are medicinal plants best for mothers that had just given birth. Steaming the leaves and let the steam penetrate the wound will heal it in a shorter period of time. These leaves are combination of guava, kamias and other fresh ones for the bathing solution of, still, mothers who had just given birth.
Other herbal items
Dark liquids sold in bottles with labels, saying to induce menstruation for those ladies who happened to be delayed on their expected monthly periods. Within sight, many more herbal leaves to heal other wounds and remedies sickness. It is up to the buyer to believe the capacity of these herbs. There are also small bracelets for babies to prevent hex.
6. Try having a seat with a fortune teller, a unique experience on things to do around Quiapo Church
Along Plaza Miranda, plastic tables are arranged. And within these tables, lie cards, no not playing cards but reading cards. A client would choose from the rows of table. Each table has a fortune teller, and will read cards to tell you what she/he sees on it about you – your past, your life and your future as depending on what you allow them to see on you. Usually, there are more who wish to know their fortune on days of Fridays, for they said that the cards are more powerful on Fridays. Ask first their price before sitting on one of those chairs.
7. Buy fresh vegetables from Benguet.
In Plaza Miranda, in the corner of Hidalgo St, vegetable vendors display the green and crisps produce of Benguet province. Broccolis are inviting. You can surely make green salads out of different kinds of lettuces. Here you would find the cheapest lettuce and broccoli. I bought 120 pesos, about $2.40, worth of lettuce in the grocery and bought another one here just on the following day, and bought it for 30 pesos, about $0.60, both with almost the same weight. That’s how affordable broccoli here in Quiapo. One cannot resist buying some of them and indulge with its freshness.
8. Buy and take a bite on rice cakes
Still on Plaza Miranda, in the corner of Villalobos St, rice cake vendors are lined up from early morning. Many are still hot from being freshly steamed. Available rice cakes are suman sa lihiya, sapin-sapin, suman sa ibos, puto, kutchinta, biko and assorted kakanin. Each of these rice cakes can really fill one’s tummy for it is made of glutinous rice. This kind of rice can seem make you bloated, yet you would smile for you had been greatly rewarded with a fulfilling snack. Most importantly, be sure to have some for a take home treat.
9. Select the best fruit you like.
There are lots of fruit stands here in Quiapo. Others put their products on carts, so they can move on where most people are. If permitted, carts would stop on certain sides of the streets and, there, they would start offering fruits to sell to passersby. Fruits like apple, lemon, oranges and other imported ones are common to see. Lemons are sold for 4 pieces for $1. Apples and oranges are sold cheap starting from 10 pesos or about $0.25 each piece. It is easy to grab one because you need not search for them, for they are almost everywhere.
10. Be ready to see the cheapest vegetable in town.
While you are still on the magic of the thoughts of the fortune teller in Plaza Miranda, and you keep walking through Villalobos going to Quinta Market, vegetable vendors are everywhere, their products are all real cheap. Their vegetables are locally grown in Luzon farms, usually from the southern portion. They are sold in small bundles ranging from 10 pesos, about $0.20, to a little higher.
Times of shortage
Even when the country was experiencing a shortage of vegetable supply due to typhoons, vegetable sellers here in Quiapo had given all their efforts to offer their vegetable on a relatively very low price. Vegetables that are usually available are okra, squash, ampalaya, sitaw and eggplant. And, usually you can all mix them up to make Pinakbet or cooked mixed vegetables.
11. Buy a pack of dried fish.
Next few steps would put you to vendors of dried fish pack in small plastics like tuyo, danggit, etc. They are cleanly packed that make it appetizing, you would not think that they are too salty. It is just appealing, considering seeing different kinds of dried fish all at once in just one place.
Best way to eat dried fish
Anyway, once you cooked it and found it was too salty, just add some spoonful of cooked rice on your plate, to at least, lessen the taste of saltiness. Meaning, a little pinch of dried fish to a big spoonful of rice will lessen saltiness, and do not forget to have some dip like vinegar or sliced tomatoes. On the other hand, others rinse the dried fish first in running water before cooking it.
12. Take a look at plasticwares of everyday living.
Sometimes, we are not aware on the things we usually used for our everyday living, especially those little helps in the kitchen. Sometimes, we try not to buy plastic products for the concept of just another waste that is not biodegradable. But we need to accept the fact that we need plasticwares for our everyday living for containers, coverings, food servers and much more. But, on the other hand, we can maximize the use of these plasticwares to reduce our garbage. And here in Quiapo, particularly in Villalobos streets, sidewalks are filled with stores selling plasticwares. Try to take a look and be surprise that something you need is there. So next time, if you are thinking where to buy plates in Quiapo, drop by on this sidewalk.
13. Drop by to accessories stores, is a heaven top things to do around Quiapo Church of crafters
Do you know where to purchase the cheapest and at wholesale price pearls, beads and stones? Certainly, the answer is in accessories stores in Quiapo. Yes, almost all who do crafts knew this. You can buy freshwater pearls in Quiapo by the strand. Beads are packed and sold by the kilo. In addition, precious stones are sold individually or by the strand. You can literally make assorted accessories like necklaces, bracelets and rings. Other components like chain and locks are also available.
That is to say, if you want to start an accessory business, this place is the best place to start your plan. DIY Beads and Wellmanson are the best stores if you are looking where to buy accessories in Quiapo.
Wellmanson beads and accessories
If you plan just to buy for personal use, Wellmanson store had lots of ready-made accessories that are too affordable yet not cheap-looking. So, take a look, even though you will not buy any, you will be much entertained to see Quiapo jewelries.
These accessories stores occupied almost all stores on the side street of Villalobos. Now, you will be surprised that there such stores like these, because you thought that Villalobos St. are all of vegetable vendors only. Now, you can have another window shopping spree escapade.
14. Visit Master Hopia, is a must top things to do around Quiapo Church by our elders
Master Hopia is located in Villalobos St in Quiapo. It may be one of the oldest hopia factories existing here. Ask your uncle, aunties, grandma and grandpa. The memories would come back and they would share not only the unique taste of hopia of Master Hopia, but also their experience while watching the donut-cooking of the store on the sidewalk, just in front of their store. It was a must that after hearing Holy Mass, our parents and grandparents would drop by to Master Hopia to buy hopia or the hot donut. As of now, there was no more donut-cooking. Their hopia come in different flavours and sizes. They also offer other baked products. You can still grab some of their treats.
15. Try the new Quinta Market and you’ll have a different marketing experience in things to do around Quiapo Church
Old Quinta market
Quinta Market is newly renovated under Joseph Estrada’s time as City Mayor. Before, old Quinta Market was too old that it was dirty even though stall owners tried to keep it clean. Sections of dry and wet market were separated and a section of canteen was somewhere deep inside.
My father used to take me on one of the food concessionaires and ordered a pansit palabok for the two of us: one order is thick palabok and mine is the thinner ones, a difference on their kinds of noodles. Then he will order halo-halo while I happily sat on a rounded wooden chair permanent one-leg implanted on the cemented floor, an incident worth remembering.
The new Quinta market and the sidewalk vendors
Now, new Quinta Market is divided on neatly arranged stalls with different sections for meat, fish, fruits, vegetables and dried goods. It is well-organized but fewer people visit. It seemed that customers prefer buying from sidewalk vendors outside. Maybe, it is a different feeling. Buying in sidewalks is quite natural and traditional, rather than in this newly built and tidy market. But, since authorities try to prevent illegal vendors to sell near the newly built Quinta market, customers were forced to buy inside the market. Customers complained that prices of goods are a little higher inside Quinta market compared to sidewalk vendors, that surely they prefer the latter.
16. Eat the best Pancit Palabok, one of the best things to do around Quiapo Church
Where to eat in Quiapo? Now, the food stores are in the different section of the market. It was located just outside the main marketplace. The section is now called Lutong Maynila, wherein several food concessionaires can be found. That’s where I found my favorite palabok, with the same taste and still filling my tummy. This palabok filled me up easily when I was a 10-year old child. Now that I am old, I still have the same feeling, it already filled my tummy on my half-way of eating, .
17. Visiting under Quiapo Bridge: the Handicraft Heaven
Under the bridge of Quiapo, or Quiapo Ilalim, lie the products produced by our countrymen on each of their region relying on whatever is abundant on their place. These are handicraft products that are proudly made by our local craftsmen, displayed on stalls under the bridge of Quiapo. Quiapo handicrafts range from abaniko fan, grass hat and grass skirt. Moreover, there are duyan, placemats made of shells, woodcarvings, bags made from local products, arnis, home decorations, mats from abaca, a porn art from Baguio, broom from Baguio, malong from Mindanao and lots, lots more. You would enjoy just by looking on the stores. Certainly, you can try comparing prices, for there were many stores and haggled for the ones you choose.
18. Take a peek on kitchen appliances store
When facing Quinta Market, its right side crossing a small street, lined up stores selling small kitchen appliances and so many kitchen needs and gadgets can be seen. And you would be amaze for their prices are too low, for they offer factory prices. Even if you only planned to buy a certain piece, you still had the chance of that very low price.
Caterers flocked here to buy all their catering needs, for the stores are complete from spoon & forks, plates, table napkin holders and chafing dishes. But homemakers need not worry, for the stores would accommodate you even if you do not buy that much for them. The best stores among them is New Sin Kian Heng. Their store had great numbers of buyers, they offer the best price. You only need to a wait for your order to be delivered from their stockroom, but it will not take that long.
19. Line-up on a baking supply store
Killion Merchandising is somewhat hidden from great scene in Quiapo, for it is located at the back of the kitchen appliances store. You just walk up to a street corner of these kitchen appliances store, then turn from the street and just follow along the street that seems going round. Street name is Orosco. Here, you would find old stores selling food containers like styros and boxes. They also sell different kind of nuts and assorted baking ingredients.
Among these stores, is Killion Merchandising, they have complete stocks from flavorings, nuts, flour and food packaging. Their prices are at wholesale price. You need to fill in their order slip, and wait for your turn to be called. Then they will get your order list and arrange it after you paid for your orders. You will then wait again for your turn when they pack your lists. The waiting time will take your time, sometimes. However, better go on its opening at about 7am to avoid lots of their buyers.
20. Buy to the only Excelente Ham, an “only here” top things to do around Quiapo Church
Excelente Ham has only one store. It is located in Carlos Palanca St., near across of Quinta Market, and directly across of kitchen appliances store. Excelente Ham is a popular ham for Christmas, they had preserved the authentic taste of their ham through the years. As a result, on Christmas season, you need to lined up outside early in the morning to get and choose the best ham you want. They opened at 8 am.
The gift-giving of this ham is a real tradition. It is packaged in a box when you buy a minimum of 1 kilo. Eating Excelente Ham defined one’s Noche Buena, savoring every bite, licking the last drop of their sauce. Their store is open all year round, so try their product. You can even buy scrap ham, if you only want to taste a little, and still tastes great!
21. Castanas viewing
In front of Excelente Ham, still on Carlos Palanca St, is the inviting on the spot-cooking of castanas, or chestnuts. It is cooked in an open drum-like container, a roasting machine. An attached mixing metal is at its center. Hot, small, black stones or tiny pebbles are mixed on the chestnuts while being roasted.
It is sold for 380 pesos per kilo, about $7.6. Why not grab some while it is hot.
I had watched how they roasted the castanas. Actually, they suddenly stopped roasting, because the chestnut somewhat explode. This happens when the chestnut expand while roasting. When cooked, the taste is somewhat similar to a potato.
22. Searching for your needed costume
Near Excelente Ham is a store selling costumes, especially for students. School activities like United Nations Day greatly need a costume of whatever assigned country a student is. And this store offers all kinds of costume, in almost all sizes. And the price is so reasonable. You just wish that a size fits you.
The costume not only consists of the dress, but the whole outfit. That means, hair accessories and footwear are also available to complete the outfit. No need to worry, the store offers complete packages.
23. Shopping at The SM Store
As you continue walking to Carlos Palanca St, your feet will bring you to SM Department Store or SM Carriedo, or for oldies, ShoeMart. ShoeMart’s first shoe store was located in Carriedo St. Then they transfer, but just nearby. And that was where it started, and now, as a result, their chain of stores continues having the spot as one of the biggest malls in the world. They have so many branches, and still counting. Success, you know, came from little beginnings. From a shoe store, ShoeMart, now a giant mall with many branches nationwide. And SM claimed that they got it all for you!
24. Shop until you drop in Quiapo Ukay-Ukay, one of the very thrift things to do around Quiapo Church
If you exit SM to Hidalgo St, you can walk out and see the sidewalk with clothesline stands wherein clothes were hanged, that were slightly used. These slightly used clothes came mostly from other countries. One can also reach this place by walking through Plaza Miranda passing thru fruits and Benguet-vegetable vendors going to Hidalgo St. Just look at SM at the farthest side of the street.
The hanged clothes were so cheap that it is almost free. Imagine 10 pesos, or about $0.20. And if you buy 3 pieces, you can get it in a more bargain price of almost 7 pesos a piece or $0.14! That’s the reason why there were so many customers around hunting for their sizes.
Due to tight budget, many prefer to buy on Ukay-ukay so they can have the latest style of clothing. But sometimes, and there were times, that you just pass on those clothesline, and then something in the corner of your eye sparked something, and you saw a short pants, but you just ignore it. You went inside the department store, and try on the short pants they had on display. However, the problem is your mind kept coming back to the short pants hanging outside department store, hanging on the clothesline in ukay-ukay. So, do not feel guilty, you are just human. So drop that short pants, go out on that department store and do the buying in the sidewalk.
25. Take a look at camera stores
Along Hidalgo St, camera stores lined up. They do not only sell camera and its parts, they also do repairs. If you plan buying a camera, better look at the prices here in Quiapo first. You will not regret the time you will spend comparing prices, for theirs prices are too low, compared to mall and online shops. And even if the place looks old, their stocks are new and up-to-date. Professional photographers and those new ones in the hobby: certainly, you are most welcome here.
26. Visit optical clinics
If you had any problem on your vision, you need to come here at Paterno St. in Quiapo. You can choose on the optical clinics in this area. The whole side of the road are eyeglass stores selling cheap, efficient and accurate eyeglasses. Big stores with big names are here. They offer their services in low prices, but their products are the same with those of the malls. Our optical shop, Nicholas, would check and measure the current grade of eyes to prescribe the right eyeglasses. Their service is always superb and, in addition, they will offer you different eyeglasses and their recommendation.
27. Compare prices on the music and sporting goods stores
On Evangelista St, one of the street corners of Paterno St, musical instruments are sold in designated stores, likewise, combined with small sports equipment like dumbells, kettlebells, rubbers and balls which I purchased recently. I choose to buy here in Quiapo for their too low prices compared to the mall.
28. Amuse yourself on electrical stores
Raon St is so much busied with people offering electrical parts, accessories and small appliances like drills and different lights. There are big stores on the side and stalls all over the road. Big stores are accommodating even when you would buy 8 pieces of assorted resistors, wherein they would look for the resistors on their well-stack drawers, only to bill you for only 2 pesos, about $0.40.
29. Rent a videoke machine
On this place, the sound is too loud coming from videoke machines, for they sell and offer rentals for their videoke machines. These machines are the one used for parties. Have your song selected on a list and you will sing at the top of your lungs holding a microphone. It seemed that you are announcing your presence in the whole neighborhood. Meanwhile, it was good that the President had issued a memorandum, prohibiting the use of videoke machine after 10pm.
30. Dine in at MaMon Luk Restaurant and feel one of the oldest things to do around Quiapo church
If you want to feel the old Quiapo, and you want to feel old, dine in at MaMon Luk Restaurant. The place is old, the ambiance is old. That is to say, it is a great, real experience.
But they offer same, authentic taste of their mami and siopao. Usually, their customers are not anymore those youth of today, old one mostly still appreciate their food. But it is really refreshing to drop by, and sip a hot soup, breaking the routine fast food offering of French fries and sundaes.
31. Choose your bicycle on bike stores
Always stay fit, own a bike. Why not? If you know how to ride one, you can find a place to bike on your weekend mornings. The result will surely, always benefit you. Just invest an hour, and perspiration will trickle, muscles harden and heart rate increase. So great and prefer the biking with a partner. Best shared moments with a love one, so nice.
32. Find an Abaya
Abaya is a light dress, about knee-length. Further, this is worn by Muslim women, and worn according to the practice of their belief. There are lots of vendors selling this kind of cloth because there is a Muslim community here in Quiapo.
For overseas Filipino workers (OFW) travelling to Muslim countries, you need to have some pieces of this.
Abaya is a clothe to cover the whole body of a Muslim woman. Only the eyes, feet and hands can be seen. The prices for each abaya is 400 pesos, or about $8.
33. Hunting for cross stitch patterns
If you love cross stitching, certainly, Quiapo is a place for you. Quiapo cross stitching offers numerous cross stitch patterns. Threads and needles according to your need are also available. You can even ask them to put your finished work on a photo frame, customized to the size of your finished cross stitch project.
34. Crossing the Underpass
The Victory Lacson Underpass is an underground pedestrian crossing connecting 7 entrances and exits of Quiapo area.
Entrance and exits are: Hidalgo, Escaldo, Echague, Quezon Bridge, Villalobos, Carriedo and Paterno.
The old underpass
This Victory Lacson Underpass had undergone renovation. The old underpass was dim, vendors just spread their mat and display their products to sell. It was not air-conditioned. Many beggars lie on the stairs either sleeping or making their area as their little home. Everything was in chaos.
The new underpass
But now, since its renovation under the project of Mayor Erap Estrada, had successfully gives smile to pedestrians. It is now well-lit and security guards are posted on every entrance and exit. It was now operated by a private company partnering with the Manila City Hall.
The underpass is now well-managed and everything is in order especially the kiosks and food carts, they are now strategically arranged.
Dining-in is safe and comfortable. They offer donuts, pastries, noodles, siomai and hotdogs. There are also dry goods like clothes, make-up and cellphone accessories.
35. Globe Lumpia House, a must to taste, in the things to do around Quiapo Church
A very light and saucy lumpia made of papaya and other fresh vegetables, that would not only satisfy your tummy but will not cause pain on your wallet. A reasonable price for 20 pesos each, about $0.40. Just be ready for the long line. Everybody wants this fresh lumpia.