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Solving the mystery of Divisoria

Why is everyone going \\\'Divi\\\'?

By Entrepreneur Staff | Aug 9, 2011

Divisoria is one of the city of Manila’s most popular destinations and recognizable
landmarks. For many, “Divi” is the marketplace for everything from food to electronics,
all at bargain prices. For resourceful and money-savvy entrepreneurs, it’s a suppliers’
haven. Whatever you need for your business—fresh ingredients, raw materials, finished
products, peripherals and accessories, among others—Divi surely has it.

Divisoria is also an experience in itself: an unpredictable adventure for the newbie, a

thrill that never grows old for the experienced. The adage “no pain, no gain” is an apt
description for it—while there are air-conditioned spaces, there are also dimly-lit areas
with narrow and almost airless passageways. Expect to walk a lot, break into a sweat
and possibly get lost in Divi’s labyrinth-like, crowded streets. Keep your belongings close
to your body, and be on constant alert for suspicious-looking or overly friendly
strangers. Chances are, they’re interested in your wallet (not you).

To find the best buy, throw yourself into the grand Divi tradition of haggling. And if that
doesn’t work, don’t worry: you’re bound to see that item in another stall or store, at a
price that suits your budget. Remember that it pays to be a regular customer or to buy
wholesale or in bulk. That’s how you get fat discounts and preferential treatment, Divi-

For our annual Divisoria issue, Entrepreneur Philippines put together useful information
that every ‘trep should know. We talked to four Divi-basedsuppliers and discussed how
their businesses are vital links and resources for countless Pinoy ‘treps across the
country. From payment terms to best practices, we tell you all.

Tutuban Center and 168 Mall—two of the biggest and busiest commercial complexes in
the area—are undergoing major redevelopment. While these improvements are bound
to change the face of Divisoria, the challenge is to retain its distinctive nature and ways.
We also listed down other bustling marketplaces in the Greater Manila area, noting
what selections await you at each stop.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Posted by orozco.myblog at 3:39 PM

Divisoria is the central market place of MetroManila where goods from all over the
Philippines are brought for distribution to other places. Bagsakan wika nga. It is always a
busy place and majority of the store owners with stalls are Chinese, half-Chinese, etc. It is
also where the vendors are either inside buildings or outside in the streets. What is difficult
for the consumers is the way the street vendors hug the sidewalks. Hardly is there space for
us to move about or negotiate our way to and through streets especially during the
Christmas season, and election time when officials need money for campaigning and
antagonizing the vendors will bring on resistance to "kotong" or bribe money.

The place is reeking with bad odor, and has mountainous garbage of plastic bags, styrofoam
boxes, vegetables rotten and half good, fruit peelings and over ripe fruits thrown into the
streets. Some chinese owners have complained that the streetvendors have been stealing
their customers as they retreat readily once it becomes difficult to reach the former's

Hence, a big task lies ahead for all people who want change to get into the picture and help
solve the problems of overcrowding and merciless throwing of garbage.

The people are helpless because of connivance between the authorities and the vendors
who pay them a "kotong" just so they could continue to sell in those illegal spaces.

I am thinking if the Chinese exporters who profit a lot from the business transactions in
Divisoria and the Fil-American nationalistic groups if they can create a task force to pressure
the barangays in the area as well as Mayor Alfredo Lim of Manila to do something
collaborative to solve these problems. Help!- Emma Orozco


What makes successful markets successful? What makes them fail? What has changed in
supermarket design over the last 50+ years, and especially in the last 20 years? What do
you think is wrong with supermarkets? Why do you think public markets should be

West Side Market in Cleveland, Ferry Plaza in San Francisco, and Pike Place in Seattle are
all good examples of successful US "public" markets. Many people shop for food with price
as a primary factor, but many of us put other factors much higher.