Guide to Ukay-Ukay Shopping in Midtown Cebu

This post has been on my mind for a long time now and it is always included in my to-do list but I never got around to doing it until this February. So one February afternoon, I went on a thrifting tour in one of my favorite thrifting areas in Cebu City — the midtown area. If you are interested in knowing where I went, what I tried on, what I bought, what the price ranges are, please read on…

One of the many reasons why I love Cebu City is the thrift shop/ukay-ukay scene. They’re every where! Although I have noticed that there are fewer ukayans now compared to six years ago when I started my online shop, Just Got Lucky Shop. Many have closed maybe because foreign brands, such as Forever21, Zara, H&M, and Uniqlo, are already here in the city. This has been a long time project I had in mind but I never got around to executing it. Here is a first installment of a thrifting tour series. We would start touring the uptown area of Cebu City not just because of the many thrift shops there but because I find the area lovely and historical as well.

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My starting point was cor. Jones Avenue and J. Llorente Street. The landmark would be the Rizal Library and Museum.

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This shop is located below the NLRC building and across the fruits stands. What I like of this shop are the well-arranged clothes and their ample-sized fitting rooms. This shop offers mostly Korean clothes although I have found several American brands here as well, such as Viviene Tam and Burberry. If you are into fast and trendy fashion, this shop is for you. Price range: tops at P180, dresses at P280, long dresses at P380. I visited the shop when they just opened their new arrivals, which explains the kinda steep prices. Do note that the shop’s definition of a “long dress” is any dress that falls below the knee. All three dresses in the picture above were considered “long dresses.” P.S. I bought none of the above.

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This shop is located two shops down Praktical Fashionistas. In between them is a pharmacy/medical equipment store. Luke & Ester’s is smaller compared to Praktical Fashionistas and offers similar things — mostly Korean clothes. The prices are also the same but they were having a sale at the time I visited and I ended up with the two tops above. Both tops are priced at P140.

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This was my first time to visit this shop. I wonder what happened to Joven’s Grill? Was it killed by competition also, like the other thrift shops in the city? When I visited this shop, they were on sale and the shop, which occupies the whole of the former Joven’s Grill was jampacked with clothes that I didn’t bother checking them out. I think most clothes are Korean also. I did spend some time in their bags section because they were having a 50% on all bags. I spotted Burberry, Gucci, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Furla, DKNY, Coach, Michael Kors, and classic green plaid Polo by Ralph Lauren tote bags. I have been looking for Polo by Ralph Lauren bags for a long time now and I thought it was my lucky day but the handles of all three bags I saw went crumbling after my touch. They hang their bags by hangers and they were so packed some are already damaged. Tsk. I ended up with a black Agnes b. duffel bag for P290 pesos.

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I hate this shop because it is cramped, the fitting rooms are covered with curtains that don’t seem to close, and I have not bought anything of value here on the numerous times I’ve visited. But many local Cebuano famous people swear by this shop (including one very popular host because I stalk the Instagram account). I did find some American labels in this store, such as Anne Klein. P.S. The jumpsuit fitted great but I hate jumpsuits, you have to take everything off so you can pee.

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This is a hit-and-miss shop. I’ve bought several clothes here, mostly Korean shirt dresses that I wear at home and for sleeping. I’ve also bought a pair of rubber shoes here for my nephew. But none of those purchases really made me happy and none of those purchases I still wear until now. When I visited this shop, I found several Zara and H&M clothes priced at P350. P.S. I did not buy any of the above.

As a final note, here are the essentials I bring with me when I go on a thrifting tour:

1. powerbank because I tend to get lost in time when thrifting and I don’t want to end up with a drained mobile phone;

2. mobile phone for people, especially my husband, to contact me;

3. hand sanitizer, because thrift clothes are dirty and dusty;

4. keys, so I can get inside the house anytime, haha;

5. coins and change, because I want my transactions fast;

6. Bo’s Coffee Shop card, because a coffee is needed before or after a tiring thrifting tour; and

7. small bag + shopping bag, because Cebu is no-plastic bag on Saturdays.

I love this area because when I get tired from thrifting (either because I bought a lot or was unlucky), there are many places to chill. So that ends our first installment of thrifting tours. I hope you stay tuned for more, and I hope you’ll find this helpful when you visit the Queen City of the South!



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