In the most unlikely places.

Kayen, account director, caterer of South Beach
meals and ignorer of direct sunlight, is also an ubershopper. Her particular
downfall is zapatillas, but she loves any sort of bargain. Which is why we find
ourselves going through stacks of goods in the strangest places, like the Royal
Family mall in Bulacan, apartment 310 in Our Lady of Fatima building, the
Market!Market! tiangge, the Metrowalk bazaar and, just today, the Marketplace in

The Marketplace is a
somewhat cleaner version of the Royal Family mall, which on every floor smelled
like dried fish. It is crammed with Tutuban-type stalls, selling slippers, baby
goods, accessories, down-to-midmarket clothing and shoe chains like Page and
Otto and row after row of clothes, clothes, clothes. In the midst of this
plethora of consumables are two great shops: Clothes of Joy (complete with
sunshine logo) and Bottoms and Tops (no, they do not sell exclusively gay male
clothing). They’re owned by the same person, but they carry different

In both, you can find export
overruns at fairly decent prices, with a good selection of sizes. Clothes of Joy
carries Hollister, Old Navy and CK jeans. Bottoms and Tops carries Dockers and
shelves and shelves of CK jeans and khakis, at P400-P450 each. They also carry
tops for big guys and skirts for skinny girls.

One local designer whom I’d like to have
more clothes from sells under the brand Ilaya. She has one stall in the
Metrowalk bazaar. Her style is tailored-quirky, and quite wearable without being
too safe.

I would like to have a boutique
in an unlikely place too, one day, and have some other people find it purely by
chance, and be happy because of it.