5 Reasons to visit Parolan at the Araneta Center


People say the Christmas season in the Philippines is the longest in the world. As early as September, Filipinos decorate their homes, schools and offices with various ornaments and trinkets to really get into the Christmas spirit. Soon enough, houses will be lit up with strings of sparkling lights, and carols fill the air even in shopping malls. 

Just as Christmas decorating is an age-old practice, visiting the Parolan Christmas Bazaar at the Araneta Center in Quezon City this time of the year has also become a tradition among many Filipinos. Those looking to find a bargain know this is one of the places one must check out before Christmas comes around.

Here are five reasons why Parolan is worth a visit:

1. Christmas is just around the corner

The Christmas bazaar opened on October 1 and will remain in operation until the end of the year. With just a little over two months to go before Christmas, Parolan is one of the top destinations in the Metro for Christmas décor shopping. Visit it now and take advantage of the fact that the Christmas rush and the heavy traffic it entails are not yet in full swing.

2. Not far-la la la la: the bazaar is accessible

Parolan may be in a new location, but it still offers the same Christmas decorating staples. The Christmas bazaar is now located on Times Square Avenue, in front of the Araneta Center Bus Station, behind Shopwise. Like anything else at the Araneta Center, Parolan is very accessible through any means of transportation. At the center of the city, Araneta Center is the true transportation hub, and can be reached from the north to the south, the east to the west, thanks to several jeepney and bus lines, as well as MRT-3 along EDSA and LRT-2 along Aurora Boulevard. Just a few minutes’ walk from the train stations, Parolan’s strategic location in the metro benefits shoppers. 

 3. The gifts that keep on giving 

 Parolan promises the public some good deals for their choice of Christmas decorations. A Christmas tree bargains for as cheap as P250 to as much as P3,500 depending on their size and materials. Some stores sell Christmas trees already adorned with lights, ribbons and other decorations for as low as P5,000. Lanterns or parol sell for as low as P500. Capiz balls with lights sell for P1,300 to P1,500. These prices are already cheap compared to those in other stores, but the good thing is, buyers can still haggle with the sellers. They can also test their purchases to make sure that they are safe and of good quality. Some stalls also offer repair on decors bought from them. 

4. Merry Choice-mas: Various products abound 

The Christmas bazaar has a wide array of products. Whether you are looking for traditional decors or thematic displays, chances are, the sellers in the bazaar have the products you want and need. Aside from the usual Christmas trees and lanterns, some stores also offer heavy-duty LED rope lights which retail for P2,500 to P4,000. The technique is to patiently sweep through the 12 stalls to find the displays you want. 

5. Bibingka and puto bumbong bring the cheer 

Hunger—or worse, that feeling of being “hangry”—will not be a problem for shoppers at the Parolan Christmas Bazaar. A stall there sells bibingka and puto bumbong, traditional Christmas treats that are big hits among Pinoys. Owner Nanay Erlinda says she maintains the quality of the ingredients of her traditional sticky rice cakes that is why they continue to be a favorite among shoppers. Puto bumbong sells for P40 to P50, while the bibingka retails for P60 to P70 depending on the variety. There are also scores of other food establishments in the area that a visit to buy Christmas decors may just turn into a food trip as well.

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