Quiapo is an absolute must. It feels different than our Makati/Ortigas bubble. Which I think is a good thing to get down and really feel Manila. I do not profess to be a Quiapo queen but this is just my own little humble guide that might be helpful. If you want balikabayan handicrafts or beads and jewelry anything, this is the place to go. Photo story and tips below.
The bead stores are primarily on the same street as the market which is just west of the bridge area, Villalobos Street.
Adult coloring books for only 145php. Washi tape. Oh yeah! Magical water balloons that fill 30 at a time! We found great bead selection, including wood at Pandora's, just up the street from Wellmanson.
Under the bridge:
Quiapo Central Market is very clean and organized. It does have an outdated feel but if you're just going for framing or tailor I highly recommend it.
Paintings for 1500php. Can paint almost any fruit or vegetable. I highly recommend this frame shop. The price is really great. I got 30 prints framed for 5000php. It wasn't quite ready when I came for pick up so we wandered around Central Market. Toparies being made right there and can do any custom order.
This sweet woman has owned this stall for 50 years! She sells to the department stores and sources from Bicol and Baguio. Incredible! My boo's.
Things to know:
We arrived at 9 and all shops were open.
When find the bead shops you have to look behind the market vendors.
Wellmanson is one of the largest shops and very well organized. You can leave your bags at the counter and pick up when leaving Quiapo.
In my mind I divide Quiapo into two areas: Villalobos Stret (market + beads) and "Under the bridge," (Balikbayan + Christmas).
Quiapo is very crowded, beware of pickpockets.
Bring hand sanitizer and wipes.
Quiapo and Central Market are not near enough to walk.