In times of economic recession, fashion addicts, as always, still want to look their best. And where do they go when prices seem to skyrocket by the hour? Well, I’m spilling the beans… and the “ukay-ukay (dig up-dig up)” fashion frequenters in Laoag will hate me for this. Ha, ha, ha!! Sorry, my dears, it has to be out. C’est inévitable. Close to Wasteland, Goodwill, Buffalo Exchange and Polkadots and Moonbeams are Giwanay’s Ukay-Ukay and Tengay’s Wagwagan, located on the second level of the Ruiz Building (along Rizal St.) just across the Laoag City Supermarket. The whole floor is a haven of second-hand clothing and accessories. The stuff comes from the US and Asian countries like Korea, Japan and HongKong. Someone I know was able to score an original Prada ballet flats in mint condition for peanuts. My bosom buddy, a fashionistette (different from a fashionista in the sense that she loves dressing up in vintage chic) has dug out multitudinous classics like Drew Barrymore dresses and Nicole Richie tops. My mountain biker friends get their original Nike dry-fit shirts from there, and they could still afford extras like Columbia hiking shoes, Gore-Tex windbreakers, Mountain Hardwear nylon khakis, O ‘Neil outdoor shorts, Arc ‘teryx climbing pants, statement t-shirts and numerous finds that are still in good condition.
I came to discover this haven before a climb to Mt. Pulag. Of course, to be able to battle a below-zero temperature, I needed a protective jacket. It was a good thing my friend Nina of the UP Lakay mountaineers gave me some tips and I was lucky to have unearthed the same North Face woman’s goose-down jacket like hers for only 250 bucks, or roughly 5 US dollars. GEEZ! I saved thousands and I didn’t die of hypothermia, thank Giwanay’s!! And worth mentioning is the fact that the jacket was my size –oh, a very important factor to me.
The little known savvy thrift store shopping tips — get their phone number or give yours to them to know when the new arrivals are out, or go often because the item you need today may be there tomorrow. Take your time and buy only what you need. Pay special attention to to size, fit and quality. And don’t go if you hate browsing through all the racks and if dust stifles your nostrils because thrift store shopping is like treasure hunting.
The junk of other people may be goldmine to others — that’s the moral of my post today.