Wednesday 17 September 2014 03:26:51 PHT

Shopping in Bohol

IJsselstein, Tuesday, 31 January 2006

Although not as varied as in Manila or Cebu, shopping opportunities in Bohol have much improved in the last couple of years. Nowadays, Bohol has three major malls, all located in Tagbilaran City.

Straight in the middle of Carlos P. Garcia Avenue (commonly known as CPG Avenue) in the old town center is the Bohol Quality Mall. Completely re-structured during the last few years, this mall has changed its main entrance from CPG Avenue to Gallares Street, and added a number of floors with additional shops, including a small bookshop, some boutiques, hair dressers, and several small restaurants. If you're looking for a good source of cheap books: there is a dealer in used books, appearantly imported from the US. The basement contains a large supermarket. This place is easy to reach, close to the Cathedral, and usually the place taxis from Panglao will drop you off if you ask them to bring you to Tagbilaran. Along CPG Avenue are a number of other shops and various banks with ATMs. Probably the best ATM is the one of the BPI on CPG Avenue, where you can withdraw upto 20.000 pesos per day.

A bit to the to the north-west of the town center in Barangay Cogon is Plaza Marcela, a large pink building. Opened in 1997, this used to be the best in town, but is now surpassed by the competition. This also has a large supermarket and several restaurants.

Food Plaza in Island City Mall
Food Plaza in Island City Mall.

The newest and currently biggest mall on Bohol is Island City Mall, near the provincial bus terminal in Dao, in what is to be the future city center of Tagbilaran City. This mall was constructed in 2004, and contains everything you can expect in a large Mall in the Philippines: a large supermarket, well stocked department store, a National Book Store outlet, large supermarket, and a food-plaza in the basement. Since it is less crowded than the other two malls, shopping here is a bit more relaxed. Island City Mall is at a very practical location for people arriving from other towns in Bohol, but a bit away from the usual route for most tourists: If you're staying in Tagbilaran, you can hop on a tricycle and get there easily. With loads of stuff, or getting there from Panglao, a taxi may be advisable. Unfortunately, there is no international ATM at Island City Mall, so bring enough cash.

Besides these three malls, there are a number of smaller department stores, such as Alturas supermarket and Shoppers Mart.

Island City Mall
Island City Mall.

For foreigners, it should be noted that you cannot take your bags into shops. You are expected to leave them at a "courtesy counter" near the entrance and will receive a token (normally a piece of plastic with a number on it). When leaving the mall, you can collect your bags with that token. Do not loose your token, as it may be very difficult to get your bags back without it, and less honest finders may actually use the token to get your bags. If you carry suitcases or backpacks, you may be asked to deposit them in a special counter. At Bohol Quality, you will have to pay 50 pesos for the save-keeping of such large bags, but luckily, these are consumable: you get a coupon you can spend in the shops or restaurants in BQ.

When you buy things in any shop in the Philippines, they will be packed for you in plastic bags (sometimes called "cellophane") which will be closed with cellotape or staples. A security card at the exit will typically verify the receipt--which often boils down to making a single scratch on it. In the supermarket, your goods will typically be packed in boxes, closed with plastic rope, and carried to the exit by an attendant. No tips are required here.

In the large department stores major credit cards are accepted, but they can cause some delay, and you may be asked for an additional ID, such as your passport. US dollars can be exchanged, but at an unfavourable rate.

Jeroen Hellingman

What readers think...

Gee Rosario wrote:
Monday, 10 February 2014 16:51:21 PHT
Hi, do you know a vacant store which is for lease on BQ? Or just near BQ lang. Kay I am planning to start a small business. Bisan small lang jud na xa place as long as safe and daghan tao. The store that I will be opening kay super affordable ra ang thinga which majority of the girls will love jud. If naa mo nahibaw.an please contact me ASAP :) 09173052324
Kie de Vera wrote:
Tuesday, 13 August 2013 14:14:07 PHT
Since it opened its doors to the public seven years ago, ICM continues to redefine the concept of shopping, dining, fun and entertainment in Bohol, and looks forward to more leverages that continue to raise the bar of excellence in a sustained effort to upgrade lifestyle. Truly an embodiment of customer satisfaction and malling superiority, ICM lives up to the title: SHOPPING CENTER OF THE YEAR. For two consecutive years, ICM had been cited as Shopping Center of the Year (Regional Category) in 2009 and 2010 by the Philippine Retailers Association (PRA) and the Department of Trade & Industry (DTI), and was inducted to the Hall of Fame for consistently bagging the prestigious award. In 2005, the mall was also chosen as one of the best in the country during the National Shoppers’ Choice Awards. This is quite a rare feat for ICM which is up against big competitors, and despite being fairly new in the mall industry. But as rated by the PRA, the excellence performance of the mall in product quality, company reputation, and brand recognition and consumer services are the compelling reasons why ICM surpasses the others.
KieL wrote:
Saturday, 29 June 2013 10:12:24 PHT
Yeah, this place is awesome! Come to visit this site. Island City Mall has redefined the concept of shopping, dining, and entertainment in Bohol upon its opening in 2004. It infused lifestyle changes in the community, brought shopping into one roof, made available diverse dining options, and became an energetic events venue where people can linger and enjoy various entertainments and live performances. The retail flagship venture of the Alturas Group of Companies, a home-grown conglomerate with three decades of expertise in the local retail industry, ICM was envisioned to bring in popular products and service brands previously unavailable to Boholanos, expats, and tourists alike. A stunning architectural masterpiece replete, ICM has become a landmark and is considered a centerpiece of the city's economic progress. It is every shopping maven's ultimate haven, a wholesome destination for family bonding, and a commercial hub with a cosmopolitan feel yet surrounded with the distinct Boholano hospitality. Situated adjacent to the Tagbilaran Central Public Market and the Integrated Bus Terminal, the mall affords a station for various public transport turning it into a major convergence area. While easily accessible,ICM also prides of having the widest space for every shopper's convenience.
Rene Lindongan wrote:
Friday, 27 July 2012 16:36:08 PHT
Ang bohol krun bibbo na au dghan na ang mga malls,mga improvement ug usa na sa best tourist desrtination in the country,hope na mga madugangan na ug ubam pang mga big malls sama sa sm,gaisano,robinsons,trinoma,landmark,glorrieta, shangrila starmall ug uban pa. Sana wala nay mo againts sa pagtukod niini.ang pagtukod sa mga malls maoy makatabang pagpasulod sa mga jobless sa mga boholanos. Ang panglao int'l airport masugdan na unta asap.Mabuhay boholanos.mabuhay bohol Welcome non boholanos....
cirena wrote:
Saturday, 10 December 2011 04:37:24 PHT
the manager, asa manko ka view og mga stainless water storage tank and the cost of different sizes and oif different brands. thanks you and may i hear form you the soonest possible time...

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