Furniture adventure: a day in Paco, Manila

I’ve been writing a lot lately about our apartment, and what we have been doing to make the place feel more like home. We began by changing the color of the walls from yellow to mint green, as well as bringing in the essentials such as the sofa bed, exhaust fan and a mirror (lol priorities). Mon brought home a couple of acrylic paints and blank canvases when he went home last Wednesday, and he had painted two colorful bunch of swirls, which I put on top of that mirror for the obligatory pop of color on the walls.

Mon had fun with acrylic paints and blank canvases, and came up with this colorful pair of abstract paintings

Still, a bunch of new paintings still could not fill the void (imagine the irony of that word, given that our  unit was just around 12sqm!) and we needed at least a table and a closet, because we’ve been eating on the kitchen counter and our clothes were still inside our bags. It was like being in vacation again, but it has to eventually stop. We’ve got nothing planned for the Friday morning. so we decided to visit Paco, Manila to find reasonably priced pieces of furniture!

My kuya has advised me last week that if we were to buy items for our apartment, we should check out Paco because most department stores in Metro Manila get their items from furniture stores in the area. I have never been there before, and I did my part by searching for specific directions online. I was happy to read that the jeepneys with the route going there pass by J.P. Rizal, which was just a a 5-minute walk from our street. We took the “PACO TAFT HERRAN” one, and paid Php 10. I just said “Pedro Gil” to the driver, though I was pretty sure that it was not the exact place. I was trying to be as vague as possible because I also had no idea where to disembark, while I was closely inspecting my BlackBerry Maps.

The signboard(s) of the jeepney we rode to get to Paco, Manila

Location of the furniture shops (red, or is it green, dot) in Paco Manila, relative to our apartment (star)To be honest, the newness of the place almost got us lost a bit because I panicked when the jeepney crossed a major road, like it was full of big, ten-wheeler trucks, that I thought we were leaving Metro Manila already. We got off at a street whose name I could no longer remember and was about to hail a cab, when we agreed to first ask the first person we see for directions. A lady, who looked like she was already late for work, kindly informed us that it was the street next to where we were at that time. Walking a block away from that place, I saw a church, which I assumed to be the Paco Church, which will coincidentally be the church where my brother will get married in this October.

A street of furniture stores in Pedro Gil - Paco ManilaWe went to the first store we saw, located in the corner of Merced Street and Pedro Gil. Hearing the price of every piece was enough to convince me that they were really way cheaper than SM and Landmark, or even those listed online on Sulit.com.ph. I saw a white, two-door closet at 3,000, but there were no other pieces that were of interest to us. We were hoping to buy all that we needed from a single store, because we might get more discounts and save on shipping as well. We were about to pick two small cabinets and a table from one store, but as those items we’re “SALE items”, they only allow pick-up for them. Too bad because they could have waived that policy, but the staff just chose to stand her ground. Bye bye sales!

A couple of meters from that unfortunate store, we stumbled upon another one with a large space, next to a Cebuana Lhuillier. The staff who attended us was kind, and was very patient with our haggling. Her name was “Regina” and she looked kind of intimidating at first, but she was actually approachable. Maybe the whole “Regina George” aura of the name gave us that impression. =P She made a couple of calls every time we haggle for a particular item, and as we eventually made a compromise over the price and delivery (they waived it for us!), we were to expect the delivery of the items before the day ends…

Bree n Bruce Marketing furniture store and its lovely staff - Paco Manila

… and they really meant before the day ends. They were delivered way past 7:00 PM, but it was better than not receiving the items on the same day. The only problem was that I advised the people delivering to let me know ahead of time if they were already in the area, as we still had to rush from the office to the apartment to open the door for them. But they just informed us when they were already in South Avenue, and we had to literally run from the office to where we could reach them in time before they leave. Well, they did not leave but I was told that they sometimes leave without a warning and the delivery would be made the following day. No one will be home tomorrow as we will be going back to Marikina and Cavite. So after all the hassle of rushing, we eventually got our items:

All wenge - our new closet, folding table and make-shift nightstand-slash-drawer from Paco, ManilaI would have liked if if they were white or another lighter color, but I don’t mind wenge either. The closet was sold to us at Php 3,000, then the small cabinet for Php 1,200. We thought of getting a bar table with two chairs because of space constraints, and we were already about to get one from them (for Php 2,500 a set). But Mon saw this folding table, where its four stools can be kept at the sides. Hello space saver! When folded, it measures 15″ x 31.5″ x 30″, but when you unfold one side, it becomes a square table at 31.5″ each side, then unfolding the other side exposes a 31.5″ x 48″. At its biggest, it is exactly the same measurement of that space from the kitchen counter until the end of that wall where it was facing. Of course, we do not need that much space on a daily basis, as it looks like a console table standing alone, but who knows if we’ll need it in the future. The last price was at Php 4,500 and we really did our best to bring it down even a hundred but they were unyielding. On Sulit.com, I saw the same table for sale at Php 6,000, and a similar cabinet for Php 6,500. I did not see the small cabinet’s online price though, but considering that  even if you can still haggle from that online store, we still paid a considerably lower amount in total from Bree n Bruce (I hope). To think that I almost asked somebody to have a custom made table at Php 7,000, it was a relief that I stopped myself from giving the go signal to the furniture maker.

Anyway, you can contact Bree n Bruce Marketing at +632 353-9109, and look for Ate Regina. She was the lady in the middle of picture above. She was really helpful, as she constantly updated us about the delivery, especially regarding who to contact once the items were on the road. I’m so broke already, but at least we can now hang and store our clothes in the closet, and eat properly on a table! And goodbye May!

bryologue

18 Comments

  1. I have been browsing the net for affordable furniture for days and so far, everything I found were way beyond our budget. So glad I found this blog post. thanks for sharing!

    • Hi! Glad you found this helpful. You can also try dropping by Libertad area (LRT Libertad Station) and there are furniture stores there similar to Paco. They are on the side of the market leading to Roxas Boulevard. Good luck! =D

    • Hi Andy! Sorry but I don’t think I was able to get their mobile number. I only have their landline. 🙂

  2. I enjoy reading your blog. It’s interesting and your posts seem very candid. Here in the south of the metro, I see secondhand/surplus Korean and Japanese furniture shops and even dropped by 2 of those found just along the road along Alabang/Zapote road. They’re really cheap and nice too.

    • Hi! Thanks a lot! 🙂 I haven’t been down south just to see furniture stores and secondhand/surplus shops! Hopefully people from the south reading this entry can try going there as well. 🙂

  3. I find this very helpful. I’m on a tight budget but I don’t want to buy a horrible looking Orocan closet. I’m glad I found this blog. I’m planning on going there next week. Thank you!

  4. hi i enjoyed reading your blog. was looking for a table for kitchen where to put a gas stove. i have in mind something with tiles on top which i saw in paco one time but dont have any no to call. will try calling d no u mentioned. thanks

    • Hi! yes you may call them to ask for the price. anyway, it is a stretch of furniture stores and you will surely find one. good luck!

  5. I am so happy found your blog about furniture trying to check furniture in the internet for a small condo unit thankbyou so much you help a lot of people trying to save money. Again thank you I cant wait to visit the place

    • Yay! Always happy to read that people got help from this kind of posts. Happy to help!

  6. I grew up in this area and this would be the best place to buy your furnitures especially if you are on a budget and this is like Banawe for cheap auto parts. You would spend hours on checking different stores and for low prices and a lot of barganing with the store owners/sales lady. I still buy furnitures here rather than SM/Home Central or Sogo Home Office and sometimes they offer to deliver your purchased items free of charge if near their area like Mandaluyong/Makati and etc.

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