Brands We Grew Up With As An Ilonggo #3: Iloilo Shanghai Bazaar

Sep 10, 2012 by

The Colors, Glitz & Glamour of Iloilo Shanghai Bazaar Ribbons, laces, threads, needles and other glittery accessories– these are just some of the items that Iloilo Shanghai Bazaar has been known for so many years. This one-stop shop that Ilonggos go to especially during school programs and community events was originally a Sari-Sari Store turned into a grocery store years after it was opened in the 1940’s by owner Sy Chew. Ever since the business started, Aldeguer Street in Iloilo City which is also famous for shops that sell cheap cloth is home to Shanghai Bazaar.

Iloilo Shanghai Bazaar - My Iloilo

Iloilo Shanghai Bazaar - My Iloilo

From a mere grocery store during the early years of its existence, the owner started selling threads, needles and other stuff that is used to make gowns, costumes and what have you. Not to mention, it is Shanghai Bazaar where Ilonggos would run to if they need accessories like tiaras, scepter and fancy jewelry sets for the annual Santa Cruzan and/or town fiesta queen coronation. This is how Shanghai Bazaar became a

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household name among Ilonggo seamstresses, tailors and even housewives in search for the above mentioned items.

Iloilo Shanghai Bazaar - My IloiloIloilo Shanghai Bazaar - My Iloilo

During the heyday of the cloth industry of Iloilo in the 1960’s, weavers from Miag-ao, Arevalo & other towns in Iloilo are among the known “suki” of Iloilo Shanghai Bazaar. I can say, you could never encounter a single seamstress/tailor in the entire province of Iloilo who has never been a returning customer of Shanghai Bazaar. But it’s not all glory there is to it. As they say, businesses has its ups & downs and in the case of Shanghai Bazaar, it is during the 1990’s when RTW’s invaded many department stores and Ilonggos would rather go for the ready made ones. I remember my mom saying that in the past, they would usually go to a seamstress and have a dress made on every occasion whereas now, it’s so easy to go to boutiques and buy one ready-to-wear. It is during this particular period when Shanghai Bazaar encountered a slump in their business so in order to cope, the owners have to diversify by selling other items like cosmetics, school supplies and groceries (Aldeguer Branch). Up to now, Ilonggo weavers and even more seamstresses/tailors are continuously patronizing the many colors & glitz of Shanghai Bazaar. Especially since it offers a wider range of products, it goes without saying that it draws a wider market from housewives to students and the unceasing organizers and participants of events like fiestas that Iloilo has been known for.

Iloilo Shanghai Bazar - My Iloilo

Aldeguer branch

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