What is “Ukay-ukay”?
It was derived from the Visayan term “halukay” which means the act of digging. Ukay-ukay shopping is like treasure hunting, but instead of looking for a treasure, you are literally digging from the piles of clothes which are mostly vintage and of high value. The ukay shopping phenomena all started in Baguio. Ukay stores sprouted like mushrooms which later became one of the must-visit places in Baguio.
According to hearsay, it’s origin started way back in the 80s. Due to the frequency of calamities happening in our country, a certain humanitarian group called the Salvation Army used to ship second-hand garments and other goods as forms of help to the filipino victims. As the goods piled up, business-minded people decided to buy them at a very low cost and sell them to the public. Thus, ukay-ukay business was born.
Segunda Mano – means second hand in Spanish.
Wagwagan – means to “shake”.
New Arrival – clothes are newly delivered to the store
Tapat na – price is final. no discount.
Uks / UK – other terms for ukay-ukay.
TYPES OF UKAY CLOTHES:
CLASS A – Brand New signature clothes more often with price tags. Usually came straight from the store factory. These are usually available when clothes are newly delivered or whenever you see the “NEW ARRIVAL” sign at the front of the store. Good Deal: Maximum of Php150 – minimum of Php80
CLASS B – Look like brand new. High quality but without price tags. (slightly used) Good Deal: Maximum of Php100 – minimum Php50
CLASS C – Second hand clothes. Quality,not so good. With slight damages but can be easily restored. Good Deal: Maximum of Php75 – minimum of Php20
CLASS D – Poor quality with damages. Php 40 – Php10
POPULAR UKAY DESTINATIONS
Baguio, Cebu, Cubao, Anonas, Bluementrit Espana, Mandaluyong, Sta.Mesa, Pasig
To further learn about ukay-ukay, watch this special documentary film:
Thanks to Johanne Oliver Demetria, Ebony Kangleon, Ma Luisa Lansang, Aristotle Mape & Kenneth Dave Matias from UP Diliman for lending me the video.:-)