Traditionally, the Philippines has relied on small family shops selling basic goods. As Boracay has grown over the years it has added a multitude of shopping possibilities.
Virtually everything a tourist might desire can now be found on the island and some eating places are now open 24 hours.
Most of the shops are located behind the middle section of White Beach the biggest concentration of upscale places in the outdoor shopping mall called D’Mall that not only has cloths, souvenirs and handicrafts but food stalls as well.
D’Talipapa is the word for the local market that stretches from White Beach to Main Road. Prices are more flexible for haggling here and one should read the section on Restaurants for more information about having fresh seafood grilled here on the spot.
Boracay Tourist Center
located at Mangayad Manoc-Manocnot only provides information and office services but also has souvenir shops, a mini market, a photo shop, money exchange and internet access.
Our tip is to travel light to Boracay and then if you need an extra pair of summer pants, a hat, a beach towel or a book you’ll find it all.
On the other hand, if you want to read a particular obscure author or want to buy some very high tech object you should consider doing this at home.
For example, I love my Teva trekking sandals and wear them to the beach or walking in the jungle. Locally, people buy cheap flip-flops so there is not a big local market for such fancy footwear.
Some shops in D’Mall have fixed prices but negotiating over prices is still a normal practise so well worth a try.
Some tourists like to give their business for small purchases to the vendors that crowd the beaches and around the Mall.
Helping out a poor local rather than a more well off shop owner is socially commendable but one cannot expect quality goods nor any refund on that pair of sunglasses that breaks the next day.
And many of the vendors can be rather bothersome; if you do a good deed by buying from one, expect that the hundred nearest competitors will likely rush over to bombard you with offers of their own.
As irritating as it may be at times, one must still remember that many locals are just trying to feed their poor families and saying no in a respectful way is essential. Alternatively you can go shopping on the mainland near Caticlan like in great places like Sambiray or Argao.