Ukay-Ukay in Cebu

By on April 3, 2009

The term “ukay-ukay” about digging from the piles of discounted clothes and other products up for sale came from the local word “halukay,” which is the act of digging. Ukay-ukay originated in Baguio City in Luzon and eventually spread to Metro Manila and Cebu and in other parts of the country.

The ukay-ukay started back in the 1980s. Because of the frequency of calamities happening in the Philippines at that time, the religious and humanitarian organization of the Salvation Army used to ship secondhand garments and other goods as humanitarian assistance to the victims of the calamities.

When the goods started to pile up, some business-minded people bought them at a very low cost and sold them to the public. It eventually became popular with bargain conscious Filipinos looking for imported American clothes and other items at rock-bottom prices.

Here in Cebu, the biggest center of the ukay-ukay trade is in the Cebu City downtown area of the stretch of Colon Street and the Carbon District and in Tabunok, Talisay City. Nevertheless, there are also small-scale ukay-ukay centers in different parts of Cebu.

The ukay-ukay items you will see are a mixture of clothes and other items that could be new signature brands, looks like brand-new, secondhand, and poor quality with some damages.

When you go ukay-ukay shopping, bear in mind that many of the products may come from the United States but a lot more actually came from other countries and then exported to the U.S.

When you shop for clothes or any other items in a pile or hanging from a rack, make sure to inspect the item if it is in good condition and for any damages.

If you want a new and signature brand, find the brand name of the item and an attached price tag. This would indicate that the item is newly arrived and came straight from the factory outlet. Other than that, the item would either be a factory surplus or a secondhand that has been repaired or with some damages in it.

I went ukay-ukay shopping in December 2007. I went to the downtown area in Colon Street to shop for some retro clothes I could wear in our costume Christmas party for the company I previously worked in. I was looking for a vintage-looking jacket or a leather jacket with some fur on the collar similar to the ones popular in the U.S. in the 1950s.

I went to several stores and looked at all the clothes racks and the piles of clothing but I still could not find the jacket I was looking for. I thought of going to the Carbon district but since it was the Christmas shopping season, I decided not to go for fear of the mad rush of the large shopping crowd in Carbon at that time. This just shows that when it comes to ukay-ukay shopping, patience is a virtue if you want to get the prized item you are looking for.

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42 Comments

  1. Everything Cebu

    September 17, 2012 at 10:13 AM

    Hi, Lian.

    Unfortunately, we are not privy to such information.

  2. lian

    September 15, 2012 at 8:48 AM

    Hello to all,

    Im planning to sell used/new korean clothes. My question is would i get “tax” for the clothing once it will arrive in Phil?

  3. Everything Cebu

    June 18, 2012 at 9:56 AM

    Thanks for the information, Charra.

  4. Charra Clarissa R. Luminarias

    June 17, 2012 at 1:04 PM

    US CLASS A UKAY UKAY SUPPLIES
    Contact Person: Sean Michael A. Ruiz
    Mobile Number: 09159137591/09326108646

    PRICE LIST:
    URM Hooded sweatshirts 7500
    Global Capri 6500
    VCJ denim shorts 7000
    vnr ladies denim jeans 6500
    vnr light baby rummgage 7000
    vc men colored plain tshirt 7300
    vc its blouse 9000
    vnr men tshirts longsleeves 7000
    vnr men printed tshirt 8000
    hhr 5500
    ladies fashion pants 8000
    star light baby 8500
    star original shorts 2 6500
    vnr orig shorts bargain 5000
    bctt bedsheets 9000
    ladies tights 8000
    vcj ccr top 2 6000
    men tshirt xl 4500
    ladies tshirt xl 4500
    shorts qb 5000
    vc white printed tshirts men 7500
    vc men cotton pants 7000
    star ladies nighties 8000
    star boys pants 8000
    tshirt mens 7500
    rafiki ladies tights 7000
    URM Hooded sweatshirts 7500
    Global Capri 6500
    VCJ denim shorts 7000
    vnr ladies denim jeans 6500
    vnr light baby rummgage 7000
    vc men colored plain tshirt 7300
    vc its blouse 9000
    vnr men tshirts longsleeves 7000
    vnr men printed tshirt 8000
    hhr 5500
    ladies fashion pants 8000
    star light baby 8500
    star original shorts 2 6500
    vnr orig shorts bargain 5000
    bctt bedsheets 9000
    ladies tights 8000
    vcj ccr top 2 6000
    men tshirt xl 4500
    ladies tshirt xl 4500
    shorts qb 5000
    vc white printed tshirts men 7500
    vc men cotton pants 7000
    star ladies nighties 8000
    star boys pants 8000
    tshirt mens 7500
    rafiki ladies tights 7000

    *each bale weights 45kg
    *US class A items(not too big, just enough fot Filipino body built)
    *no shipping fee (for areas with Pambato Cargo Forwarder available)
    *Pambato Cargo Forwarder door to door delivery within Cebu

    –items listed available as of June 9, 2012
    –for more information and updates on new stocks please text us at 09159137591/09326108646

  5. Everything Cebu

    May 29, 2012 at 3:36 PM

    We hope that you’ll be able to find the ukay-ukay you’re looking for, knet m.

  6. knet m.

    May 29, 2012 at 11:51 AM

    hi ms crislyn. im knet m. from leyte. were currently in need of hongkong box, premium and number 1 ukay stock supplier. kndly email me @ knet_j@yahoo.com or contact me @ 09109200939. and can we ask for your cellphone number coz we can’t reach u at ur landline no.

  7. Everything Cebu

    May 15, 2012 at 10:03 AM

    Good luck with finding ukay-ukay suppliers for your future business, jennyORMOC.

  8. jennyORMOC

    May 15, 2012 at 1:31 AM

    i need supplier to start my ukay business. ..im from ormoc city …plz contact me 09165196776 hopefully nxt month i will be able to start ..gusto q lng e try if maganda tong biznis dito ..magkanoh poh ang bundle ? ..ok txt me lng huh with info ? cuz im so interested in buying ukay2X bundle ..

  9. Everything Cebu

    May 10, 2012 at 10:06 AM

    Good luck on your search for ukay-ukay suppliers, Del Mercado.

  10. del mercado

    May 9, 2012 at 7:48 PM

    Hi Im looking for a supplier of premium ukay/ first class specifically branded dressess & blouses.. For suppliers Im from Davao city, please send me your pricelist at mercado_adelle@yahoo.com

  11. Everything Cebu

    April 16, 2012 at 11:26 AM

    Hi, Rotten Nuke! Try contacting the people who replied to previous queries. Good luck on your search for bikini bundles.

  12. Rotten NUke

    April 14, 2012 at 1:06 AM

    For any Ukay2x suppliers who can read this post, i am looking for bikini bundles…please email me at rottennuke@gmail.com. Thanks..

    Great site for Cebu! :) xx

  13. Everything Cebu

    March 20, 2012 at 10:09 AM

    Hi, Zhandra!

    Everything Cebu is a lifestyle Web site and we are not really experts on ukay-ukay. We believe that they are more or less the same as you won’t be able to choose the clothes in the bundle or box.

  14. zhandra

    March 17, 2012 at 3:01 PM

    Which is better po ba? By bales/bundle or by box when ordering ukay for business? Thanks!

  15. Everything Cebu

    January 26, 2012 at 5:04 PM

    Hi Anna! Good luck on your search for a supplier! We hope somebody will contact you soon.

  16. Anna

    January 25, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    Hi, I am looking for class A/premium ukay ukay supplier from Cebu. please send me your pricelist at sherolie01@gmail.com… thanks

  17. Everything Cebu

    December 5, 2011 at 9:51 AM

    We hope suppliers will contact you soon, Anne!

  18. Anne

    December 4, 2011 at 9:23 AM

    Hi Im looking for a supplier of premium ukay specifically in Visayas. For suppliers reading this blog, please send me your pricelist at eudaimonia618@yahoo.com

  19. Everything Cebu

    September 29, 2011 at 1:36 PM

    Thanks for the info, Del.

  20. Del

    September 29, 2011 at 4:05 AM

    Hello, I’m going on vacation this coming Nov 2011 and I’ll be bringing some old U.S. made Levi’s 501s & 550s and a bunch of U.S made printed T-shirts. Anyone interested let me know.
    thanks DEL e-mail me steelydel@gmail.com

  21. dennis

    July 22, 2011 at 8:54 PM

    need supplier? contact me at 09198339553….. goods are in box from hongkong categorically children’s wear, adult wear, bedsheets, shoes, bags…. i will be opening a shop in cebu soon maybe next month beside festival convenience along osmena boulevard… malapit lng s anita’s bakery…. mac fashion shop

  22. tish

    June 8, 2011 at 12:34 PM

    Hi, Apl.

    I believe you have us misunderstood. Everything Cebu is not a selling entity and has no affiliations with such establishments. We recommend that you check out neekul’s suggested ukay-ukay areas or get in touch with the others who have previously commented.

    Thanks for visiting our site!

  23. apL

    June 7, 2011 at 11:00 AM

    hi po e reserve lng po ninyo ako ng kahit na ano basta and brand ay arc’teryxx thenorthface mountainhardware patagonia at lafuma.. thnx dis s my # pla 09352528563

  24. neekul

    May 25, 2011 at 11:22 AM

    Hi Crislyn! Thank you so much for your reply. I’m sure a lot of people would be happy to get stocks from you.

  25. neekul

    May 25, 2011 at 11:20 AM

    Hi Aileen! I hope you were able to communicate with Crislyn Marie Tagalo as she is an employee of a supplier.

  26. neekul

    May 25, 2011 at 11:19 AM

    Hi Allen! Have you tried going to the downtown areas? There are ukay-ukay shops in front of Robinson’s Fuente (same building with Mercury Drug), Rain Tree Mall, as well as near Cebu Doctor’s Hospital in Capitol Site.

  27. allen urdz

    May 10, 2011 at 4:25 PM

    hello there.im a user of ukay-ukay for my personal use.i want to buy ukay like the brand of The North Face,Mountain Hardware,Columbia,petzl.ito po yong cellphone number ko. 09205469376.thanks plz contak me.

  28. Crislyn Marie Tagalo

    May 10, 2011 at 11:10 AM

    Hello Ms.Ailleen i am from star corporation company Supplier of ukay-ukay from hong kong.if you want to check our stocks you can visit our office.we are located at NDI Commercial Complex Norkis Bldg.Mandaue City Cebu.,maone xa imo gpangita na by boxes dli by bundle.or you can contact us at landline no.268-8011..thank you

  29. aiesalas.com

    April 16, 2011 at 9:46 PM

    hello, kinsa kahibaw dre asa palit og bale or box nga mga ukay ukay sa cebu, need supplier from hong kong unta na ukay, pls email me at aileen07@gmail.com sa mga nakabalo pls, thank you :)

  30. Pingback: Ukay- ukay is a unique shopping experience for Filipinos « loQal – Home and Living | Philippines

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