Tiendesitas ("a collection of little stores") is a shopping complex located along the C-5 road in Manila. It began its operations on September 26, 2005 and was developed by Ortigas & Company Limited Partnership (OCLP). It rivals the highly successful and World-renowned Chatuchak Market of Bangkok. Constructed at a cost of P200 million, Tiendesitas is a part of Frontera Verde, an interim 18.5 hectare Ortigas Center development project. The complex offers more than 300 parking slots, and is served by jeepneys on C-5 and by buses which stop a short walk from the Tiendesitas gate.
Tiendesitas offerings include native food, fashion wear and accessories, furniture, antiques, handicrafts, personal care and novelty items, pets, plants, and other Philippine–made products. Tiendesitas complements the "WOW! Philippines" tourism campaign initiated by former Tourism Secretary Richard Gordon. It also meets the focus of the second phase of the Department of Trade campaign which is shopping and food. At the opening were members of the Ortigas family; Rex Drilon, COO-OCLP; Joey Santos, general manager, GSC; Lotta S. Soller, Special leasing and Marketing manager, GSC; Henry G. Babiera, CEO, Las Islas and his staff; businessmen entrepreneurs and exhibitors.The shopping center is run by the management team of Greenhills Shopping Center.
Tiendesitas is a 30,000 square metres (320,000 sq ft) complex of "villages" featuring stylized Filipino architecture. The complex functions like an "urban retreat" where one can walk around in wide-opened villages. The complex is made up of twelve pavilions inspired by Maranao architecture, which in turn traces its roots back to the bahay kubo. The roof of each pavilion is covered with chemically treated Cogon grass, and is equipped with sprinklers to avoid mishaps during fires. Duyans (hammocks) are scattered around the development to offer short breaks during shopping trips.
The Filipiniana inspiration extends to the comfort rooms: old kalesa wheels were transformed into chandelier frames to light up these restrooms.More than 450 traders from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao specializing in merchandise from regions not usually found in mainstream retail outlets exhibit their wares in Tiendesitas' shopping pavilions. Haggling a la tiangge is a common negotiating tactic among local merchants.
The Food Village hosts 46 stalls selling local food specialties such as halo-halo, ihaw-ihaw, Minette's Inasal, Tita Lynn's flavored suman, Three Sisters’ Pasig pancit with chicharrón, budbod of Taytay (rice toppings), sisig, lechón, milkfish, and merienda specialties like bibingka, puto bungbong and kakanin. Products from the country’s premier farms like Nenita’s and Dizon’s will also be made available here.
In the Delicacies Village, vendors sell small food offerings suitable for pasalubong include Vigan’s empanada and longganisa, Tacloban’s suman sa latik, chocolate suman, ube suman, langka suman and Cebu’s famous danggit. Fresh fruits from the Davao Region like durian, mangosteen and mangoes among others to organic and fresh vegetables from Baguio City and Benguet are also available.Seafood sold in the Delicacies Village include special dried fish and pili from the Bicol Region, famous balut from Pateros, tuna from GenSan, crispy shrimps, cornick, and bagnet from Ilocos, taba ng talangka, biurong dalag, bottled smoked fish and oysters from Aklan and the well-loved boneless bangus from Dagupan City.Many varieties of rice to cook are sold here, from Nueva Ecija's Jasponica and Balatinao from Benguet.
Philippine-made handicrafts (by members of Philippine Chamber of Handicrafts Industries) from home décor to fashion accessories are found at the Handicrafts Village. Benguet handicrafts are included in the limited edition merchandise to be found here.
The Fashion Village showcases apparel and accessories from Philippine designers, notably Marikina. Fashions sold in the Fashion Village include fabric woven in various regions of Mindanao, shell earrings from Cebu, and necklaces from other provinces in the South.
Personal Care and Novelties Village:
Personal care and toiletries sold in the Personal Care and Novelties Village include homegrown, homemade organic soaps, lotions and aromatherapy lines developed by local traders. While these products normally surface only during bazaars, the Personal Care and Novelties Village allows them a year-round place to be exhibited and marketed to the public.
Licensed pet dealers in the Pets Village showcase exotic animals, rare species of birds, primates, snakes and iguanas. Domestic pets such as Labradors, Siamese cats, parrots and parakeets are also available. Pet grooming and care services are also available in the Pets Village.
The Antiques Village hosts antique stores. The most expensive item in the store is an P800,000 – worth statue of Saint Augustine from Bohol. Other stalls sell carvings of the bulol, a granary god, with prices climbing to as high up as P40,000, while contemporary wood carvings from Cebu cost at least P350.
A variety of potted plants, orchids, fruit-bearing trees and ornamentals can be seen at the Garden Village.
Modern export-quality furniture is sold in the Furniture Village.
An area in Tiendesitas is dedicated to special trade shows, exhibits, and unique Filipino cultural presentations that are scheduled year-round. The Tiendesitas opening in September 2005 began with a week-long Bonsai exhibit at the People’s Village and was followed in October by an antiques exhibit.
Shoppers can take calesa rides through the complex. During the opening, there were only three calesas available. Since then, more calesas have been operating in the area.
Tiendesitas provides live entertainment daily starting at 8:30 PM. Live bands perform in the middle of Tiendesitas. On Sundays, along with the live band, the Bughaw Cultural Dance Group regularly performs, allowing visitors to witness traditional Filipino dances.
Shopping hours at Tiendesitas are from 12 noon to 12 midnight. The general manager of the shopping center has explained that those hours are more convenient for working citizens, and that the idea of a "night market" appeals to tourists. Acoustics and show bands perform during weekends.