My first and only connection to Quiapo started with DVDs (mostly the hard to find ones) but that ended years ago. Once in a while, i'd find myself lost in its streets when on a lookout for something unusual (during days when there's nothing usual to do). I'd visit the Church of the Nazareno (which, by the way, is celebrating the quatercentenary of the image's arrival to Manila from Mexico), then end up buying medallions for a collection that I also stopped long ago because it was freaking my Mom (if miniature Sto. Niños with penises don't freak you out, I don't know what else will).
My next visits would then focus on the herb concoctions that abound near the church. Only in the Philippines would you be able to buy abortifacient oils next to a major church, a pilgrimage center at that. These oils - hidden behind leading tags like "Pamparegla" (to induce bleeding) can be had any time of the day, all days of the week.
These days, my interest in Quiapo is focused on less morbid stuffs. My new favorite is what many interior and event designers now fondly call as Ils-de-Tuls or "ilalim ng tulay" (under the bridge). Here you can get so many stuffs, be it for business purposes or gifts to foreigner friends.
Make it a business to visit this place at least once in your life.
Four kinds of shells make up this wonderful clock.
'Nay ko! Here's something you can use to scare burglars away. Thailand and Japan have their own versions too.
Coin purses. We've been doing this "footprint" design for decades!
These corner chandeliers would look great when lighted at night. Like the purses, these designs haven't been updated in decades.
When under the bridge, watch out for the occassional vehicle passing through.
Under the bridge. Ilalim ng tulay. Ils de tuls.
Detail. Art deco motifs
For picky buyers, you can always enjoy the airconditioned comforts of Balikbayan Handicrafts. Same products, only better and thrice as expensive.