Last week, hubby and I decided to look for prescription glasses. It took us almost a month to look for the best, cheap frames, and we even have to browse every optical shops on malls. I keep on inquiring for current sales, and through web browsing, I was able to read on a forum that PATERNO ST. is indeed a great find to look for those stuffs. At first, I was really hesitant to go on that place because QUIAPO is known for a crowded place. I told myself, I might get "subtandard' frames there. But after a series of searching over the net, I finally decided to convince hubby to go there.
When we first arrived at Quiapo (through LRT CARRIEDO), I don't know where to go. After asking some of the vendors, we finally saw that street! It was just near the said station, around 2 blocks away from Rizal Ave. Upon arriving Paterno St., literally my jaw dropped 'cause I don't know where to start. A lot of optical shops were around, from the small ones to air-conditioned shops. If you are going to look for eyeglass frames, I suggest to always "ASK" about the quality of the frames (they will tell you if the frame is Authentic, Class A, Japan Made or even China Made). Believe me, you can get frames as low as Php 150 pesos for China made sunglasses (the ones being sold in malls for Php 400) and Php 350 for prescription eyeglass frames. Those Japan/Taiwan made is around 700 to 1,200, depending on the color, style and material. But if you really want to at least have a big chance to look for authentic frames, go to the Airconditioned/carpeted shops. They are offering Authentic frames there ranging from Php 1,500 to Php 7,000.
On the last part of Paterno St. (the one near Quezon Blvd.), we saw this optical shop located on the second floor of a certain condo unit. It was named OPTICAL CITY MANILA, and we saw that they are on SALE that time (30-70 per cent off). And finally, hubby and I was able to get a pair of glasses there.
Mine was an Authentic Christian Dior. Their selling price is Php 3k, and I haggled for it, giving me for only Php 2,500 (including multi-coated lens which is usually 1k on malls). So, the frame itself only costs Php 1,500! Imagine! It was originally sold at optical shops for approximately Php 7,900 ++.
Then hubby was able to choose his own pair. It was RayBan. Their selling price is Php 3,500, but we were able to haggle it for Php 2,500 also including a multicoated lens. Meaning, the frame itself is only Php 1,500! That was indeed a big savings!
This particular frame is around Php 9 to 10k on malls. Isn't it great?
I tried myself both of the frames, and they are excellent on comfort, quality and style:
And they also come with a free case and cleaner:
The staff as well are very courteous.
Oh by the way, you can also see some "computerized eye examination" on these places. I am just not so sure if there are "Authorized Optometrist" doing the tests. But you can always have the option to buy the frames there and just have your eye evaluation on optical shops in malls.
You are paying the "patong", convenience, and well-ventilated, air-conditoned stores at the optical shops in malls. But you get the same quality. It just that you have to pay the price in getting there. From U.P. Diliman, it took us 1 and a half hour travel time (using MRT-LRT), excluding the other way around.
Well, I better take the chance in going to Quiapo, than to pay 3X as much as the original price of the item. One of the things I am thankful that I am living in the Philippines! Maybe if I get to win on a LOTTO, that's the time I won't mind going there.