Shop by Location

Outside Metro Manila
Outside Metro Manila

A Beginner's Guide to Quiapo

by Joseph Bawar
June 18, 2018

Mention Quiapo and images of the Black Nazarene procession comes to mind.

INSTAGRAM: harveycris

However, this is just the surface of what this Manila district has to offer.

Named after a species of water cabbage once abundant in the area, Quiapo has its share of events which shaped Philippine history. Nowadays, it is enjoying a cultural renaissance and has become a bustling district for commerce.

Read on for the places and things to do if you plan to visit Quiapo soon!

1. Offer a prayer at Quiapo Church

INSTAGRAM: nicx_roldan

Since Quiapo is famous for the church, might as well begin your journey in this 432 year-old Manila landmark. Officially known as the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene and Parish of St. John the Baptist, it is one the churches in the Philippines built in baroque style. Perhaps it’s the image of the Black Nazarene attracting thousands of devotees which made Quiapo popular. While at it, you may also try your hand at fortune telling or get some anting-antings (amulet) just outside Quiapo church.

2. Visit Hidalgo Street for your photography needs

INSTAGRAM: leandawneagle

If you’re looking for good quality cameras but are on a budget, Hidalgo St. is the go-to place for you. Shops at Hidalgo St. pretty much covers everything related to photography and if you still have photos on film, a shop or two at Hidalgo can process it.

3. Try the famous lumpia at Globe Lumpia House

INSTAGRAM: rock_n_rolph

Dubbed as the “best fresh lumpia house in Manila”, Globe Lumpia House’s small shop has patrons every single day lining for a taste of their famous offering.

Fun fact: Globe Lumpia House still stands on the same location since they opened in 1956!

4. Check Raon St. for entertainment and music-related finds

INSTAGRAM: jazzme__

Perhaps Manila’s version of Japan’s Akihabara, Raon St. is popular for those looking for anything related to entertainment. This alley is a stretch of shops selling DVD players, television, and sound systems to name a few. The best part? you can get them at a cheaper rate compared to malls.

5. Marvel at the architecture of the Ocampo Pagoda Compound

INSTAGRAM: jaspercalimag

Who would have thought that somewhere in Quiapo one will find an architecture gem which dates back to the 1940s?

Commissioned by lawyer and realtor Don Jose Mariano Ocampo, the structure was inspired by his admiration of Japan. According to accounts, the pagoda served as a bomb shelter during World War II, while and the rest of the compound provided shelter for war refugees. The most famous and preserved relic is the enormous icon of the Lady of Mt Carmel (or Birhen de Eskinita) atop a globe which is only accessible through a two-foot wide alley.

6. Buy Philippine-made products at Ils de Tuls

INSTAGRAM: cesdrilon

Ils de Tuls (a play on Ilalim ng Tulay) is a Quiapo staple especially for those looking for handmade products. Here you can find an assortment of handicrafts ranging from bags to home accessories at different price points and sourced all over the Philippines.

Insider Tip: Haggling is allowed!

7. Learn about Philippine history at Bahay Nakpil-Bautista


The Nakpil-Bautista house is one of the oldest houses in the Quiapo district. Designed in art nouveau style by Arcadio Arellano, it was the home of key figures in Philippine history such as Dr. Ariston Bautista (a professor who developed a cure for cholera) and Gregoria de Jesus (widow of Andres Bonifacio who later married National Artist for Architecture Juan Nakpil).

At present, Bahay Nakpil-Bautista has been transformed by their heirs into a museum dedicated to the Revolution of 1896.

8. Visit the first all-steel church in the Philippines

INSTAGRAM: dinkynievera

Unknown to most, the Basílica Menor de San Sebastián, (better known as San Sebastian Church), is still part of the Quiapo district. Completed in 1891, San Sebastian Church is noted for its gothic architecture and having the distinction of being the only all-steel church in the Philippines.

It was declared a National Historical Landmark in 1973 and as a National Cultural Treasure in 2011. In recent years, efforts have been spearheaded through the Save San Sebastian Sustainable Restoration Project towards the preservation of this architectural treasure.

For exclusive offers and stories about local travel, sign up for Deal Grocer!

About Joseph
An art/ design junkie by heart who loves museums, DIY, and coffee.

More stories from this section

8 Cool and Creative Spaces in Metro Manila To See This February
A guide to the festivals, shows, and pop-up exhibits happening this Arts Month!

In a Romantic Rut? Try These Fresh Date Ideas in Metro Manila
Keep the love alive with fun activities scattered all over the city.

10 Staycation Activities Perfect for Barkadas of Three
Good, clean fun for you and your two best friends.

These Charming Alabang Hotels Will Convince You to Book a Staycation
Let these southern stays win you and your family over.

10 Stops You Need to Make on Your Pasig Pub Crawl
When it comes to having a good time, this city means business.

14 Real Life Lessons You Can Learn from Trying a New Workout
Allow our Fitness Flash Sale deals to push you beyond your comfort zone.

This Araneta Center Hotel is Perfect For Your Next Family Staycation
There’s something for everyone in the family to love!

7 City Vacations You Barely Need to Plan
Long weekend snuck up on you? Make plans that don't feel last-minute.

5 Ortigas Staycation Ideas for Every Kind of Couple
Take a break together with these no-fuss, centrally located stays.

Poblacion’s Best-Kept Secret: An Artsy Boutique Hotel Called ‘Element’
Insiders and creatives are purposely tight-lipped on this hidden oasis.

Bestselling Deals

See All Deals