4 Top Things To Do In Quiapo (Aside From Buying Bargain Items)

February 08, 2024

A quick visit to Quiapo Church turned into a little adventure for us.

Mommy Khris and I went to Quiapo a few months ago, right after our trip to PGH to get the result of Miguel’s bloodwork. I couldn’t exactly remember the last time I visited Quiapo, but I know that it was more than a decade ago. Just the same, I appreciate the opportunity given to us this time since the COVID-19 pandemic happened in 2020. I remember trying to visit Quiapo Church when I was working in the vicinity last 2021 but it was stricter that time and no one was allowed to go inside the church.

A Visit to Quiapo Church

4 Top Things To Do In Quiapo (Aside From Buying Bargain Items)

    1. Visit Quiapo Church

    Anyway, from PGH, Mommy Khris and I rode a jeep (we quite enjoyed the commute), alighted at Quiapo, and walked to the church via the Lacson Underpass. 

    Quiapo Church facade
    Quiapo Church

    I was actually surprised to see a lot of stores in the underpass because I wasn’t expecting an underpass to be bustling with activities (food stalls, cellphone accessories sellers, and even beauty kiosks).

    Inside Quiapo Church
    Inside Quiapo Church

    As we emerged out of the underpass, we entered Quiapo Church from the side. It was there that I saw the usual sellers of candles and herbs although they were not as numerous as before. Those sellers and fortune tellers were all part of the Quiapo culture so not seeing them was a little strange. 

    Anyway, there was no ongoing Mass, but the church is full. The pews were all occupied and there were numerous churchgoers standing. It was also my first time to observe the details of the church’s interiors in detail.

    The altar looked grand, and I saw the Black Nazarene on display. All the side doors were open so the breeze coming in cooled the interiors of the church. The ceiling was also high, so the church didn’t feel cramped. We went to one of the vacant seats to kneel and pray.

    Quiapo Church interiors

    2. Eat pancit palabok and sotanghon soup (TikTok trend)

    After praying, we thought of visiting Quinta Market to check the products on sale. It was a few days before the New Year celebration, as such, it was also a good chance to buy the usual round fruits for the evening New Year salubong. While checking the stalls, we thought of finding a restaurant where we can try the current Quiapo food trends like the pancit palabok and sotanghon soup. We saw some roadside food stalls but it was too crowded and didn’t look comfortable.

    Pancit Palabok from Resto Mondragon in Quiapo
    Pancit Palabok

    We finally found a restaurant called Resto Mondragon right across Quinta Market & Fish Port and along Carlos Palanca Street. The food looks good and the seats are comfortable. Resto Mondragon’s menu is composed of rice meals (sisig, caldereta, sinigang, etc.), noodles and lugaw (pancit palabok, sotanghon, goto, and arroz caldo, to name some), and dim sum like siomai and siopao.

    Sotanghon Soup from Resto Mondragon in Quiapo
    Sotanghon Soup

    We ordered the pancit palabok and sotanghon soup (both loaded options – with lechon kawali, eggs, & vegetables) and siomai. I liked the pancit palabok because it was extremely flavorful. The sotanghon soup is also as flavorful but I felt stuffy because of the long walk so I didn’t quite appreciate the hot soup. 

    Siomai from Resto Mondragon in Quiapo

    The same goes for the siomai – it was meaty and tasty. I can understand why Resto Mondragon is such a hit among food bloggers and vloggers visiting Quiapo.

    3. Check out the Excelente Ham store

    After eating, we continued our little adventure around Quiapo and saw the Excelente Ham store. We were surprised to see that it was filled with customers, and we were intrigued. I later found out that Excelente Ham was also one of the well-known shops to check when in Quiapo. 

    Excelente Ham slices in Quiapo
    Excelente Ham

    We were a bit surprised with the prices of the ham though but we wanted to try it and bought a few grams. Excelente Ham turned out delicious and of excellent quality, hence, the price.

    Excelente Ham price list in Quiapo
    Excelente Ham price list

    4. Buy fruits, vegetables, and toys

    From Excelente Ham, we proceeded to buy fruits, vegetables, kesong puti, and toys for the kids. Our bags were already getting heavy, as such, we decided to call it a day after about two hours of non-stop walking. It was a day well spent and we never expected that trip to Quiapo would turn into a little adventure.

    What to remember when shopping in Quiapo

    If you do decide to shop in Quiapo soon, here are the things to keep in mind:

    1. Bring a reusable bag. You can buy it here.
    2. Wear comfortable clothes and footwear.
    3. Secure your wallet at all times.
    4. Keep yourself hydrated all the time. You can buy a water bottle here.

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