THE SECRET NO ONE WANTS TO SHARE
For those mommies who have already DIY-ed (or at least attempted to) their child’s party, we are kindred spirits. After all, Party Magic all began with a sketch, an idea, and my wild assumption that I could DIY-to-death my own daughter’s party. And as kindred spirits, we all share a secret.
And it is this: no matter how wild or amazing your decor ideas, none of that matter if you can’t turn vision into reality. And translating your dreams to reality requires one indispensable skill you will probably also need in other areas of life:
And in the Philippines, sourcing is Divisoria.
MY LOVE AFFAIR WITH DIVI
My relationship with Divi began ever since I was a little girl. In the summers I would help my mom pick out items for her business, and I still remember being slack-jawed at it all: the toys! The candies! Never mind the heat and the crowds: it was paradise.
Then, when I started Party Magic, things turned up a notch as I suddenly had real money and reputation on the line. I switched to overdrive mode, and went to Divisoria a few times a week. Back when I was just starting and still had the time, I even wandered all the nooks and crannies, searching for hidden gems.
So in this post you will have it all: my years of experimentation and exploration, my years of getting lost and of learning, my 7-10 years of Divi experience, all distilled into one blog post.
AN IN-DEPTH GUIDE TO PARTY SUPPLIES IN DIVISORIA
I’ve thought a lot about how best to organize this blog post, and I’ve decided to categorize it based on the class of item you are interested to source, instead of tackling it store by store. I’ve also split it into 2 parts 1.) The Essentials, and 2.) Accessories, Supplies, Fabrics, and Raw Materials.
I. THE ESSENTIALS
- BALLOONS! Latex balloons, mylars (“shiny”, foil balloons), giant balloons, small balloons
- Paper decorations: Lanterns, pompoms, paper tassels, honeycomb lanterns, paper fans, etc
- Artificial flowers and greenery
- Candies, marshmallows, and other sweets for your dessert table
- Toys and other playthings for prizes
- General styling accessories: ribbons, glitters, and other ornamentation
II. ACCESSORIES, SUPPLIES, FABRICS, RAW MATERIALS
- Fabrics and textile
- Paper mache block letters and other paper mache decor
- Other places to buy ribbons, trimmings, beads, etc.
- Boxes, styro balls, and packaging items
- Native hats, baskets (any thing Filipino theme related)
- General supplies: tapes, gun tackers, etc.
- More premium fabrics
- Gift wraps, japanese paper, colored papers, and other bookstore items
- Stationery, notebooks, and other cute items
HOWEVER! Although I think it is very useful to organize by item, I think this map I made will also come in very useful as it summarizes the most important establishments:
THE 4 ESSENTIAL STORES TO VISIT IN DIVI:
If time is limited and I only had to choose 4 establishments to visit in Divi, I would go for these:
- 801 Balloons / 801 One Stop Party Shop
- Sun Master Candies and Toys
- Morning Glory (accessories)
- Anding’s Toys and Flowers Shop
Because of these are well-established, large one-stop stores, almost everything you need for your party will be found in these three stores.
In truth, I’ve been cooking up this idea of an Ultimate Guide to Divisoria post for more than a year now, but I’ve been putting it off because I really didn’t want to share these “secrets” with anyone else. What really pushed me to do this guide was a different frame of mind: I realized that the industry has been good to me, and it’s now time to pay it forward.
Now on to the in-depth guide. Are you ready? Let’s dive right in.
I. THE ESSENTIALS
This is a map of Tabora St. (see the red arrow), and M. de Santos St. (perpendicular to Tabora St.), with all the Essential Stores listed!
1.) BALLOONS, PAPER DECORATIONS, PARTY FAVORS – 801 BALLOONS / 801 PARTY STORE
801 Tabora St. corner M. de Santos St.
Tel num: (02) 242 7378
Cell num: (0919) 417 7213 (look for Ate Rose)
If you ever arrive late in Divisoria and only had to visit one store, you’d better visit 801 Balloons Store. 801 Balloons is probably the most important party store you’ll find in Divisoria, as it offers the most affordable (yet high quality) and widest selection of rubber latex balloons in the market. 801’s balloons are the only balloons I use in all of our events.
The entrance to 801 Balloons
Balloons Galore at 801 Balloons
Another great thing about 801’s balloons is the range of color that they have, which is very important for me as I’m very particular about color grading in events. For example, instead of the usual “blue” color, I get to use periwinkle, lavender, mint, aqua, blue-violet, and silver mylar in this awesome display of color graded organic arch for Luca’s first birthday:
It’s a little known industry secret that not all balloons are made equal. Some balloons sold are low quality, easily prone to discoloration and oxidation. Some are sold close to their expiration date (yes balloons do expire!). On the other spectrum, yes, you can definitely go for the highest grade balloons such as Qualatex, but these are so expensive that they are impractical to use, especially if you need a lot of balloons.
What’s even better is that this store has most of the other essential items you will need. These are listed below:
Other items you can find in 801 Balloons Store:
- Pompoms, lanterns, paper tassels, honeycomb lanterns, paper garlands
- Letter balloons, party poppers, birthday candles, sparkling candles, banderitas, happy birthday banners
- Assorted Mylar balloons with Happy Birthday / Happy Mother’s Day etc greetings
- Nylon strings, ribbons, helium tanks (mini), balloon inflators, smoke machines
- Cupcake liners, party hats, party bags, loot bags, candy cups, paper plates, paper cups
- Acrylic letters (happy birthday, it’s a boy, etc)
- Faerie / butterfly wings
2.) ASSORTED CANDIES, TOYS – SUN MASTER CANDIES AND TOYS
569-571 M. de Santos St., near corner of Tabora St. (right beside 801 Balloons, to the left)
Tel num: (02) 242 7379
Mobile num: (0915) 740 2513 (look for Sir Aboi)
If you are enamored with the idea of having a dessert table or candy buffet, but tight on budget, Sun Master is your best bet. They have the most affordable sweets offered in Metro Manila. Best of all, their candies / sweets are quality-checked and export-ready! Some of their products are actually being sold in the US and in Australia, so you know that the quality is high grade. [Read more…]