Metro Manila · Sari-Sari and Convenience Stores
You get snacks, drinks and other necessities 24/7 at literally every street corner in the Megacity, thanks to international chains of convenience stores and the typical Filipino Sari-Sari stores.
Sari-sari stores are small, privately operated stores, offering - usually through a window - everyday needs such as bread, chips, toothpaste, beer, soft drinks, and household goods. They are adapted to the lower-income classes, selling detergents and cosmetics in small sachets starting at 5 pesos, and cigarettes by the stick starting at 2.50 pesos.
You can find Sari-sari stores in every barangay (village or neighborhood) and they have very reasonable opening hours. Usually they are part of the owner's house, so sometimes you can just knock or ring a bell and they will open it for you.
Sari-sari and convenience stores also ensure that you never run out of load on your cell phone, as they all offer prepaid cards or E-load (electronic load) for all common mobile phone networks. Just look for a sign saying "Load Na Dito!" (meaning "load here now" or "Just recharge your phone credit here" in Taglish).
Sari Sari stores are omnipresent in the provinces and in Manila's less affluent neighboorhoods. In central business districts and other HotSpots however, professional convenience stores are filling this role at a higher level, as they are air-conditioned, have security guards, and often some tables where you can eat warmed-up rice meals and other snacks. Their range of goods is also wider thatn that of sari-sari stores, including for example magazines, ice cream, and umbrellas.
The international 7-Eleven brand has shops all over the Megacity and is the most popular convenience store. Whether you want to grab a bite or you ran out of utensils for breakfast or a night-out, 7-Eleven provides you with the basics around the clock: coffee and bread, spread and canned tuna, beer and tobacco, soft drinks and snacks, toothpaste and toilet paper, condoms and much more.
The shop usually offers some kind of special discounts, raffles and the like. If you are up for these kinds of things, keep your eyes open, you might find something enjoyable!
7-Eleven also allows to pay many kinds of bills, e.g for Internet, water, life insurances, online purchases, and even Air Asia Tickets.
Ministop can be seen as the smaller brother of 7-Eleven in terms of convenience stores. The range of goods is not as wide as that of 7-Eleven stores but Ministop features basically the same stuff for similar prices, also 24 hours a day. No matter if you look for some drinks for a party, a snack for lunch, or basic equipment for a trip to the beach, Ministop has it all and its worth to stop by.
Services you find at Ministop include Wi-Fi, cellphone charging in case of low battery, pay-phones, and lotto outlets.