Jul 3, 2019

As ironic as it sounds, vintage will never get old.

The mystique of antiques won’t be dying anytime soon, as proven by a number of recently opened restaurants (which are banking on either old school arcades or retro hits), structures, and even movies. In fact, it continues to grow.

More people are becoming aware of the effects of modernization and how much we’re losing at a fast rate of time. This is why more are clamoring for the comeback of things that used to be very common in the “good ol’ days.” As surfer-architects Buji and Nikki Libarnes said in our Northern Living Journey Issue, vintage things can be symbols of simpler times. And with the amount of chaos happening everywhere in the society, anything that can be a reminder of that would be great.

READ: Architect couple in La Union turned a container van into a retro, functional abode

So in line with that, we listed four vintage and antique shops in the north that would take you on a trip down memory lane.

The Grand Thrift House

Shop 12, Cubao Expo, Gen. Romulo Ave., Cubao, Quezon City

Cubao Expo is bursting with secondhand shops, but The Grand Thrift House stands out as one of the area’s first residents. For years it has been the ultimate segunda mano spot with its large number of typewriters, old cameras, intricately carved jewelry boxes, and posters and photographs of classic films and local celebrities.

UVLA (Unique Vintage Lost Art)

Unit 64E, Cubao Expo, Gen. Romulo Ave., Cubao, Quezon City

UVLA, also a Cubao Expo shop (I swear, this area really deserves your visit if you like browsing through lots of options), breaks free from its neighbors’ grand and imposing pieces with its vast offerings of mostly palm-sized knick-knacks that vary from tin robots and old cars to cigarette cards and tomato slicers.

Swap Meet

124 Kamuning Rd., Quezon City
413-8255, 0917-2279866

Standing along an array of ukay-ukay shops, Swap Meet is bursting with time-honored records like original albums of The Beatles and APO Hiking Society, which you can also play on the shop’s own turntable. But if you want to bring home your wistful tunes, you can purchase your own secondhand player from Swap Meet, too.

READ: I went antique-slash-vintage shop-hopping in Baguio

Unang Panahon

4F SM Megamall Bldg. A, EDSA cor. Julia Vargas Ave., Mandaluyong

It’s unlikely to find an antique shop in a mall as bustling and contemporary as SM Megamall, but Unang Panahon thrives, and it has been making vintage items more accessible to the shopping public for three decades now. Entering this shop already feels like a trip to a museum as it’s filled with stacks of woven or wooden furniture, old stereos, and rolls of hand-drawn maps and posters.


This story originally appeared in Northern Living Journeys Issue.

Header image courtesy of Joseph Pascual

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TAGS: antique art cubao expo culture heritage history Journey northern living nostalgia Old retro Secondhand shop thrift throwback ukay-ukay vintage Vintage shops