I knew that the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) was near Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) but I alighted from the jeep sooner than I should have. And if that wasn’t bad enough, I took a wrong turn. The kind security guard gave me directions and I finally got to my destination.
PICC hosts this year’s Primer Summer Sale, which handles such names as Supra, Quiksilver, DC, and The North Face. Three of my shoes were bought from previous sales. And I wanted to add more, which was why I decided to go yesterday. The four day sale covers items like footwear, clothes, and luggage.
Like a moth to the flame, I headed straight for the Supra table. While I loved their selection, I already own gray Supra high-cut sneakers. Neither violet nor yellow shoes appeal to me so no Supra this year. My sights naturally darted to the next section, which belonged to Boxfresh, a shoe line designed in London.
Choosing and getting the shoes took about 15 minutes. The guy running the section was alone in the work. And sometimes he had to get them from way back or from a different part of the tent.
From easy, I went to difficult: waiting in line to pay for the shoes.
Sans exaggeration, it was like an ouroboros! I could not make heads or tails of the line. Yes, line—as in singular. Technically, there were three lines. One for the senior citizens, another was the express/return lane for five items or less, and the regular lane. The last two moved about as fast as the other. To make things worse, the second lane was invaded by shoppers who clearly had more than five items. I think there were items were five times the allowed limit. Strangely, they were allowed and never corrected. Then again, how could you correct an ocean?
Because of the delay, I had more than enough time to observe what happens during a sale at a bigger venue. Fun fact: Primer Sales used to be held at The State Center at Binondo, Manila.
1. Free entrance.
2. Unless you have a Metrobank credit card, you have to sign up for one. And Metrobank is the only credit card allowed at the sale.
3. Food and drinks are allowed inside, even take-out from nearby fast food restaurants.
4. Compared to the State Center, it was cooler at PICC because of the AC.
5. You could use the big blue eco bags, the ones with “SALE” printed across them, to contain your purchases—but you can’t take them home.
6. This works for those with companions: one lines up for the cashier while the others make mad dashes all over the place for shoes, shirts, bags, and luggage that could easily fit in an average 30-year old Filipino male.
7. If you don’t like what you took, just fling it on the rails or leave it beneath a rack or inside an abandoned box.
8. If you like the refuse of other shoppers, there is no shame in taking it for yourself.
9. You will wait for a long while. And if you have to do Number One, there are restrooms inside the tent—but no bringing of any items to the restrooms. If you’re alone, a security guard will watch it for you.
Besides a whole lot of patience, bring with yourself kindness, plus a smile or two. It could help you in unforeseen ways. The old lady in front of me, who I pulled the trolley for whenever the line moved, gave me a piece of Mentos during the last 45 minutes of waiting, which sustained me despite being parched and exhausted.
And how long did I wait?
Three hours. No embellishment, no exaggeration, no kidding. Three hours.
Have fun at the sale! Oh, and I went home with Boxfresh’s Dark Brown Zest and Indigo Azule.