Ukay-ukay is the term Filipinos use for Second Hand items. The word Ukay literally means, “Dig” which aptly describes the action that people do when choosing Second hand clothes. Why “dig”? Because most of the time, 2nd hand clothes are not displayed on hangers but hundreds of clothes will just be spread out on display tables.
So, shopping for Ukay-ukay clothes is actually like doing a treasure hunt. The buyer is on the hunt, digging and searching for the best item at a very cheap price. And when you find the best item, you’ll really have to beam with pride as you found that single item amidst the hundreds of other clothes piled up.
Ukay ukay clothes are everywhere in the Philippines, Thailand but rarely in Malaysia. In Thailand, second hand items are called, Muu Song, which literally means Second and Hand.
Buying of second Hand items was unheard of before. People used to be ashamed of buying Ukay ukay because it would mean that they are poor and couldn’t afford to buy new ones. But now, it’s quite a norm to buy them as the middle class or even the rich are in search for signature brands in the ukay ukay shops. Imagine, buying signature jeans that cost thousands of pesos for only 200 pesos!
In my next post, I will give some details on where to buy good Ukay ukay in Cagayan de Oro City.