Great Bookstores In The Philippines
For as far as I can remember there are only like 3 major bookstores in the Philippines. The oldest and most well-known is National Bookstore. The main and biggest branch before was in Cubao, Quezon City (Now known the Gateway City). It had 4 floors I think. It carried all the major text books/reference books you needed in school. Plus of course the books you may want to purchase just for reading. The 2nd most oldest was Goodwill Bookstore. i think the main branch was from Manila but there is also 1 big branch in Gateway, I am just not sure if it is still there. Haven't visited the Philippines for the past 6 years.
Goodwill Bookstore carries text books too but not as many titles as National Bookstore. And last but not the least Power Books. They started branching out in the late 1990s and their forte is like Barnes and Nobles or Borders. You can sit and lounge around and read books all day long. They don't particularly emphasize in text books; they are more on regular reading material.
However, some may not know that there are a lot of second hand bookstores around Recto, Manila. Which specializes in trading text books/ reference books for students. If you have time to look for the books you need in a very low price this is where you would go. It is just like amazon.com but these are real stores. You can barter, buy or sell your books there for a very minimal cost.
Imagine if you wanted to buy Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in hard cover you have to pay 1,200 pesos in Power Books. But if you go to Recto, you might be able to buy it for 600 pesos. (Exchange rate is $1 =41 pesos).
To update this entry. There are 2 new bookstores. They are Fully Booked and Powerbooks. Although they've been around for about 7 years (I was out of the country the past 9 years). So now it is easier to shop around for books. However for school books are usually still bought in school or National Bookstore. They are still the number one distributor of locally published books here in the Philippines.
National Bookstore carries a variety of books for elementary and high school students. Although they are regularly priced and never discounted; parents tend to go to used book stores in Manila to buy the children's required list of school books. Sometimes it is tricky though cause some schools change their list of required book every year. Making it more difficult to save money. Plus since the continuing education here has changed drastically. It used to be just K- 10 now they have adopted the Western educational system of K-12.
It may deem fit for others but to low income families they still do not understand the benefits. The Department of Education does not strictly regulate how private schools require their reference books be changed or not and so the cost is not mandated to help parents save money while still providing quality education to their children.