THE Varsitarian has surveyed the streets around the University to determine the most student-friendly school supplies stores. The results are summed up in this “Ultimate School Supply Spot Map.”
Trixie’s and Irish Nicole’s: One-stop shops
Its proximity to the Dapitan gates of UST makes Asturias the most accessible school supply haven. One shop there is the Irish Nicole Copy Center, which is at the ground floor of the blue-painted R&F building.
Looking like a sari-sari store, Irish Nicole Copy Center not only sells common school supplies like pad papers, pens, and notebooks, it also offers a wide range of services from liquid photocopying for P50 centavos per page to rush book binding for P70 to P90 pesos.
Just a stall away from Irish Nicole is Trixie’s Boutique, another well-known supplies store. Located in front of the Nitro Hub computer shop, the store’s eye-catching purple and green interiors lure customers to step inside. Its name is actually a misnomer for instead of clothes, Trixie’s sells gift items, hi-8 tapes for video cameras, art supplies, CDs, specimen bottles, and stationery—all at very low prices. Standard calculators are sold at only P210 while scientific calculators are at P550 only. Its cheapest pen costs P7.
Trixie’s open display also allows customers to survey and handpick the products they like.
C&E and Miranda Bookstore: Science supplies and more
Occupying the same building as Trixie’s is Miranda Bookstore, considered an emporium of science project materials and medical supplies and gadgets. The store primarily caters to Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, and Science students as its inventory ranges from surgical gloves to specimen bags and even specimens such as embalmed cats, frogs, frog brains and frog skeletons for use in zoology classes.
“During our first year, we had to buy goggles, dissecting kits, and reference books on zoology. We bought them all at Miranda,” Erika Garcia, a Physical Therapy junior, told the Varsitarian. “If we break test tubes or other equipment in the lab, we buy the replacements at Miranda.”
Miranda also offers a wide selection of notebooks, project materials such as styrofoam boards and balls, sewing kits, ribbons, illustration boards, and many more. A standard-sized styrofoam board costs only P13.75 while plain-colored ribbons are P1.25 a yard.
The newly opened C&E Bookshop on Dapitan St. at the space formerly occupied by Burger King is fully air-conditioned and offers textbooks on medical and health sciences, computer, and engineering. It also sells non-academic books such as fiction, leisure, and children’s books. Customers get a 5 percent discount on all C&E published books.
Joli’s: Center for the artsy-craftsy
If Medicine and Science students have Miranda, Fine Arts, Engineering and Architecture students have Joli’s.
Along P.Noval, just a few steps outside the Beato Angelico building, Joli’s sells drawing pens, paint brushes, and oil canvases.
“We buy our art supplies at Joli’s. Sometimes their stocks are even more complete than National Bookstore,” said Advertising senior Nina Garcia.
Garcia said there are times when professors give on-the-spot activities and students find themselves without the requisite materials. But they don’t fret easily since Joli’s is around.
“During those times, we rush to Joli’s because they have almost everything that we need,” she said.
The first Joli’s store in UST opened in 1982, inside the Roque Ruaño (College of Engineering) building. It transferred to España in 1986 and eventually opened the P.Noval branch in 2003, the same year the College of Fine Arts and Design and the College of Architecture officially opened. The store’s name came from the first two employees who worked there—siblings Jojo and Loli Polinag.
Joli’s also offers plate printing services at reasonable prices. It also sells stationery, colored papers, and illustration boards.
“The staff there is really nice and accommodating. Whenever we enter the store, they would greet us with a smile,” said Jake Diares, a fifth-year Architecture student. The students even leave their purchases and belongings there.
Joli’s is a haven for smart-spenders because its products and services are cheaper. “They sell 36-inch T-squares for only P500, while in National Bookstore, it’s almost P600,” said Diares.
Meanwhile, Joli’s España caters more to the needs of Engineering students since it sells technical materials such as disposable tech pens and electrical plugs and wires. The branch also offers special services such as Computer Aided Drafting and Design (Cadd) plotting—a program used in making floor plans, Blue/White printing of architectural design plans, which are used in building houses. It also offers color laser printing and ring binding.
Cadd printing and model-making are also offered by Joli’s España. Student can have a 6 x 6 area model of a duplex house made at only P1,500. Ayn Rand I. Parel