Pure Gold Duty Free Shopping at SBMA

Pure Gold Duty Free Shopping at SBMA

Pure Gold is my favorite place to shop in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone. It’s a very large warehouse style store that carries the largest assortment of groceries in the area.

I tried to get some pictures of the interior of the store, but I guess my stealth mode is malfunctioning. Evidently, the management has a policy against taking pictures inside the store, and there are so many people working there, following you around as you shop, saying “Yes Sir” over and over, it’s impossible to surreptitiously snap a good picture.

Pure Gold Duty Free Shopping at SBMA

The "front" entrance next to Palm Avenue.

Imagine if you will; a HUGE warehouse with aisle after aisle of goods stacked on 8 foot high shelves (I’m guessing – I didn’t actually measure). The store is laid out very well, with lots of room between the aisles, plenty of fairly new shopping carts, and, as mentioned above, plenty of people to help you find what you need. They have two check out areas; one on the side and one in the front. I always use the wrong one, and end up pushing my cart around the long side of the building to get to the parking area. Oh – and the air-con works well.

Pure Gold Duty Free Shopping at SBMA

The "side" entrance by the main parking area.

Puregold is a great place to find American brands, including Nestle, Nescafe, Campbells, Lipton, and many more. I buy my Folger’s coffee there, and usually stock up on cup-a-soups, rice, yogurt, bread and the normal bulk shopping items. They also have a good selection of breakfast cereals, which is one of my most important staples. One thing that infuriates me; some of the cereal comes in these little tiny boxes, about 1/2 the size of a normal box in the US. I only get about three bowls from these, so they’re a pain in the butt.

Where Pure Gold disappoints is in the baked goods section. None of the big stores at SBMA have a decent bakery. You’ll need to go elsewhere for a good variety of freshly baked goods.

PureGold also has a small selection of kitchen appliances, including rice cookers, microwaves, electric hot water kettles, and more. They have the very common two-burner table-top gas stoves, though you’ll need to buy the gas regulator valve somewhere else. Their selection of kitchen tools is pretty good, having everything from Apple Peelers to Orange Juicers to.. well, you get the idea. I was able to find a good selection of tupperware-style containers; I’ve advise you to buy enough of these to keep all your dry goods safe – the mice and insects are relentless here. Speaking of mice, I was able to buy some good glue traps and poison packets to try and get rid of this incredibly sneaky mouse that’s been making my life a living hell bothering me.. for the last few weeks. So far, the little bastard defies capture or assassination, but I’m not giving up! Maybe I can get the Navy Seals to help out. Or, I could always get a cat.

Speaking of cats, Pure Gold has a big selection of cat and dog foods, and the related pet accessories.

If you’ve never shopped in The Philippine before you’ll need to get used to a few things. Most of the stores separate the selection of purchases, handling of money, and delivery of the goods. Then you’ll need to go through a physical inspection of anything electrical or mechanical, including turning it on and making it spin, stir, cool, heat, hop, skip or jump, depending on it’s purpose. Finally, you get to have a nice chat with the security guard as he inspects your receipt and kind of glances over your purchases. Sometimes this is awkward – I’ve had guards look at something in my basket and whistle, saying “wow.. that’s expensive! I wish I could buy one of those! I’ve never seen an electric cheese grater with a 6-speed transmission and HydroShift technology.. and the integrated blue-tooth could be handy, too!”. Usually though, they glance at your cart, then study your receipt for a bit, marking and circling certain things, then hand it back and smile wishing you a “good day, Sir”. I wonder if the managers tell them “Today, you will find and circle all the dental hygiene products on everyone’s receipts” to make sure they’re actually looking.

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