“Fashionable eyeglasses doesn’t have to be expensive.”
That is the motto of Maria Nella Sarabia, the owner of Sarabia optical shop in the University of the Philippines Diliman Shopping Center. The shop has been in business since the Shopping Center was established in 1974. Among its customers was Jessica Zafra, a renowned Filipino writer and columnist.
Nella’s great-grandfather Federico Sarabia was the first Filipino optometrist. Since the foundation of Sarabia Optical in 1906, there are now over 50 branches nationwide all run by members of the Sarabia clan.
“My cousins have 10 or 15 branches,” Nella said. “But I prefer to keep only one so I can personally attend my customers.”
Nella’s store offers lenses starting at 500 pesos and frames at 600 pesos. She gets her supplies from Taiwan, Japan, Korea, and China to keep the products affordable to UP students while keeping up with the latest fashion trends. The products are also discounted to keep the prices down. Earnings fluctuate throughout the year but the shop is particularly busy before enrollment and during Christmas.
The store is open from Monday to Saturday at stall 39 of the UP Shopping Center or call 435-5685 for appointments.