Monday, September 24, 2012

The Barrio Girl goes to the Weekend Market

I love open air markets! Somehow it gives me that prelude feeling of what it would be like to shop in the markets of Portobello, Grand Bazaar, or even the Chatuchak market.

Say hello to our community market -- the Salcedo Saturday Market. It's the sosyal (read:high end) kind of market. It's a weekend market, actually. But it is so vibrant that people who live in the village and even those who don't make it a point to visit and have their fill of the freshest produce, mostly organic. 
The ancient trees surrounding the market makes this place more cheerful.
The market opens in a tree-shaded open parking lot from as early as five in the morning and closes at two o'clock in the afternoon. Mainly, there are three sections of the market where stalls are interspersed with each other. Fruits, produce, fresh fish and meat, organic products from the different regions of the country, ornamental plants and the widest selection of ready-to-eat dishes from french cuisine to the ever reliable pork barbecue. 
Bought some pots for my potted friends at home.
The sense of community is fostered by the interaction of stall owners (both foreign and local) and the customers and even those who share tables in the mess hall of the market. Here, you'll see plenty of people who are not so ordinary, at all. Some local celebrities drop by to chow or  buy freshly baked bagels. Most foreigners stay to eat and chat their hearts away with family and friends. Usually, friends use the market as a meet-up place for catch-up weekend conversations. 

What's interesting for this barrio girl is the stark contrast of this market than the one I know back in the barrio. The very first time I heard of the Salcedo Market, I was apprehensive to go. This was six years ago. What's so exciting about markets? Back home, it'd take lighting and thunder to move me to go to the market. 

But to my delight, indeed it is a place quite removed from the usual, even normal market. Here, it seems that people do not necessarily need to be doing the task themselves. It's like a social gathering of sorts whereas in the market of my barrio people hurries to get the task done. Here, people linger, smile and talk. They take the time to smell the roses.Perhaps, it's because they do have time. 

In the province, people bring their plastic bags to ensure the vegetables are kept fresh. In Salcedo Market, you'd find plenty of push carts for those who are seriously doing their market activities while others tote branded bags for their bagels, organic dressing and greens for salad.

There's even uniformed personnel that keeps the peace and order situation of the market! How grand. Reminds of a politician from the south of Mindanao. He was interviewed by some media people regarding the peace and order situation of his province. His very confident reply goes like this: "oh, the peace (fish) and order is the same. You just have to go to the market to buy and order the peace (fish) you like." 

So, if you've been living in the big city and you long for some semblance of a life back home, I recommend that you go to the Salcedo Saturday Market. It's at the open parking beside the Velasquez Park along Alfaro and Tordesillas Streets, Salcedo Village, Makati. 

You'll surely enjoy and feel at home. For me, this is the best weekend market. In fact, it has spawned so many similar markets all over the metro. But nothing beats the original, eh?

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