Marikina Clean and Green Public Market

Marikina City is considered to be one of the best managed and wealthiest local government units in the country.  Most of the awards received by the City were the result of their efforts on health and cleanliness awareness.  The City is also admired as tourism and cultural hub of Metro Manila. Well known for its shoe and leather industry, Eco-friendly tourist destination like the butterfly garden, museums, parks, churches, colorful streets with bike lanes and among others.  To give you an idea of how well they manage their city in a micro level, the Palengkera dissected their public market.

The Marikina Public Market is located at the heart of Brgy Sta Elena between the Marikina Bridge and the Marikina Sports Complex.  They also call it Marikina Market Mall which is considered as one of the biggest and well-maintained markets in Metro Manila.  The entire area is not just housed by the city-managed Public Market but by different subgroups of private markets. Between E. De la Paz St and P Burgos is the main Public Market where it is divided into Dry and Wet sections.  The area covers from main Highway- Sumulong Hwy crossing all streets from MC Cruz, P Burgos, E De la Paz and E Jacinto until WC Paz St.  Along those sidestreets are divided by small public market operated by private groups however still supervised by Marikina LGU. The market caters to folks from the city proper along with Antipolo, San Mateo and nearby municipalities.

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From Cubao

If you decide to travel by Jeepney from Aurora Boulevard in Cubao, and you’re not a fan of Salbakuta’s Stupid love, or any Zaito Flip top, or Pusong Bato remix, be patient for it only takes about 15-20 minutes to reach Marikina.  Well, you have an option to listen to Nicolhyala and Christsuper on a pang-masa station (national radio station) when you opt to take the FX. Occasional traffic is also expected just before Riverbanks mall until Loyola Memorial Garden. If you’re bringing a car, you may park at the Marikina Riverside beside the Palengke.

Yoooo! Man..Ahuh …Hows that?  Though for 3 years, the Palengkera called Marikina her home and during that primeval time her favorite song played by jeepney DJs was Nagmamahal Ako ng Bakla by Dagtang Lason. Don’t make her sing that song on this blog…

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Okay enough of that. When you reach Bayan, you will see a familiar landmark, the Sports Complex just across the Palengke.  You may want to start your journey from here.

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The Palengkera’s favorite spot to munch on fried one-day-old and tukneneng is just on the corner of Sumulong Highway and the Sports Complex. Here, you can find stalls that sells the most up-to-date DVD movies and mp3 rips.  At night, there are some “service” guys you can ask here, please note mga beckys. Mayor, please don’t quote the Palengkera on this, she just noticed it.

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And when you’re just about to start the stroll inside the vast area, you may want to sit for a cheap but delectable snack here. Prices ranges from P20 to P38.

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There are number of stalls that you can choose from for the seasonal fruits and vegetables from various regions. If you have a sweet tooth, you may want to splurge on some colorful choices of kakanin they offer. And the palengkera bought one of that Puto’t kutchinta below and a kilo of sweet ripe mangoes.

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Along E jacinto St is one of the busiest streets of the market.  It mainly offers RTWs and wares.

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Marikina Public Market is a safe haven for Palengkeras.  There are uniformed market personnel roaming around advising people to take care of their belongings. A market concierge is installed just at the center of the area for you to ask directions. A police station is at the ground level of the main public market lest you have some concerns. But again, always be mindful of your surroundings when you’re in a public place- a Palengkeras first tip. You can also monitor basic commodity prices at their bulletin board posted in front of the concierge.

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The reason why the market is referred to Marikina Market Mall is its sub-palengkes.  Sometimes the prices here are much cheaper than what is offered in the main Palengke.  The cheapest price, according to Palengkeras’ friend-Palengkenita is the Pamilihan ng Sto. Nino, just in front of the Aglipay Church. Here are some of the sub-palengkes.

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Recently, the local government of Marikina issued an ordinance of “No Plastic bag” policy. So the Palengkera bought one of these reusable bags for his finds.

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After an hour of Palengke delight, the Palengkenita-friend was kind enough to prepare and cook  for brunch.

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There are more to write about the goodness of this Palengkera sanctuary, however the Palengkera has to end with a word to describe it – Awesome! Now, if you happen to visit Marikina, make sure to explore their Palengke as it is where you can experience the culture it has to offer.

Till next time!

Divisoria: Where to shop, what to do and where to eat- Part 2

Divisoria is a cheap Haven. You can almost find anything a Palengkera needs here. Much as I want to list all what this wonderland has to offer, I can only give you all the famous places to visit with their specialized offerings.  Here they are:

1. 168 Mall. This is home to cheap clothing, appliances, gadgets, accessories and food. One of the pioneers of mall-like ambiance but cheap offerings. It is fully air-conditioned. When you need a break and you’re starving, just go up to the fifth floor where the food center is located. 168 mall is along Sta. Elena St., Binondo, Manila

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2. Tutuban Mall.  Just in front of the PNR station, it offers wide arrays of RTW, accesories, textiles and gadgets. The extensions are also leased by small stalls, boutiques, fast food chains and chinese medicine stores, etc. Tutuban Mall is along the main street Claro M. Recto Avenue.

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3.Divisoria Mall. It has three floors and a basement packed with clothing, shoes, Christmas decorations, stationery, stickers, invitations, wallets, calculators, pens, umbrellas, flashlights, kitchen utensils, gardening tools, and toys. At the ground floor is my favorite, dried fish and squid.  It is located between Tabora and Sto. Cristo streets of Binondo area.

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4. Ilaya Street. It is one of Divisoria’s busiest streets. Famous for its RTW, Textile (wholesale and retail), sewing needs, shoes, shirts and school uniforms for wholesale, jeans and things including kitchenware, party supplies and souvenirs, parlor supplies, socks and other undergarments, and novelty items. It should be just in front of Fiesta Shopping Plaza along C.M. Recto Ave.

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5. Tabora St.This busy street mainly focus on stainless ang glass wares, souvenir items/Party supplies and textiles. Other goods on offer are paper and plastic products; boxes, bottles, strings and paint; home decors, figurines and native handicrafts; ribbons, lace and other sewing supplies. Located along C.M. Recto Ave., after Juan Luna St. coming from Binondo.

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6. Juan Luna St. Much like Ilaya st, it offers RTW, kitchen wares, seasonal and imported fruits (mostly from China), DVD (again mostly from China- maybe most of the goods available here are from China), gadgets/cellphones, and countless street food. Located just a block from Tutuban Mall, at the corner of Juan Luna St. and C.M. Recto Ave.

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Other places to venture:

  • Binondo (might be featured in a different post)
  • Meisic mall
  • Soler St.
  • Along the main Avenue: CM Recto Ave (Mostly Sidestreet stalls)

Enjoy shopping!

Divisoria: A Palengkera Guide to the Mother of All Markets – Part1

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I have been frequenting Divisoria countless times since I settled in the Metro 10 years ago.  My friends used to take me there as they scan items they deemed worthy to buy.  They taught me how to make a good bargain from different stalls offering wide arrays of goods you can name. Now, I can manage to wander around by myself through Divisoria’s main boulevard to its narrow streets.

There is absolutely nothing you cannot find in Divisoria.  I never get tired of touring the place the entire day as it is a good way to make fun with friends, a cost-free fitness center to exercise and best of all, to find the best and real shopping deals.  Vendors along the streets often offer thirst-quenching drinks and tasty food morsels perfect for those hungry shoppers from the hot crowded place. You can grab a slice of watermelon, pineapple, a corn on a stick, a bottle coconut juice from the cart vendors while scanning the busy streets. Who can resist those familiar streetfoods like tukneneng, balut, fish balls, and what not?  Well, cleanliness is a different thing. Since the first to settle the area for their trade are the Chinese, Chinese restaurants are everywhere which offers the irresistible dimsum, succulent noodles, and their famous black tea. I have just teased you with just the tip of an ice berg, the truth to the matter is, when you’re in Divisoria, almost if not all you need is readily available.  Mind you, people not only offer tangible items here but countless kinds of services you could imagine. You really don’t need a fortune to shop here, a thousand pesos is enough for a shop-till-you-drop splurge.

On the downside, there are things you should be ready on when visiting Divisoria.  One is the bunch of notorious snatchers and pickpockets just hanging around.  They are not just operating on a small scale; they are an organized modus operandi played by large syndicates. Another thing to mind is parking, it might be best to just commute when visiting here as good parking spaces are miles away from the vicinity of the area. Another thing to consider is the temperature.  Humidity and the scorching sun may make you easily tired, so bring a towel with you and a bottled water. You may also want to wear your most comfy travel shoes as you have to walk around never-ending streets. Overall, Divisoria is worth visiting.  I doubt if crazy-shopping lovers will not be in love with this amazing place -heaven or a hell in a good way.

Since Divisoria covers vast vicinity and has no known marked boundaries, I will wander each of the most popular streets surrounded by various stalls, shops, malls and sidestreet vendors. The first part of this journey features the most crowded streets like Juan Luna, Ylaya and Santo Cristo.

I decided not to take the beaten track by choosing the PNR headed to Tutuban Mall.  History has it that Tutuban Center Mall was formely the Tutuban Central Station of the Philippine National Railways (PNR) which was the major drop-off center of goods traded from various regions north to south of Luzon.  It was my first time to hop in and enjoy a real train ride. It was an awesome ride.

The rustic and turbulency train ride…

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Just in front of the PNR is the Tutuban Mall.

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And as early as 8am, I was tempted by this carcinogenic thing plus an iced-cold 7-up! whew!

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A’was entertained by the sight of this hard-working member of the LGBT team.  And this watery Del Monte Pineapple drink. 🙂

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After just 2 hours of searching what I need, I came upon all of these items for just a total of P860.  Please do the math as i rather walk around than to count my changes, the list includes piece of broccoli and 2 bundles of asparagus for only P100, a pack of turones -P25, cotton buds P10, a set of needles P5,  8 Pieces of apple for P50, 3 undies for P20 each, Bedsheet P100, 3 pieces of Drapery P550.

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And finally, while heading home, I spotted a glimpse of my lunch. hahahaha

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Kidding aside, please  stay tuned to my next posts about Divi; Part 2 which will mainly feature the malls and street to go to, and Part 3 for the tips you should remember when venturing  amazing Divisoria.  See you.