Want to get a good dose of fresh seafood? Skip the Supermarkets and head to the wet market. You’ll save your hard earned money for getting the best and freshest meat, fish and produce. In the past decade, western-style supermarkets sprouted like mushrooms in so many parts of the country. Name such as supermarket or hypermarket attached to giant names like SM, Puregold, Robinsons, Cash and Carry, Shop Wise etc, all caters to growing population of city dwellers and expats. It’s certainly not hard to get fascinated in the supermarket feeling, as the immediate indulgence for watermelon or marinated pork steak in a cart can be extremely satisfying. The regulated cleanliness and well-stocked aisles are also a welcome sanctuary within the busy schedules of the working class.
On one side, shopping at the local “wet” markets can be extremely rewarding. Aside from the financial benefit for its lower price, you can get the freshest and the best quality of vegetables, meat, poultry and seafood. However, wet market can be scary and not for the squeamish. Weird smells, bizarre products, and odd methods of business can disappoint someone to navigate a wet market. As a tip, not all wet markets are the same, there will always be a one of a kind place that you will get in love with.
I for one have found my favorite, Farmers Market in Cubao Quezon City– one of the cleanest and most organized we market in Metro Manila. It is conveniently located at the intersection of the two busiest streets of the Metro, EDSA and Aurora Boulevard situated in between malls within Araneta Center. It has airy set-up with wide walkways to accommodate thousands of Palengkeras everyday. With a private management, one cannot believe that the prices are very competitive, with excellent variety to choose from. Clean, spacious and buzzing with activity, this is the place to go for honey, milk, crafts, flowers, vegetables, meat and seafood. The place is covered by a high ceiling that resembles an indoor tennis court or a warehouse. It provides an airy ambiance and not-so-dark interior.
At the upper level of the market, you’ll be greeted by the smell of fresh flowers dozens of stalls selling them. Fruits and Vegetables are also housed in this area.
The flower section
Instead of the stale smell of a combination of different decaying meat, fish, and their products, you can actually distinguish the freshness of the smell of these produce.
The lower lever houses the Fish Section at the west side, and the meat and poultry section at the east side.
Irresistible atmosphere, with parallel rows of fish and seafood items and odd-looking specimens of your choice.
Giant Tahong/Mussels, Shellsfish, Oyster
The Meat Section:
Market shoppers are encouraged to weigh their purchases of dry and wet goods for free at the Timbangan ng Bayan located at the central portion of the market.
When you’re tired and hunger strikes you, you may go to the Dampa(Paluto) section for a stall to cook what you bought.
The handicraft section at the east wing.
Although you may not actually see a farmer here, it is the main point of intervention between farmers and reseller. They have a wholesale section.
Sanitary is one of the great things about this market, they have their own Recycling Facility/Waste Recovery at the east side.
But apart from the all-rounded sensory experience(colorful experience), there is one more thing I must pen down. My fascination of Wet Markets brings back my childhood memories wherein my mother used to take me to the Wet Markets every Palengke day (Wednesdays and Sundays). So, I visited the Farmers Market with a silly grin on my face.