The Palengke Metaphor

This is what I came up on a boring hot-Sunday afternoon when it was too punishing to trip the market. Provocative and confrontational metaphor. Lame to most, and somehow mean. With a little trepidation to post this (some might say written in a bad taste), I suppose there are still some who might have a sense of humor. Veering away from guilt, my intention is to promote stuffs that can be seen in a typical Palengke and most importantly to advocate equality. I have to admit that this is not my original thought, I read this somewhere, most likely in Facebook. I tried to make it more fun, informative and enlightening as possible.

However positive we are sometimes, reality still bites.  We may always say “beauty is in the eyes of the beholder” or “beauty is more on the inside”.   If you are living in the same planet as I am, we know that appearance can make or break your life. People will always judge us by our looks even if in their conscience they know it to be awful.  It is normal, it is human. The appearance department still thrives to control the society and the market as a whole.  It dictates the relationship we have, the friends we join, to prospective employers we seek.

I’ve listed all the things that we normally see in a Palengke and to compare them to whom/what we see somewhere else, at home, the office where we work, parks, bars, buses, toilets or on your own mirror.  So choose what associates you best.   In the spirit of fun, may the humor be with you.

  1. Lobster. (Classy version of Hipon).  You may indulge yourself in its body, but you can’t enjoy the head.   Some would say, it has a body to die for but not facially stunning.


Types of Lobster:

  • Fresh Lobster.  Fresh and original. They have beautiful body untouched by a scalpel. Not a thank you Doc.

fresh lobster

  • Tempura Lobster. Beautiful body, not so blessed with face value but they are lobster with sense of fashion and styling. They call Belo or Calayan to maintain their figure.


2. Lollipop. Their head is what matters. Their body might look like an android, but their head is essential.


3. Bone Marrow Stew (Bulalo). Unsightly face and body. Their totality doesn’t look good, but don’t underestimate them, they are respected for their brains.  Their edge is for question and answer portion.


4. Coconut (Buko).  Pure inside. Neither good looking and sexy, however they exude kindness, faithfulness and a good heart. They usually bag the Miss Congeniality award. In the real world, they are rare and nearly extinct.


Types of Coconut:

  • Fresh Buko(Coconut) Juice.  They are naturally well mannered and kind.  No pretensions and no conditions. When you ask if they are sexy? the answer is friendly.  When asked if they are pretty, they are actually kind.

frsh buko

  • Buko Juice in a Plastic Cup. From the word itself, it implies a make-believe “goodness”. In reality, they just pretend to be good to get what they want. They are mostly public figures or politician that uses acts of kindness to win the public.


5. Durian/ Jackfruit.  They might smell like a feet, you can’t get enough once you started tasting them. Ignore the smell and the looks and you’ll be delighted. Scary and Cratery outside but sweet inside.

durian langka2

6. The Mango. They can be pretty and sexy.  This is the fruit that launched a thousand curvy-long faces.  Pointed and deadly.  Very Reese Witherspoon and Celine Dion.


7. Ice Cream They are perfect.  They look good, sexy and sweet. Complete package.

Types of Ice Cream:

  • Simple Ice Cream.  They are the naive ice cream, yet tasty and in demand.  Sometimes, you may refer them as provincial beauty.  Foreigners like them.


  • Häagen-Dazs. They are classy and delicious. They might be pricey, but they deserve the hype.


  • Selecta Magnum. Overrated ice cream. The experience is good but a bit pricey for what they worth.  They are sometimes available in Pegasus.


8.Lumpia (Spring Rolls). You can eat everything from head to toe. But you can’t be satisfied with the height or length.


and finally, Coca Cola Undisputed beauty. The most popular refreshment.  Sweet, cool and refreshing beauty.


I am confident that this is what best describes me, coke. How about you?

Most of the times, looks matter in a lot of situations. It is important to understand that today, unfortunately, we live in a world which is focused on the outside appearance. We know that media has set the standard of beauty- TV, radio, and magazine advertisements always prevent us from focusing on what really matters- equality.

I do hope though that it is not too late for us to realize that whatever we associate ourselves to, we co-exist in the same world. We might have differences in the looks department, but one cannot exist without the other.  I think the key is for us to learn to accept how we look and at the same time, to respect others. So as with all things I listed above, a Palengke’s splendor is not complete without one of them.


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