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It is no secret that the city is inevitably becoming the next big thing with its constant upgrade with entrepreneurs’ small scale stalls popping out of nowhere, along with investors, both local and foreign, setting up their businesses here in the area.

While it is overall good for the economy and for both tourists and locals alike, it is still a different experience when it comes to knowing and living the way most locals do. The best way to have a glimpse of the culture is through its food – especially from its wide away of ingredients that are only found in the city.

In this article, we share explore the tips and tricks on getting the freshest ingredients in the city and how to get them – step by step!


Photo Credit: Jacob Maentz

Seafood? Pasil

It is highly advisable that you arrive at the city’s most famous fish market around 4 o’clock in the morning in order to be able to get the freshest catch of the day. Pails are loaded with a variety of seafood, along with the local spices that are sure to complement each dish that you are to prepare for your loved ones. Moreover, if you want to get a taste of what the locals eat, there are food stalls that serve various dishes to begin a great day ahead.

Photo Credit: Rica’s Homey Space

Vegetables? Carbon

Dirty, crowded and extremely hot may be the first few words that one may associate when it comes to buying ingredients from the public market. Unbeknownst to many, it is actually an entirely different scene when night falls, where anyone can shop in peace. Furthermore, the empty streets also provide an avenue for one to bring their vehicles in the street to load the vegetables directly.

Photo Credit: Tanddr Raha

Fruits? Ramos’ Public Fruit Stand

This establishment is difficult not to notice, as it stands at the left side of the road and has all the fruits that one would want to enjoy. Everything’s here from the common mangoes, bananas and papayas to the seasonal fruits such as mangosteen, lanzones and rambutan. There’s no excuse when it comes to buying healthy treats ,as it is located near the heart of the city and can be easily accessed via private and public modes of transportation.

Photo Credit: A Not So Popular Kid

Pasalubong? Taboan

Aside from the various dried fish that are sold in almost every nook and corner in the public market, tourists and visitors also offer dried mangos, peanut brittles and other delicacies. What makes this a good site to visit is the parking space right outside the market space that is enclosed in a metal fence to prevent shoppers from illegally parking which may cause traffic.

In conclusion, whoever said that healthy living is expensive is right but fortunately, one only needs to look at the other alternatives available to them from the public market so they may get the proper portions and nutrients that their bodies may need. Given the right weather conditions, the city’s rich soil continues to provide for everyone who visits our humble home.

The author: Eldawn Catalan

Eldawn is an avid fan of both spoken and written poetry. In her spare time, she writes anything that comes to mind and enjoys talking to people from different walks of life. You may follow her on instagram @ eldaaawn.
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