Up until a year and a half ago, it seemed that every city had a weekend market except for Makati: the old Sidcor had been resurrected at the Lung Center in Quezon City, Greenhills had its own weekend market, and so did Alabang. Then in June of 2004, the Salcedo Saturday market sprung up at the parking lot on Tordesillas St. It coughed and sputtered a little at the beginning, but is now so popular that there is a waiting list of about 100 vendors itching to rent some real estate there.
Hoping to share some of that love, the San Lorenzo (San Lo) Sunday Market has sprouted at the parking lot on Legaspi St. corner Herrera St. Because it’s only a few months old, there aren’t too many stalls just yet, but this weekend market boasts of an organic section, which includes produce, organic sweeteners and grains, and natural medicines to cure every ill. I may be wrong about this, but I think the San Lo market is where the Organic Market has transferred to from their previous digs at Greenbelt.
Last Sunday, my Bin and I were road-testing our new mountain-bikes. On a whim, I suggested biking all the way to the San Lo market to check it out. I was feeling particularly brave because Makati is a virtual ghost town on the weekends, so navigating vehicles while on a bike is not a problem; otherwise, you won’t catch me biking anywhere near public roads. Filipino drivers are a mad lot, me included. Sometimes.
I always get a surge of pleasure whenever I go to these weekend markets. Everything looks so pretty and fresh, and there are plenty of things to see and touch. Marketing is an incredibly tactile experience here, and I get to see and buy plenty of things I don’t find at my usual supermarket or palengke (wet market).
At the San Lo market, the organic produce has its own section: I was besotted with the fresh ginger, so smooth they almost looked golden; sweet orange potatoes as long as my arm; and leafy greens for salads and sandwiches. Wandering on, I spied a stall where they were selling Angus beef at a jaw-dropping P250 per 100 grams!; famous baker Baba Ibazeta, peddling her goods from Classic Confections ; a crepe stand; homemade breads and bottled sardines; carabao’s milk (my favorite!); and plenty of stalls selling homemade baked goods, among others. Unlike other markets, there are stalls selling rattan furniture, ceramic plates and teapots, and beaded flip-flops.
No doubt you’ll get hungry browsing ”“ most people have their breakfast, brunch or lunch here at the shaded eating areas. The sun really does a number on you though, but I recommend eating amidst the heat at least once. It’s part of the experience. Besides, there are numerous food stalls selling all kinds of things to tease the taste buds. And of course, no weekend market in Manila would be complete without the requisite barbeque stall. People will wait as long as an hour just to score some of these babies ”“ P25 for a stick of meat that comes with a vinegar sauce sour enough to make your eyebrows meet. No wonder people are willing to stand in line, my Bin included.
These weekend markets are a good way to immerse oneself in food. The freshness can’t be beat, and the big plus here is the feeling of community, especially if you come around often.
List of weekend markets: