Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Palengke is the Tagalog term for 'market'. Palengke in the Philippines pertains specifically to the "wet market" [not the air-conditioned supermarket], where you can find fresh fish, meat and produce - as well as all sorts of things from abaca strings to zippers. My favorite must-buys whenever we go to the wet market are the kakanin and puto (native rice cakes).

Mama and I went to the Lipa City wet market this morning around 8:00 am, which is already quite late. Most palengke goers are there as early as five in the morning. Thankfully, we were able to find a parking space by Tagumpay Minimart. We joined the sea of people making their way through the labyrinth of stalls and stands. It's been a while since I last went to the palengke. I felt a tinge of excitement as I was engulfed by the sights and sounds (not to forget the smells ^_~) of the wet market: neatly lined up fish of all kinds and sizes, filled to the brim baskets of fruits and vegetables, endless rows of red and white eggs, and of course - eager vendors shouting their usual "Bili na kayo ng sariwang [insert product here] dito! Mura lang!" (Buy fresh ____ here! It's cheap!) lines and encouraging passers-by to look at their merchandise.

I didn't have my digital camera at the time; I felt bad because I thought I wouldn't be able to take a few photos of my 'wet market revisited' adventure, which is special because it's during the Holy Week. Fortunately, I quickly remembered that my mom's cellphone has a camera. Excellent! I borrowed it from her and used it to capture some pictures.

Most people prefer to shop at the wet market especially during Semana Santa with the rising demand on fish (in practice of avoiding meat during Holy Week) because it's cheaper there compared to supermarkets. Moreover, freshness is guaranteed. Most of the fish are still alive, breathing, and jumping! You can get it cleaned right there and then, too. (For example: have the vendor remove the scales, fins, gills, and so on; get it cut the way you want it depending on how you're going to cook it; etc.)

By the way, let me share some things regarding the photos I took and their captions:

Manang means 'older sister' in Ilocano, a Filipino dialect of people residing in the Ilocos region. In Tagalog, it is Ate. It is typical for young people to call older women that way, though they are not related, to show respect.

Tambakol is what we call a yellow-fin tuna. :)

Lato in Tagalog, Ar-arosep in Ilocano, is a grape-like seaweed harvested in Philippine waters to which we usually add chopped onions, green mangoes, itlog na pula/maalat (red/salty eggs), and tomatoes to make seaweed salad.

Oh, and a great thing about buying at the local palengke is that you can always, always discuss price discounts with the vendor regarding the price of what you're buying. We call this tawad. :D

A trip to the wet market never fails to be an adventure.

P.S. Before I forget, today is World Health Day 2009.


  1. The smell. Definitely. Haha.

  2. Tell me about it, Neng! Pero 'pag matagal ka na palang hindi pumupunta parang nakakamiss. Weird! :D Hahaha.


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