08 Mar2009

Burgos Market, Bacolod

by Marketman


We hit the Burgos market in downtown Bacolod at about 7 a.m. on a Saturday, and the place was a beehive of activity. We coursed through the vegetables, fruit and other dry goods area, but the part of the market foray that really impressed me was the seafood section. I always try and hit the local public market in any town I visit, and if I happen to do it on market day or a busy weekend morning, I like to think I can gauge quite a bit about the town and its people. For Bacolod, it was clear this was a town that loved its food, and that still had relatively abundant seafood in the surrounding seas. I also thought that both the rich and the middle class were eating very well, based on the turnover of fish and other seafood that day. Prices were almost half those in Manila, and the freshness was amongst the best I had seen in the past year or so. Only Northern Palawan looked more “reef fresh” than this… I was pleased to see many medium sized lapu-lapu’s (above), but was concerned about some press recently that reported the species was slowly disappearing from our reefs…


The large, airy and cavernous fish section was hopping at 7 a.m.


Lukot (sea hare secretion) in an incredible range of shades was on offer, ideal for a soup or kinilaw…


Fresh sea scallops still on the half shell.


Tilapia and bisugo on a shockingly red vinyl table cloth; notice matching lamp “shades”.


Filleting a bangus…


Scaling or is it de-scaling a dapa…


A silver-gold talakitok.


The manong in chartreuse picking out some small crabs for us…


The most enormous ulang I have ever seen; and yes, we couldn’t resist and bought that too! :)


If you look closely at the photo above, you will notice a vendor with his arms raised high… a ham, he continued to pester me to take his photograph and when I tried to take this photo, he just had to raise his arms… well now some 15,000 folks will see him, I hope some of them tell him he is on the world wide web.


Slicing a wonderful tanguigue. And a selection of larger sized fish in the forefront. I always get a slight high after a spectacular hour or so in a market with this kind of breadth, quality and vibrancy…



  1. sanojmd says:

    wow, what a find! the fishes are so fresh. looks like directly straight from the sea..

    Mar 8, 2009 | 1:42 pm


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  3. thelma says:

    mr. mm, what do you call those red fish shown on the first picture? they look like the fresh fish that my friend gave me this morning. he just caught them around the la joya cove early this morning. do you have a recipe for that kind of fish?

    Mar 8, 2009 | 1:43 pm

  4. Marketman says:

    thelma, they are lapu-lapu or in some places, grouper, coral trout, etc. They are very good eating. And there are several recipes in the archives for lapu-lapu.

    Mar 8, 2009 | 2:09 pm

  5. jadedfork says:

    i really miss our fresh seafood in the philippines. I’m curious to read what you’ve done with all the seafood you bought in this market. Oh well, till the next post…

    Mar 8, 2009 | 2:31 pm

  6. connie says:

    A very nice selection of seafood indeed, the sea scallops look fantastic and ready for baking or grilling. Yum.
    Also I must admit I didn’t know what the heck is a chartreuse, had to google it, only to find out that there’s a green chartreuse and a yellow chartreuse. Ha! The things you learn everyday.

    Mar 8, 2009 | 2:37 pm

  7. Marketman says:

    connie, I meant chartreuse in the sense of 50% yellow and 50% green. :)

    Mar 8, 2009 | 3:27 pm

  8. Ariel says:

    nice lapu lapu that’s perfect for sweet and sour. the sea scallops look ready to go to the oven and baked with butter/garlic. thanks for the pics MM, we need all the stimulus against all these bad news here in America. I like that Ulang, I remember in 1999 we went to Cebu at the Mactan Shrine, after giving the lady; I asked the lady to cook me some of those big shrimps for desert since they don’t sell cheese cakes.

    Mar 8, 2009 | 3:31 pm

  9. millet says:

    love this kind of palengke. my only problem is that when i get home, i like to cook EVERYTHING at once!

    Mar 8, 2009 | 4:00 pm

  10. jun says:

    Take me anytime on a market like that and I’ll definitely enjoy it more than having to spend on an airconditioned shopping mall. Those lapu lapu will surely taste heavenly on a sinigang sa miso. Also there’s nothing beats a fresh seafood on grill with matching pinoy dipping sauce such as kamatis and bagoong, pinakurat, kalamansi and patis then eat them under a shade of acacia tree…..Simple life yet heavenly.

    Mar 8, 2009 | 5:25 pm

  11. Maki says:

    haha..love the raised-arms photo… ^___^

    a little twist

    Mar 8, 2009 | 7:43 pm

  12. marissewalangkaparis says:

    Our seafood choices are really so wonderful in the Philippines…those look really fresh…Scallops look yummy..ummmm baked with garlic and cheese….plump too….

    Mar 8, 2009 | 8:23 pm

  13. jun says:

    Marisse try baked scallops tops with mayonaisse, miso and a bit of sugar and cheese. you’ll love it.

    Mar 8, 2009 | 9:23 pm

  14. betty q. says:

    Yes, MM…I will be up early as well if I am to go to a place such as that…my kind of place to go as well, Jun than a mall!

    Marisse…for a scrumptuous scallop feast as well without the calories…season the scallops…salt/pepper, pounded garlic in almires, addd a splash of Lea &perrins, a splash of sesame oil, a pinch of sugar, add a bit of canola oil. nap it over the scallops and BARBECUE! ….not too long! When done, nap a bit of GINGER_SESAME dressing I posted a while back. Top with FURIKAKE and Thinly sliced scallions! Masssarap!!!!

    THen, when done ….DO NOT DISCARD THE SHELL, MM and Marisse! Clean thoroughly and air dry or sun dry…Temper chocolate…dark couverture preferably. If uncertain, ask Artisan for a demo….on tempering! Then coat the shell, the one with the scallop pattern. Let it set and release. You have a dessert mould to put fresh fruits or ice cream!

    Mar 9, 2009 | 3:20 am

  15. Topster says:

    Oh, with all that yummy seafood I’m getting hungry! Those wonderful Lapu-lapu, I’d love to have them pesa or steamed hinese style in light soysauce!

    Mar 9, 2009 | 8:51 am

  16. beth says:

    saw you in Yummy magazine.you’re not camera shy anymore!Congrats!

    Mar 9, 2009 | 10:19 am

  17. jun says:

    What is Yummy Magazine? Is it a local magazine?

    Mar 9, 2009 | 11:51 am

  18. Vicky Go says:

    read your archived post re Lapu Lapu the legendary hero/killer of Magellan. I thought this story/fable/urban legend has been historically debunked – same as the Kalantiao code. Anyway, nice fable – like Maria Maquiling.

    the fishn is better – in Natural History publication, Raymond Sokolov used to post a picture of local markets – this one would have been a prime example to show. this is how food should be procured & distributed, as green as possible – not frozen & packed in layers of plastic & non-biodegradable stuff.

    BTW – what is the English equivalent of “kulot” ? Is it a sea weed or the tentacles of jelly fish? I’ve never heard or seen this growing up in Laguna & getting fish products from the Nasugbu fish market.

    Can those scallops be eaten raw like cherrystone clams? w mignonette sauce?

    all those fish/shellfish look so delectable & appetizing!

    Mar 10, 2009 | 2:14 am

  19. Vicky Go says:

    oh, sorry – not kulot but lukot. what is a sea hare? and by secretion, what does that mean?

    ok read your previous post re lukot & googled it too. references say it’s a sea slug, a gastropod & these secretions are sort of like protection from predators.

    how does it taste – so kinilaw is like a ceviche?

    it probably does not transport well, even to make it to Manila, unless pre-cooked. but nothing really tastes as good as when fresh & cooked right away & consumed right after that.

    will keep this in mind!

    Mar 10, 2009 | 2:25 am

  20. Maria Clara says:

    Seafood lovers paradise!

    Mar 10, 2009 | 3:56 am

  21. Vickie says:

    I’m curious, how can you tell the difference between an “ulang” and a “curacha”

    Mar 10, 2009 | 3:47 pm

  22. Marketman says:

    Vickie, this to me, is a curacha, and this is ulang. Of course it may be a matter of folks calling the same species by different names in different parts of the country…

    Mar 11, 2009 | 8:16 am

  23. crizaly says:

    I love visiting your website because you showed a lot of our local market with their best seafoods and other local delicacies which are hard to find.

    I really enjoyed your website, very interesting, entertaining and educational.

    Keep it up!!!!

    Jun 5, 2009 | 1:38 pm


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