13 Jan2007


I am just back from my market rounds this morning. There are days when the quality of produce on offer is almost depressing…a reflection of the declining buying interest/power of consumers with respect to fresh food, then there are great days where there are 1market4signs some hope. We are, in fact a huge agricultural nation, that should be able to raise the finest produce from land and sea if we only cared enough to do it right, and consumers ate the stuff… Recent months have yielded poor offerings in the markets when compared to previous holiday seasons. Several typhoons which battered both the Northern provinces where much of the metro’s vegetables comes from, AS WELL as the Southern provinces like Laguna, Cavite and Batangas, where the other half of the veggies are raised, meant seriously slim pickings and wickedly high prices. But farms and harvests in the North must be recovering as the vegetables on offer at the markets today were noticeably better than just a few weeks ago. Prices have also declined, with good kalamansi at PHp30-40 a kilo, onions back to PHP35-40, asparagus at PHP80 for a large bundle, broccoli at PHP130-140 a kilo, eggplant at PHP35-40 and these were all from a good supplier bringing stuff down from Baguio at the FTI market. I also noticed there was nice celery in stock, snow peas, chinese greens (such as bok choy, mustasa), cauliflower, green peppers, etc. My total bill today was at least 30% lower than during the peak holiday season… This entire basket photographed here cost less than PHP850 and should feed many over the next week… The only things in short supply this week? Good strawberries and siling labuyo. Normally by this time they are abundant and 4 packs to PHP100. Right now, you’d be lucky to get a decent pack for PHP50… And siling labuyo is going for PHP1 PER PIECE!




  1. Maria Clara says:

    Depressing indeed if you go to the market with resources but no good finds or selection – nothing of interest. That is a beautiful bounty from our fertile land you got there! A good array of colors signal fresh harvest off the farm. The kalamansi look so beautiful, great for noodles. your infamous bistek, or with patis for tinola and nilaga. The price of siling labuyo is notorious for PH1 a piece. Fortunately you do not need that much to spice up your dish. The price is not that bad at all. Look at the bright side of the spectrum at least PH1 still has a buying power – a piece of siling labuyo!

    Jan 13, 2007 | 12:18 pm


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  3. corrrine says:

    I think price volatility has to do with our climate. Imagine having typhoons in December. I wouldn’t buy siling labuyo. Just plant them and hope the birds won’t get them before you do.

    Jan 13, 2007 | 1:17 pm

  4. Marketman says:

    aridelros, I think the answer lies in the weather… we really do predominantly plant with the seasons, due to the lack of irrigation, the fact that the rainy season seems to be nasty for most veggies, etc. And fruit, well, they bear fruit when it is in season…in the same way the best apples are available in the Fall in the Northern Hemisphere and six months later in the Southern Hemisphere. I agree that we have relatively lousy storage facilities, and even lousy cleaning facilities (think garlic or onions in the West that are cleared of the mud on them after harvest, then blow dried then stored in dry cool rooms so they last months…. or sprays of think wax on apples and storage in cold rooms for the same reason…) Also, with our weather so hot and humid, any vegetable coming from the farms that are bundled up in heavy plastic and smushed into or onto jeepneys and brought to Divisoria are already effectively steamed before they are even sold… As for prices at Christmas, I think it is predominantly opportunistic pricing by a lot of folks down the food chain…

    Jan 13, 2007 | 1:18 pm

  5. joey says:

    Hmmm…I think the idea of a calendar with the seasons of our fruits and veggies would really be in high demand…hehe ;)

    Thanks for the heads up…will head to the market tomorrow! Your bounty looks beautiful! :)

    Jan 13, 2007 | 5:08 pm

  6. Marketman says:

    aridelros, I featured a locally grown vanilla bean a couple of months ago…I think some of them are grown outside Davao…

    Jan 14, 2007 | 9:59 am

  7. maricris says:

    hi marketman! can i know where is FTI? an where can i find a spanish onion? Thanks!

    Jan 14, 2007 | 7:49 pm

  8. Marketman says:

    Hi Maricris, FTI is the Food Terminal Inc Complex in Taguig. It is on the North side of the South Super Highway…use the service road from Fort Bonifacio area. The market is open on Saturdays from 6 a.m. to early afternoon. Sorry, a spanish onion is the common white onion with a light brown skin. There is also a more native white onion with a whiter skin, then there are red-skinned onions as well…not to mention shallots. I had a post on onions a while back, you may want to refer to it here

    Jan 14, 2007 | 8:47 pm

  9. mar says:

    Thanks for the info !marketman

    Jan 15, 2007 | 9:41 pm

  10. maricris says:

    hi good day to all! do you know where are onion storage in manila? may i know the exact address,? i’ve heard there were lots of storages in divisoria….help naman please…

    Mar 15, 2007 | 4:15 pm

  11. Ebba Myra says:

    On one of my “pamamalengke” days in a local market at small town in Quezon, I noticed the the veggies were not so good, the fact that it was a Saturday (a market day), and the prices are high. When I finally found a “nice” cabbage, it was expensive and the seller said because it came from Baguio. Wow, I said, They said they cannot grow it in that town because of the heat. What about the tomatoes, how come they are also “mahal”, she said they too came from Baguio. And I doubted it because I know for a fact that this fruit do grown bountifully in this town and in fact, a seed that I gave my cousin to try (which came from Japan), yielded a good harvest. But she did not give me “tawad” so I went to another store. It is surprising because in the slum area in Manila, you’ll see potted plants and tropical flowers growing in a little pcs of soil close to garbage cluttered ground.. my friend even exclaimed everything grows in the Philipines. But yet.. with that recent market trip… I am confused of that statement. I don’t applaud the past administration of Marcos, but I remember the days of the Green Revolution of Imelda wherein everybody are complied to plant anything in every pcs of dirt there is in the country. wow.. kangkong and talbos were everywhere.. ampalaya, sitaw.. they abundant. Why can’t we do it now?

    Aug 23, 2007 | 2:00 am

  12. Marketman says:

    Ebba, funny you should mention Green Revolution from the 1970’s. My father was the head of that program. :)

    Aug 23, 2007 | 8:20 am

  13. Roszhien says:

    aw.. hehe..green revolution it is.. indeed, there had been major price leap in our common vegetables.. i guess it is cause by the relation relationship between supply and demand.. our population(demand) is getting bigger every year while the production (supply) is getting smaller..by this as the law of demand and supply is concern, Producers are manipulating the situation were the law state that “when the demand is bigger than the supply the price increases” since our country is agriculture oriented why there is still a shortage in our staple products like rice?,it happened at the late 2008 where there is a major leap in the price of rice, i cant imagined my self eating kanin at 50 pesos per kilo.. hehe.. by the way.. i guessed many lands had been converted to commercial site since 2000..

    May 18, 2009 | 12:10 pm


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