Convenience, location and selection are the primary advantages of the year-old Market!Market! Mall (outdoor market area) in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig. Just a few minutes drive from the Makati CBD and surrounding areas, the mall offers a bright, airy, clean, safe shopping environment for the vast majority of relatively upscale shoppers who live nearby and who are more mall rats than serious market foragers. Youâ€™ll see an early to mid-morning smattering of International School moms loading up on fruit and greens, a Makati housewife with cook in tow haggling for a peso or two discount while spritzed with expensive perfume, or neighborhood working professionals sitting down to a meal of Inengâ€™s barbecue or Buddyâ€™s Pancit Lucban. The outdoor market has over 60 vendors that sell mostly flowers, plants, fruits, vegetables, grains, etc. There are a few seafood vendors but no butchers. Another huge section of vendors is just about to open and there should be a significant increase in the types of goods for sale.
But convenience comes with a price. With a mall set-up, rents, parking etc. it is significantly more expensive to shop at this market. Mangoes the other day were 25-30% more expensive than at other weekend markets. Flowers are 80-120% more than at the Dimasalang wholesale market (but way cheaper than Makati florists) where most of the vendors are from. Vegetables are closer to market rates and there are some things on offer that are hard to find elsewhere. But in a Manila shopping scene that is highly unpredictable, always out of stock, and where you need to go 13 places to put together a meal, I am truly grateful that Market!Market! is nearby. I often visit some sukis at the Marketâ€¦ my herb guy Zacky’s that I have to feature soon once I interview the owner, my vegetable guy Gerry who also sells at the FTI market, Fresh Fields and King Louis Flowers and Plants. There is also a fruit vendor that imports some of the good stuff like huge strawberries with stems for dipping in chocolate, plums, etc. Not to mention my newly discovered Pancit Lucban at Buddyâ€™s as recommended by some of my readers. The other day, I got some superb lettuces, fat sugarcane and portobello mushrooms…
I look forward to the new section that is just on the verge of opening just in time for the pre-holiday crush. Apparently the waitlist of vendors is growing and on a recent weekday the place was packed! I also like the kiosks or stalls that carry provincial favorites like dried fish, sweets, achara, haleya, etc. Itâ€™s nice to have so many choices under one roof. There is also a well-stocked rice vendor that has dozens of varieties and even Japanese and Thai varieties. If you havenâ€™t been to Market!Market! you should visit it soon. I have only reviewed the market section here but inside the mall are hundreds of vendors in tiangge style areas as well as standard mall fare. While the mall is officially open from 11-8pm, many of the market stalls open at 8 or so.