The Saturday Salcedo Market in the heart of the Makati Business District is less than a year old but clearly a runaway success! The brainchild of several neighborhood residents in nearby apartment buildings, the market lies in the shadow of high-rises much along the lines of charming neighborhood markets in European cities such as London or Paris. The objective was really simple: to give the neighbors a reason to get out and see each other while satisfying their craving for fresh produce, native specialties and homemade delicacies from the best households in the metropolis. With help from Barangay Bel-Air, the vision became a reality in May 2004. Today, the market has 127 vendors or stalls that attract thousands of people on a sunny Saturday. Several dozen more vendor applicants are on the waitlist and market management carefully screens who gets throughâ€¦
I first visited this market about two or three weeks after it opened. It differentiated itself in that it started out mostly with vendors offering primarily homemade specialties rather than produce, seafood and meats. It was really more like a bazaar of what the best kitchens in Makati had to offer. As such, it was a bit â€œsosyalâ€ and it was perhaps the only market where some people actually thought about their clothing before they got there! Another telltale sign of its â€œbreedingâ€ was the late hour at which it used to get crackingâ€¦ around 8:30 AM or even later. Yikes. I was usually done with marketing and back home snoozing by 8:30 AM! Nevertheless, I completely support the concept, I am thrilled someone is working hard to make this successful, and I added it to my list of markets to go to on Saturdays.
My early market favorites were enormous ensaymadas (made closer the old-fashioned way that I prefer); the re-appearance of Gil Carandang with his brilliant organic herbs and vegetables; Joey Malana’s varied selection of vegetables from Tagaytay and Baguio; fresh cashew nuts from Palawan; Inengâ€™s barbecue for a meaty breakfast snack; some well selected flowers (from purveyors who admittedly got their stock in Dimasalang and added a hefty premium but I savored the convenience), etc. There was also Gourmet Farms, carabao milk pastillas, nice sapin-sapin, and a superb stall selling bub-bud kabog that, I kid you not, was ferried to the market in a Range Rover! The depreciation alone on the use of the Range Rover added PHP5 to each bud-bud I am sureâ€¦but they were and still are truly superb tasting!
The market is open from 7am-2pm. It is located in the tree shaded parking lot directly across the Three Salcedo apartment building and close to the Makati Sports Club. There are extensive tables and chairs set up under tents so you can enjoy your freshly cooked paella, lechon, barbecue, Korean specialties, etc. while mingling with your neighbors. Kudos to the organizers and letâ€™s hope this is replicated elsewhere in the metropolis!