29 Apr2005

The Sunday Market at the sprawling Philippine lung2Lung Center compound near Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City is fantastic! A reincarnation of the Sunday market located at the Sidcor parking lot on Edsa near Cubao, it has grown tremendously and offers an impressive selection of vegetables, fruit, seafood, meat, plants, dry goods, native delicacies, cooked food and even pets! I used to frequent the Sidcor market several years back and wasn’t really sure where they had relocated to until I read an article several months ago that they were now at the Lung Center. Since I have to drive from way across town to get there I kept putting off a visit until early last Sunday. The drive was actually painless… it took just 15 minutes to get from the South Superhighway to Quezon circle at 6ish in the morning with no traffic at all. I proceeded to get lost and circled the circle twice until I saw a traffic aide who then pointed me in the right direction. The market actually has an entrance facing Quezon Circle but it’s best to park inside the compound, entering through gates on Quezon Avenue.

The market has several hundred vendors, probably over 200 at least, and the selection is really extensive. My photos on this post are of all the really neat things I found and while that lung6may portray the market as a bit esoteric, that is not the case at all. First up, is produce. There is an extensive selection of vegetables from all over, including several vendors who are my suki’s in the Taguig and Makati area. Seems they bring their vegetables from Baguio, Tagaytay and elsewhere and set up in two markets every weekend. I even spied some of my market regulars who have stalls at the Market!Market! Mall in Fort Bonifacio selling at the Lung Center. While a lot of the produce looked great, I have this one nagging negative feeling that they are second picks in that they probably arrived from the province on Friday, had already been partially sold on Saturday at other outdoor markets then the remainder makes it to the Lung Center. That may be only partially true for some of the vendors, but other vendors clearly brought the freshest stuff to sell that Sunday… great finds included truly abundant pako (fiddlehead fern) which is really unusual at the height of summer as they generally like the damp rainy season, terrific tasting mangoes, delicious native bell peppers, etc.

What really floored me were the lung1“exotics” (to me, at least…). I stopped and did a double take on a vendor who was skinning a fat frog! Yes, a frog! I looked down and saw two nets or sacks filled with fat Kermits. My photo isn’t great (they weren’t terribly photogenic in their monochromatic skins smushed side by side) but I did capture their unusually colored eyes. I enjoy deep fried battered (as in flour, not abused, silly) frogs legs but seeing the buggers alive and getting skinned is another story. I mean how many people shopping at SM Grocery have seen a headless chicken running around bleeding before its feathers were plucked? The vendor was insisting that I photograph him skinning a live frog but I declined… too early in the morning for blood and gore. Hadn’t even had my first Diet Coke! Along with the frogs was an abundance of kuhol (black river snails) which apparently often come from rice fields and not rivers. It’s a dish (kuhol sa gata) that is omnipresent in Filipino restaurants but not something I have ever cooked at home. Apparently you have to puncture the tip of the shells before cooking so that the meat inside is easily extractable. It was great to see these offerings in the market.

The market also had a large selection of seafood, lung3 including some spectacular looking lobsters – the rock lobsters with bluish shells rather than the shallower dwelling mud variety. The same vendor also had ulang (giant freshwater shrimp) complete with its long thin claws (see my earlier entry on ulang) and alimasag (blue crabs). They had several types of seaweed on offer along with live tilapia, hito (cat fish) and deep sea fish such as tanguige and blue marlin. One vendor was roasting large tilapia on a grill that looked really enticing…

The market also had a smattering of cooked lung4delicacies, including breads and cakes, sweets and kakanin (rice cakes), carinderia style eateries, leche flans (crème caramel) and sumans on offer. In fact, the mix of vendors was a little unique and aimed at a wide audience of buyers. The people who go to this market must represent a relatively broad cross-section of society, though that may be a stretch as most probably came in cars while some were definitely commuters. I also found a vendor who was selling freshly made bagoong (shrimp paste) from enormous pails without a heavy dose of food coloring, bottled patis (fish sauce) and guinamos (fermented fish fry). One vendor also had longganisa hanging by the dozen from ropes above her stall…

I didn’t get a chance to stray into the plant section lung5but I did see a lot of people leaving with pots of flowering plants, small trees and other garden ornamentals. There were several bird vendors and got this nice photo of a colorful bird on offer, hoping some kind person would take him or her home, keep it locked up but fed with birdseed, fruit and water on a daily basis… Overall, I was really impressed. What a terrific Sunday market for the residents of Quezon City and anyone else who wants to drive or commute to get there. Though the market is a bit more disorganized than others I have been to, the breadth and depth of its offerings easily makes up for the slight chaos that greets you when you get there. Arrive early if you want to get the best picks. I got there at 630a.m. and it was already bustling.

 

COMMENTS:

  1. schatzli says:

    I would never believe this exist right in the heart of QC, when we visit this year we will be staying with my family at Old Balara, this will be on my list to visit.
    Thanks MM for all the info, those Kermits are not very
    likeable…
    You know I have stopped eating rabbit when I saw them being skinned.
    We will probably go out of Oslo to see a small scale organic farm. too busy to blog these days, though I have a lot of interesting story to tell ;-)
    Have a great weekend

    Apr 30, 2005 | 1:11 am

     
  2. Heidi P. Magnaye says:

    Ever since I discovered the Sunday Market at the Lung Center, I really make it an effort to visit every other week. There a variety of items that can be bought. Very reasonably priced too. They have a section of wet market, fresh fruits and vegatables & also a array of dry market items, mostly Divisoria items.

    Suggestion in parking, enter the National Kidney Institute Hospital (along East Avenue) and park in their parking lot (P20 for 3hrs) and you will see the different stalls in the adjacent Lung Center Parking Lot.

    I really encourage everyone to check out this Sunday Market.

    May 2, 2005 | 7:23 am

     
  3. LIZA says:

    try the vacuum-packed tilapia fillets at INENG’S BBQ. the fillets are soooo good…melts in your mouth.

    May 16, 2005 | 2:23 pm

     
  4. Marievic Bonoan says:

    Hello,

    Very nice article on SIDCOR! Who do we contact to be able to sell our products at SIDCOR? Thanks!

    Marievic

    Jan 9, 2006 | 2:56 pm

     
  5. isaac says:

    i’m interested with that kind of business. Pls help me to know
    how can i talk to the organizer regarding the booth and the arrangement.

    Feb 5, 2006 | 1:52 pm

     
  6. mariselle says:

    please help me to know whom will i contact regarding the stall in lung center. i would like to sell our product. it will be a great help.thank you!

    Oct 18, 2006 | 7:21 am

     
  7. aloi says:

    i only just went, can you believe, after having lived in QC for years! its incredible, and quite a surprise to get all these goodies right in QC.

    they do charge 20 pesos for parking and the crowds are insane. oh, and there are some nice antiques too!

    May 20, 2007 | 11:07 am

     
  8. sara says:

    hi.. i just visited the place recently and its really interesting, would u happen to know where i could join as a concessionaire? =) thanks

    Aug 17, 2007 | 12:20 am

     
  9. hiyasmin bravo says:

    i’d like to be part in the market… what are the requirements? please help me…. thanks a lot…..

    Aug 27, 2007 | 5:26 pm

     
  10. Yeng says:

    wow i never realized that there is a market in the heart of QC, better visit that..

    Sep 21, 2007 | 4:13 pm

     
  11. ann c. says:

    hi. . . i’m interested to sell my products at lung center, pls help me whom will i contact regarding the stall there. . thank you.

    Mar 10, 2008 | 4:27 pm

     
  12. Cecilia L. Reyes says:

    Hi! May I know the contact person and contact no. of Sidcor. I am interested to sell my product. My contact no. is 3732158 and 0917-5329342. Thank you very much.

    Jun 5, 2008 | 6:55 pm

     
  13. jerina de jesus says:

    Hi! I am interested to sell my product do you know someone who i can talk to about it and his/her contact details.My contact no. is 09173309421. thank you very much. please email me about the details thanks.

    Jun 29, 2008 | 2:44 pm

     
  14. Joseph Raymond B. Manuel says:

    Are there such items at this sunday morning market like soy cheese and chipotle peppers? I mean rare ingredients coz’ I can’t seem to find these within quezon city and grocery stores. To cut it short(hispanic,indian or american ingredients). Hope someone replies to this thanks!

    Jul 24, 2008 | 5:05 pm

     
  15. Joseph Raymond B. Manuel says:

    As a follow up to my previous post/question, if such items are not found @ the sunday market can anyone suggest places where I could find specialized ingredients? The only specialized stores I know and go to are Santis, The TAJ and FUJIMART. Unfortunately these stores do not have all the ingredients I need so do help me out thanks! Btw I have IBS so what I eat comes from a book titled; Eating for IBS Diet & Cookbook, by Heather Van Vorous. As you may have guessed most of the ingredients are foreign and uncommon so do help me out thanks again.

    Jul 24, 2008 | 5:11 pm

     
  16. Marketman says:

    Joseph, some of those products are pretty difficult to find in Manila. However, you need to check out Flavors N Spices at Market!Market! Mall, also Terry’s delicatessen, S&R, etc. As far as following a specific cookbook, you may need to translate dishes into local or regional equivalents.

    Jul 24, 2008 | 5:14 pm

     
  17. Joseph Raymond B. Manuel says:

    I have recently checked out Terry’s selection in Podium. Unfortunately I ended up with the same deli stuff as santis. I think SB Market, and commissary central in makati would have the same ingredients as well.

    Although I haven’t checked taguig yet since its quite far from my place haha.

    thanks. If you do acquire information about rare ingredients, do post again. How I wish the store you went to in Cebu is available here in Manila. I forgot the name though its somewhere in this site.

    Aug 29, 2008 | 12:38 pm

     
  18. lynn santillan says:

    i would like to sell our product there. hope ypu can give me the information.
    thanks.

    lynn

    Nov 10, 2008 | 12:17 pm

     
  19. Badette says:

    Hi, we would like to join SIDCOR’s Weekend Market..hope you can provide us contacts.

    Thanks very much..

    Nov 16, 2008 | 1:58 pm

     
  20. joynt says:

    hello, i am also interested to sell some items at the Weekend Market…can you please help me get the contact no. of whoever is incharge? tnx alot..

    Nov 25, 2008 | 10:47 am

     
  21. Kristine says:

    Kindly send the telephone of the head organizer of sidcor.. I’d like to discuss offering him a very nice venue in Libis area at a very low cost.. Thanks

    Feb 5, 2009 | 12:08 pm

     
  22. GenerSumilang says:

    The shells or “kuhol” photos attract my attention,These are the shells we consider not edible! they are pests! we experimented on eating them and their taste is relatively nasty, in addition, the meat when cooked smells fishy and a round bony particle are just on the center part of the meat which is unpleasant while chewing.The original kuhol are already instinct, the one we called edible, they are shiny strong round black, meat is solidified by its mean features, taste is great and no fishy smell. Too bad that todays generation never seen and tasted them,pesticides are accountable for its disappearance…

    Feb 15, 2009 | 5:30 pm

     
  23. jennifer says:

    ay i know whom to contact? i would like to avail of a staa in sidcor market.

    Jun 30, 2009 | 6:37 pm

     
  24. malot says:

    i would like to avail a stall in sidcor market? may i know whom to contact and what are the requirements? thanks alot!!!

    Jul 17, 2009 | 10:30 am

     
 

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