Sunday Legazpi Market

Last week was a bit crazed and I returned to Manila from legaspi1an overnight trip to Cebu somewhat exhausted. Some large convention cornered all the rooms in the city on Thursday night so I had to settle for a room at the Waterfront Hotel at the Mactan airport. The room was substandard with yellow brown water in the taps and toilets, the shower head filled with scum, several light bulbs were out and the room was musty and foul smelling. At PHP 4,800 a night, it was not good value. Other things happened during the stay but suffice it to say I will avoid the Waterfront hotel like the plague in future. As a result, back in Manila I slept like a log and completely missed my early wake up hour on Saturday morning to hit the markets. This was a good excuse to finally check out the Legazpi market in Makati on Sunday…

My residual foul mood caused by the foul hotel room may have been to blame, but my initial reaction upon hitting the Legazpi market was that I should return in 2-3 months and see what it was like then. leg4Patterned after the successful Salcedo market on Saturdays, this recent addition to the Makati market scene is in its early stages. Perhaps 70-80% of the vendors offer packaged or prepared/cooked foods and it is best described as a food bazaar rather than a market. Until a critical mass of customers emerges, prepared food is less risky than fresh and perishable farm and sea produce… but it makes for less interesting shopping as far as I am concerned. Many of the stalls carry branded food stuff and to me that is less appealing… who wants baked goods that may be sold in the mall on any given day? Finally, the location seems less appealing than the Salcedo market – it feels like you are on a hot open parking lot – which you literally are (same is true for Salcedo but it doesn’t feel so exposed).

A big plus is that the organic producers who used to sell in leg2the market organized by Mara Pardo de Tavera in Greenbelt are mostly here…and it’s nice to see them in force… There were some nice herb and fruit selections on offer. Overall there was far less produce or fish than is necessary in a good neighborhood market, but that’s my opinion. Generally speaking I am wary of Sunday as a market day as I find most produce seem to be harvested on Thursdays and Fridays and is freshest in the city on Friday/Saturday. This theory is bolstered by the fact that I have tracked several vendors from Friday through Sunday in different markets and it does not appear that they are always stocking the freshest or most recently arrived produce, particularly on Sundays. Also, most people in Manila must entertain on Fridays and Saturdays (and possibly Sunday lunch) so they would be shopping a day or so before.

During my visit I spied some interesting looking ukoy (photo up top) leg3though almost certainly colored, a vendor selling tapang usa and baboy damo (cured deer and wild boar meat), some native (organic) eggs, several interesting ingredients such as dairy products, muscovado sugar, honey, etc. and one modest sized seafood vendor. There was also a flower vendor, some basket shops and other native goods. I am hopeful that over the coming months this market expands and has a wider variety and deeper selection of fresh produce.

I spent just 20 minutes at this market on my initial visit. leg5I walked up and down all the “aisles” and re-connected with some old organic sukis. I purchased about 1/10th of what I would buy at the FTI Saturday market and about 1/4th of what I might spend on a typical visit to the Salcedo market. Maybe it just needs some time to grow into its own… will have to check it out again in a few months! If you would like to visit, the market is in the parking lot in the middle of Legazpi Village in Makati. There is ample parking or you can park on Legazpi street and nearby streets.


16 Responses

  1. I had been wondering about this Legaspi market and how it was…thanks for the full report! I have also heard that there is an weekend organic market in Eastwood (in Libis)…have you heard of it? Just heard it in passing so am not 100% sure…

    Sorry to hear about your bad hotel experience…sounds horrid!

  2. yikes, that hotel stay sounds like something out of a horror movie! OTOH, i would have welcomed a bite of that ukoy, though colored — i rarely ever get the small shrimp here so it’s been years since i’ve had some authentic ones:(

  3. About the organic market in Eastwood: it’s really, really tiny, maybe 15 stalls arranged in a small courtyard. There are a few fruit vendors, a couple native snack and rice cake vendors, and a few stalls selling organic cookies and whole grain bread — in short, nothing that you can’t find elsewhere presented with greater variety and abundance.

  4. In your meat curing you are adding kosher salt/rock salt. Nowadays you cannot buy rock salt anywhere,they are all iodize. Are they one and the same ?If not, where can I buy the salt you are using?
    More power to your website ,it has been a useful info to us.

  5. You can still buy rock salt in the wet markets, it’s very cheap. I also sometimes buy it straight from the salt farms in Batangas, by the roadside. I do not use iodized salt for the curing. Also, more expensive but excellent is the kosher salt (imported and kosher for Jewish dietary/religious beliefs) that Rustan’s grocery in Rockwell carries. At PHP120 for a box, it is pricey but excellent and the box goes a long way…

  6. I would like to inquire how to be part of salcedo market/legaspi market. My sister in law and I would like to know if how much is it to rent a stall for our product.

    Thanks and best regards,

  7. Swellyn, you can approach the market organizers directly to apply for a slot. At Saledo, look for marc Medina at the organizers table every Saturday. However, I understand there are over 300 people on the WAITLIST. The cost is negligible, its the products you are selling that will be of interest to the organizers. At Legazpi, I am not sure if there is a waitlist…just go directly to the market and inquire there. Good Luck!

  8. Hello there.
    I need to speak with Ms. Mara Pardo de Tavera. I want to put an organic market in my place. I hope this would reach her.

  9. i would like to ask some tips from you on how to start on selling in markets such as the legazpi market. If ever, i will be selling Pancit Palabok, it will be my first time! i really dont knowhow much to produce and all that! please help

  10. hello,

    we will go back from India next week and plan to sell stuffs in the legazpi/salcedo market before we go back to our respective provinces. do you think the organizers already have an email so we can ask them in advance for a slot? thanks much for the info

  11. gud day!….it’s really very interesting, i also want to join the market as a seller how can i get in touch with the organizer?…please send me the info…tnx!



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