Recently we ventured out on our ‘Exploring the Markets’ Adventure once again. I had been talking to one of my Filipino friends about markets and she mentioned the Cubao Farmers Market that was large and meant to be quite good. I got online and did some research.
The Cubao markets are one of the oldest markets in Manila. It is housed in a building that is apparently (no solid evidence here sorry) one of the first shopping malls. The building underwent a renovation when the Metro Rail System was put through during the 1990’s, turning it into a great two story open space perfect for a market setup. From my understanding, this is a farm direct market and it is in the heart of Metro Manila which makes it easily accessible to the public.
On arrival we walked in through one of the entrances and down a corridor. We were met as expected with the pungent stench of raw meat sitting in humid heat. It was like a rabid beast laid waiting for its next victim. Energy building as it got the scent of its oncoming prey. As we ventured deeper into its lair, out it leapt and engulfed us with a force that made me draw in a deep breath and physically stop and step back. I needed a moment to reorient myself. Onwards we walked, the children holding their noses. Despite the smell which is unavoidable, the meat looked fresh. At the other side of the ground floor was the seafood and I was amazed that this putrid stench that was consuming every sensory receptor in my body stopped suddenly and we
were met with the cool scent of the ocean. The seafood section was surprisingly fresh. I had read that it was yet I expected that pungent fishy smell to take over and fight with the putrid meat smell for our lives. Not so. Nothing really but the scent of the sea which indicates fresh seafood. Piles of lovely green mussels, scallops, fish, clams, crayfish. SB who loves his seafood was in heaven.
Walking down the street on our way to find a taxi home, we found a little bakery selling a traditional Pinoy pastry called Hopia. We watched with interest as thebaker was taking freshly cooked pastries out of their moulds. I brought a box of Mongo (Mung Bean Paste) Hopia which were still warm and we headed home. BB really loved eating these. We were pretty happy with our new discovery and are excited to plan regular trips back to this market to get our fresh produce.