Sunday Street Market

Sunday Street Market By The Riverside

As colorful as the town’s yearly cultural festivities, the Sunday market by the riverside exudes a vibrant array of produce, people and activities. As early as Sunrise, people from the different towns in Capiz prepare for what’s to become an exciting  event in the city.

Every Sunday, my mom would go to the market with my dad. This is part of their routine every weekend. A routine I took for granted when I was younger.

A Second Chance

Just barely finishing my morning coffee, I heard my mom say, “I’m going to the market. Who wants to go with me?” When I was younger, I wasn’t really into going to the market. If I do need to drive my mom, I would normally just wait inside the car, listening to the radio or reading a book. One or all of my five sisters would tag along with her. Strangely, I heard an inner voice that said, “Go. It’s going to be fun. You are given a second chance to experience a rare opportunity.” I grabbed my slippers and iPhone camera. My parents looked a bit surprised when I went inside the car. My mom looked at me and said, “Are you sure you want to come? It rained earlier and the street is wet and muddy.” I replied excitedly, “Yep, I’m sure.” My mom and dad looked at each other with a confused look. I could almost read their minds that seemed to be saying in unison, “Is he for real?” I told them both, “I miss events like this. I wish to make as much memories as I can.” Somehow I knew they understood what I meant. They both smiled in affirmation. My dad then started the car and off we went to the market.

The Joys Of Tagging Along

Today, it was my turn to tag along with my mom and I’m loving it. So many varieties of fruits and vegetables. Some of which I have not seen for years. More exciting were the people, their stories, the way they sell their products, the rich, interesting human interactions and facial expressions. All these captivated my vision, thoughts and imagination. It’s like watching a movie only it is too real. Every scene is unique, colorful and touching than the other one before it.

The Street Market Vendors And Their Faces

Every Sunday, I would see this woman on the same spot. Braving heat and rain, she patiently waits for the next customer. She sells vegetables and native herbs. More than the produce she sells, I am drawn to her face, particularly the eyes. I can almost see a life filled with challenges, hardships, hope, of love and happiness in the most simplest of things. I wonder if how many people took the time to even look at her face and see the person behind it? How many would bother to ask her story? The more time I spent at the market, the more faces I see. Some are moving while some makes you smile, even laugh.

My mom bought some “Pinipig” from this woman. It almost taste and feels like a flattened rice with a sweet scent. It goes well with milk and sugar with lots of ice. The last time I get to taste one was 10 years ago. Sad? I think so. How can I miss all these?

Street Market And What It Means

The street market is more than just a way for people to sell their goods and earn a living. It is a way of life, a lifestyle if  you will. It is part of the people’s tradition and heritage. It is part of the town’s timeless tradition that only becomes more enriching and interesting as time passes by.

While my mom was busy choosing which vegetables to buy, my dad was busy talking to these ladies. He has a gift in making great conversations. He said something funny that made these women laugh generously.

The Legend Of The “Puso”

“Puso,” as locals called it is the heart of a banana plant. It will open and grow to become the banana fruit. Many legends were inspired by it. One such legend is about a young boy who met a dwarf. The dwarf told him that at midnight, during a full moon, the “Puso” opens up and would drop a single pearl-like nectar. He must catch it with his mouth open. If he does, he will gain superpowers and wealth. So, the boy did as instructed but every time, he falls asleep and miss his chance. He would try everything to stay awake but all went in vain. Back then, coffee or Redbull wasn’t invented yet. Every morning, he would harvest the banana fruits before returning home. His mom would then sell them at the market.

Many years after,when the boy turned into a man, he got tired of waiting and decided to stop. He then told his mom about the whole story as well as the realization that it was never true. That the dwarf lied and tricked him. His mom told him, “The dwarf wasn’t exactly lying.” The man felt confused. His mom held his hand and guided him to a room filled with treasure chests. His mom then told him, “Open it.” The man can’t believe what he saw when he opened the chests. The chests were full of money. He asked her mom, “Where did you get these?” Her mom smiled and told him, “They are the money you earned from all the bananas you brought home for so many years.” She then said to him with pride and joy, “You did find your wealth and the power that comes from hard work.” Beaming with happiness, the man said, “Oh, now I get it!”

A bucket of orchids. These are grown in the backyard of most of the town’s people. I remember that back in the past, when commercial fertilizers were unheard of, crushed egg shells and fresh urine were used to nourish the orchids and for them to bear lots of flowers. It may sound “Yucky,” even unhygienic but it did work. I just don’t know the rationale behind it. Urea or similar elements perhaps?

Bounty from the Sea from shrimps, crabs, shells and a wide variety of fishes. I even saw a small shark which made me shook my head.

There are also live chickens and pigs. At the end of the day, their fate lies on those who bought them.

As I looked back at the market on my way home, I told myself, “That was a lot of fun. I should have done this way back when I had more chances to do it.” As I fastened my seatbelt, I told my mom, “Can we do this again next Sunday?” She replied excitedly, “Absolutely.” Like a little boy who just been to an unforgettable amusement park I told her, “For real mom?” She replied with a smile, “For real!”

Travel Theme: Street Market

I hope you enjoyed this week’s Travel Theme called “Street Market.” Remember, take life’s opportunities as they come. Don’t wait for tomorrow and second chances. Sometimes we get lucky and another chance pops up but not everyone gets a similar luck. Today might be the “only” opportunity for us. So, we should grab it while we can.

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About Island Traveler

A devoted husband and father who tries to make a positive difference in the lives of his family and friends. A person who finds inspiration and strength on those he loves and who loved him in all aspects of his life.
This entry was posted in Culture, Life, people, Personal, photography, Post A Week and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

95 Responses to Sunday Street Market

  1. Lisa at fLVE says:

    This post has so much heart.Thank you for sharing. Beautiful pictures. :)

    • Thank you. The more we open ourselves to what’s truly happening around us, the more we get to see , feel and hope for better things for those who have less materially.

  2. starlight says:

    i love the story and the photographs.. well, my favorites are photos #8 with the old man walking, and #10 “bilao” full of pinipig which brings me memories of my childhood being awakened by the scent of freshly pound pinipig and my lola would prepare “ginamis” a combination of pinipig, freshly grated coconut and sugar and i must tell you, the taste is heavenly..Thinking about it now, i could feel myself drool.. haven’t eaten that in ages.. nice post my friend.

    • I will try to make some delicious, “Ginamis” There’s so much beauty , wonder and yes, heavenly taste bud delights in the Philippines. Sometimes we take them for granted but it’s only when you leave that you truly miss the “real” thing. Thank you.

  3. fgassette says:

    I loved seeding your pictures and learning about your homeland, memories and traditions. We all know now where you get your gift of conversation. Your family and the place where you grew up are wounderful and precious with rich heritage. Thank you for sharing so much with us. I have learned so much about you and your home.


    • Thank you Francine. I guess I did get it from my father although honestly, he is a way better speaker than I am. He has this natural confidence to speak out in public. Not me though. I get nervous when speaking in front of a crowd. Writing is more of my thing. I can be myself without fear.

  4. Wonderful shots!!! I like them all! ;)

  5. What a wonderful composition…colorful pictures and exquisite writing. Thank you for this great piece!

  6. Sabina Brave says:

    Amazing place. Looks exotic for me.
    Have a wonderful weekend IT :)

  7. Elyse says:

    This is a fabulous post, IT. The colors are vibrant and the story lovely. And a myth slipped in right there in the middle! Thanks!

    • Thank you Elyse. I can’t believe that I still remember the myth. But somehow, seeing the “Puso” of the banana inspired me to remember. All the things we heard as children are stored somewhere in our brains just waiting to be unlock and set free.

  8. Beautiful photos. What a blessing to be able to join your parents on a trip to the market – - seeing it thru adult eyes, remembering and capturing it to share with others.

    • Thank you Brooke. My parents taught me a lot of things , one of them to appreciate the simple things around you. To open my eyes to the beauty of life. To appreciate people for their hearts and not with their transient material riches. To have fun in the most unusual places like the market. This was just a glimpse of the many places we’d been too.

  9. imexcited says:

    Great post IT! I love these photos – reminds me of the “palengke” in my hometown. Thanks for sharing :)

    • Your welcome. The “palenke” is an exciting place to be. I really didn’t care if the street I was walking on was dirty or slippery. I was having a wonderful time. I never felt more grounded and at ease. I felt like I can be just me, no pretentions. I know some would find that “crazy.” Thanks my friend.

  10. misswhiplash says:

    Wonderful story and what characters! Thank you so much for sharing this with us all…lots of love

    • Thanks Patrecia. I appreciate the positive feedback. The people of the market were as exciting as the product they sell. Something I don’t see in a modern grocery. Take care.

  11. Stunning photos – I can almost smell the smells and hear the sounds of the market. Thnaks for sharing.

    • I felt the same way writing the post. I actually smelled or imagined I smelled the sweet , delicious “Bibingka” while describing the way it was cooked. Thank you.

  12. I really enjoyed your story. I wish more people would realize the importance of these markets both culturally and for health- especially with the industrialization of farming products. We’ve got a local garden movement happening where I live in corpus christi, texas. Should be exciting to see it develop.
    concerning the orchids, our urine or any urine isn’t the same once the flowers get it. check out the cycle of nitrogen here:

    • Thank you for sharing a generous and informative comment .There is something fun and enriching to learn everyday. The local garden movement in Corpus Christi sounds exciting. Keep us updated.

  13. Cafe says:

    Amazing photos and colours! :)

  14. Northern Narratives says:

    I love all your photos and the people and the colorful atmosphere :)

  15. restlessjo says:

    This is so different to the lifestyle that I know. So compelling the way you tell your stories.

    • Thank you. I felt like living two different lives. One one end, I have the richness of a first world country. exciting yes but has lots of stress and demands. Whereas on the other spectrum, a simple, perhaps challenging life but laid back, generous, warm with lots of people who loves me. A place where I am happy simply because I am and not because I am surrounded by expensive material things.

  16. This post is packed with beauty and wisdom. I loved the photos, that captured true life so well. The personal story about seizing a second chance is important–not just for the enriching experience it provides you, but I know it must mean a lot to your parents too. I loved the story you told about the dwarf and the bananas. Your posts are fruitcake–packed with a colorful variety of fruits and nuts–one never knows what one is going to bite into, but it is all delicious!

    • Thank Naomi. I like the idea of biting into a delicious fruit cake with a twist of excitement and surprise. Life is like a slice of fruit cake, you’ll never know what fruit and nut you’re gonna get or how delicious it’s going to be. I recently ate at Bubba Gump and I got the idea from Forest’s famous saying, “Life is like a box of chocolates, you’ll never know what you’re gonna get,” or something close to that thought.

  17. My word!!! The colors are so vibrant!!! You always capture such bright, cheerful shots. Fabulous photos and wonderful words.

    • Thank you. I think for me, it starts in loving what you do and enjoying every moment of it. I enjoyed each trip to the market , like a little kid in a candy store. The rest ,the people in the market and their products gave generously.

  18. There is nothing better than a bountiful market and you have captured the life in each stall. Spectacular!

    • Thank you. Every stall did have a story to tell. Sometimes it’s too moving , it’s hard to look at it for so long. Like seeing a child sleep on a flattened card board box as his parents tried their best to make a sale so the little boy could have a delicious meal by noon time. It’s humbling experience.

  19. Angeline M says:

    Of all your photos from your trip home, I think these are the best! Maybe because of the opportunity you had to go back and do something you had passed up before? What a blessing.

    • Thanks Angeline. It was a blessing in so many ways. The trip taught me a lot and made me appreciate a lot of things and people in my life. I was actually just rapidly pressing the “burst” mode of my iPhone camera plus. Every part of the market scene was a rich, vibrant subject. I think the camera simply captured what it sees. And what it saw was life in all it’s colorful reality.

  20. Catherine says:

    Wonderful life, colors, and reflection in these pictures and in your writing. Thanks for reminding us of the little things in life. I enjoyed your post!

    • Thank you. I was glad that I made this post cause it also reminded me that happiness can be found in the most simple things. That it’s the little things in life that ends up giving more meaning.

  21. Gilly Gee says:

    What a wonderful post, just look at all that delicious fruit! I always wonder at markets if they sell all their produce and hope so. Also I love your puso legend :-)

    • Thanks Gilly. I do hope that they get to sell all their produce. A lot of them travelled from remote towns, even mountainous areas just to sell their produce. It’s a hard way of life but this is how it’s been for so many years.

  22. Gail says:

    The two things that struck me the most in this post were the striking colors and the evidence of how hard families work there. I would love to experience it firsthand one day. Thanks for sharing your stories of your visit home.

    • Thanks Gail. I always have a soft heart for people who lived a hard and difficult life. I wish I can help them all. Yes, every family member helped each other . Kids learn early how to help their families. It’ s just a part of survival. Everybody just pitch in making sure that at the end of the day, everyone gets to have a piece of a better life.

  23. So true to enjoy the little things and time together. I wish work would remember this sometimes and not push us to our limits so we have to spread ourselves too thin that we can’t do the things we enjoy.

    • Thank you. Life is meant to be enjoyed. I always try to tell myself that. We work so we can have a life and not have our work be our life. We need to enjoy what the day has to offer, to be happy, to be stress free as much as possible, to breathe without restrain and to live without fear.

      • Yes so true… although the powers that be at work forget those lessons and add more and more to the pile and forget to take something away. Many people are not renewing contracts to come back next year for that reason. I did renew and now I wonder am I crazy?
        I try so hard to enjoy life, but I find myself overwhelmed at times and then it reflects on my job. I try hard not to let it get the best of me.

  24. aRVee says:

    Great post like always. I like the colors of the tricycles and it amazing to note that even if we are of the same country each town or city has its own tricycle body type.

    Browsing through your pictures, it’s a joy to see
    >>the “puso” (banana heart) – though the salad is popular but I love it when it’s cooked with egg
    >>the red banana – it’s one of my favorite bananas that everytime I have it on sight, I have to make sure I buy some

    Great to know the legend of the “puso.

    Your dad reminds me of my father, he has that gift of making great conversations. He was a people person and now I am missing him so badly. He died from cardiac arrest, sad to say…

    Thanks for sharing IT… God bless! :)

    • Sorry to hear about your dad. There is no easy way to overcome a loss. I pray that he is in a better place and that all his love ones are doing alright. Your story reminds me that everyday, we should try our best to tell our families how much we love them, more with our parents who are not getting any younger. Every moment is a celebration of joy and love with them. Thanks Bro. Stay blessed.

  25. Sartenada says:

    Great post which I love very much.

    This is not street market, but market anyway:

    Helsinki Market square

    Happy blogging!

  26. Madhu says:

    Another fabulous post! Your words bring your pictures alive! Love the markets and your wonderful stories!

  27. Colline says:

    So bright and colourful :)

  28. GlobeTramp says:

    Hey, thanks for the follow! I absolutely ADORE your posts! X

  29. eof737 says:

    Wonderful! I love market shot… so much color and food to see. ;-)

  30. ristinw says:

    Wonderful post. I wish your kid had a wonderful Children’s Day. :D

  31. Hi, thank you for visiting my blog this morning. I appreciate it :)
    I loved the pictures of the market…one of my favourite things about Taipei, where I live, is that you can still find traditional fruit and vegetable markets in amidst the skyscrapers and shiny cars. Mango season is upon us now, so I’m in heaven!

    • I also feel like I’m in heaven when I get to taste those sweet, delicious mangoes. It is wonderful to get a glimpse of traditional fruit and vegetable market. We still need to have a feel the beautiful past and old traditions. Thank you Grace.

  32. Barbara Backer-Gray says:

    Hi there, thanks for following my blog. Barbara

  33. The Guat says:

    Once again your pictures are awesome and tell such a great story. I do miss tagging along with my Dad. Little things like that — market shopping — make good memories. Good post.

    • Thank you. I do miss moments like that as well with my parents. Sometimes I asked myself, “why do we have to grow up? Why can’t we be kids forever?” Oh, well, we can’t have everything , right? I wish you all the best.

  34. Isn’t it fun to return to a place with new eyes? The wonder of a place that inspires fills the heart with joy and gratitude. Your photos say so much. Thank you for following Redemptions Beauty, its nice to meet you. Enjoyed looking around here.

    • Your welcome. It’s always a fun and inspiring discovery to meet other bloggers and share their world. There is always something to learn everyday. thank you.

  35. rommel says:

    That is way way better than the Gaudalupe Street Market! Hehehe
    Love the story, IT esp. the energy drinks punchline. LOL

    • The energy drink kind of just pop up in my head. I would like to see images of the Gaudalupe Street Market. I have to browse in your past post, perhaps you have a post about it . Thanks Bro…

  36. ailsapm says:

    Absolutely gorgeous photos and such a lovely story. That top photo is fascinating with all those brightly coloured vehicles, I love it! xxx Ailsa

    • Thank you. The first photo is the church that I grew up with. Tricycles line up to wait for the parishioners after each daily church service. Tricycles are the main source of transportation.

      • ailsapm says:

        Tricycles are way cooler than taxis or buses. :)

      • I agree. They also can fit small streets and carry more people than an average taxi…which makes me shake my head every time how it can handle all that wait. The ingenuity of those who made this machine is simply amazing.

  37. dadirri7 says:

    such a treasure to share with us, your memories, the stories, people, traditions, and all the beauty of the photos of a colourful market, centre of life in the district where you now return to visit after your years away!

    • Thank you. It is a festive moment every Sunday. I still have so much to share but it won’t fit in one post. There is no limit to what possible events and inspiration a street market can bring.

  38. auntyuta says:

    It’s absolutely wonderful how popular these markets are. I’m glad you took the opportunity to take lots of pictures. The pictures show the life and colors of the place. Thank you for the pictures and for telling us some memorable stories as well.

    • Thank you my friend. I realized now that in the end, it’s our memories and the physical pictures that will remind us of how beautiful the past had been and that we were blessed to be a part of something, for someone. So, yes, more pictures, more reasons to celebrate a beautiful life.

  39. Patti Kuche says:

    How lovely for you to see the market again after all these years and to become re-acquainted with such spectacular vibrancy and to think of putting all those wonderful foods together for a feast later in the day!

    • Thanks Patti. I felt blessed and fortunate to once again experience all of these. It’s been so long that I forgot how it felt like being there and totally engaging to whats happening around me. Festive and fun!

  40. shoes says:

    I love the way you entwine your story with the photographs, the past with the present. Truly amazing images. Thank you.

    • Thank you. Somehow my past keeps coming back and merging with the present. Perhaps I’m not ready to let go of the beautiful memories that I hold dear to me. Perhaps I won’t ever. I believe good things/events/people/experiences should never be forgotten. All these will serve as an inspiration to our life’s journey.

  41. blastedgoat says:

    Those pineapples look fantastic! The photos are beautiful I would definitely love to visit this market :)

  42. Colorful shots! And I agree, it is good to take risks because if you do not try, then you are stuck with “What if?”

  43. Freedomborn says:

    Hi island traveler, amazing pictures of your markets, and interesting memories of your childhood, fables of course have been around for many, many centuries or as sometimes called folklore and old wives tales but of course we thank God for His blessings not luck, how sad man often forgets to do so and sadly at one time in my life I was the same.

    Christian Love from both of us – Anne

  44. Thank you Anne. Your words comes out like a wonderful blessing. Full of warmth and inspiration. In the end, its God’s infinite goodness that will prevails. We do our best and God does all the rest. And more likely, his is amazing beyond our imagination. God bless you and Ron.

  45. You had a wonderful Sunday while you were at the “Street Market” and I had a wonderful Sunday looking at the abundance and variety of foods. The people look like they a hard workers and dedicated to what they do. The Puso story is what makes families so unique from another. I always ejoy your photo’s and their interesting stories. Very nice entry, Islande Traveler for the challenge.
    Blessings …

    • Thank you my friend.The “puso” story is a wonderful reminder that simple life and embracing your roots can bring a sense of joy. That there’s so much to go back to on places we grew up with. The street market was an amazing experience. I felt blessed to be part of it, transient it may be. Take care.

  46. Sunshine says:

    Open markets are so full of life and you captured this feeling very well. We lost a lot of human interaction when the sterile super markets took over. I guess that’s why farmer’s markets are always wonderful to shop at.
    China towns are also fun places to shop and discover new foods…thank you for sharing your life history…

    • Thank you Sunshine. I believe that is true. Modern convenience can be good, even great but we should never loose that piece of human interaction and history. And I agree Open Market, May fairs and China Town’s are fun, exiciting, colorful.

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