It’s been about a decade since I last set foot in Baguio so I no longer knew what to expect. Over the years people have been saying that it’s become too crowded and the traffic too heavy that I never really made plans to go visit.
This year though, a friend was getting married in Baguio and so I took it as a chance to revisit the city and rediscover its charm.
Our first stop was the market. It was my first time there and I was so happy that Arnaud and I went. The various areas were clean and the vendors friendly. There were so many fruits and vegetables. Not only were they a lot fresher, they were also a lot cheaper compared to those in Manila markets and groceries.
As much as we wanted to buy a lot more veggies, we couldn’t. We were going home by bus and it would be inconvenient. I wanted to bring home some of the local rice they had which looked so appealing!
Even the meat and fish section of the market looked clean. I really wanted to take home some of those longganisa (sausages) but again, was limited by what we could carry.
The market is busy even late in the morning. Workers go in and out bringing huge baskets and sacks of produce.
All of sudden an energizing scent led me to a treasure cove of caffeine. I found two stores right next to each other selling coffee beans! Hallelujah!
I could see the giant burlap sacks of coffee beans at the back. They would refill the glass cases out front with warm, freshly roasted beans. Ah, heaven. The locals are so lucky to have such good coffee right in their local market!
Once you give them your bean of choice they will weigh the desired quantity and put the beans into an old-fashioned grinder. You can even choose to mix beans to create your own blend!
I bought half a kilo each of Benguet and Sagada coffee and chose to keep them separate. I can always mix them whenever I want to.
And since we’re in Baguio, the flower market is not to be missed. We didn’t take too many photos because we didn’t take long in there. Arnaud did take a photo of Everlasting garlands and I told him how they make your neck itch so bad. This inside info comes from the fact that I was made to wear them a few times in the past during school recognition ceremonies.
Then there’s the fruit section. Everything looked so fresh and so good to eat: oranges, local blueberries, and most especially, the strawberries. We got half a kilo for PhP 200.00 so we could enjoy them at the park. I could already imagine putting them on top of waffles or pancakes but the vendor said ripe strawberries go bad really fast and are not ideal for travel. Boohoo!
There were also a lot of local woven fabric, wooden products, and baskets ideal for home use and decoration. We swore we’d come back for those someday so we could buy stuff for the flat.
Visiting the market is a must when you’re in Baguio. It reveals a lot about the unique character of the city and the life of its people. So the next time you’re in Baguio, bring your shopping bag and get lost in the public market.