Dumaguete Public Market

One of our subscribers had been requesting that we do a video of the wet market for a while now.  As luck (or rampant insomnia) would have it, Michell and I were both up this morning at 5:00 AM.  Groggily asking her if she was up for coming along, she cheerfully chirped to the affirmative (she actually does chirp when she says “Sure!”) so after a quick coffee – and hoping the dark overcast would cooperate – we clambered on the YBR 125 and sped off into the darkness toward Dumaguete’s sprawling Public Market.

Morning rides are a real treat in the Philippines.  The roads are (mostly) clear of usual manic congestion and the temps are always comfortable – sometimes even a bit chilly as it was this morning.  We arrived as dawn was just starting to climb the horizon, parked the bike, and pulled out the GoPro to get our footage.

 

Outside the Dumaguete Public Market

Outside the Dumaguete Public Market

First stop was the wet market, which our subscriber had specifically requested.  Here you can find just about anything that walks, crawls, swims or wades and is considered (mostly) edible.  The seafood usually starts coming in around 3-4 AM, fresh off the boats, and the glistening scales of the fish are still shiny and their eyes are nice and clear.  Crabs are still clambering around and some of the shrimp are even still alive.  Despite the freshness of the seafood, you still can’t get around the pungent aroma of rotten flesh and produce that surrounds you (especially if you come later in the day).  Sounds kinda gross, right, but hey, it’s just the nature of the food supply.  Just so you know, the actual stench comes from the fact that there is a subfloor under the market where the leavings and leftover meats and produce are hosed down into every night.  It really doesn’t all wash out into the sewage system, so some stays around to putrefy and make shopping in the public market a memorable experience.

 

Yellow fin tuna

Yellow fin tuna

 

Mackeral

Mackeral

 

Squid and rays

Squid and rays

In addition to seafood, there is also chicken (manock) andpig (lechon).  Since this is part of Asia and folks here are not as wealthy as those in the West, all parts of both animals are cut up and offered for sale.  In the video you can see an entire table laid out with organs – liver, heart, intestines,…. you name it.  It doesn’t sound too appetizing, but I am a big fan of BBQ chicken intestines (isaw), so I am OK with the idea of it.  Just not the liver – ick.

 

Market Pig Butcher

From the wet market we went to the produce areas that offer a wide assortment of veggies and fruits to the public.  The prices are a bit higher than the Daro produce market but you can find some great deals if you dig around enough.  Oranges for 50 cents a pound?  Sure, why not?

There is also a cool little flower area in the middle of the market that offers a very nice selection of tropical and temperate blooms that appeals to the discriminating romantic in all of us.  That said, Michell did note that I haven’t ever gotten her flowers in all the time we have been together.  Hmmmmmm………

A quick final aside:  I mention how horrible dried fish smells when it’s being fried.  As I type this, my (nice) Filipino neighbor is cooking some up, and man oh man, the stench……..

 

Blue fin tuna

Blue fin tuna

 

Possessed of the skills that allow you to work anywhere in the world so long as you have an internet connection.?  Do you have a military pension and are considering a tropical time out?  Approaching retirement and want to squeeze the most out of your money?  Consider the Philippines!  Subscribe to our site to get updates on the good and the bad of this remote, sun-drenched archipelago.  

 

Tuna steaks

Tuna steaks

Comments 9

  1. Ned, thank you for posting. I really miss the public market. There is an area on the east side of the market closest to the church and the belfry tower where bud-bud vendors sell their sweetened rice and coconut offerings. I look forward to having breakfast at ‘bud-bud’ row early in the morning whenever I am there for a visit, usually once every other year. But, as I mentioned before, I plan to retire to Dumaguete City in January 2020, and I will be at this market or Daro market frequently for the fresh meat and produce. Again, thank you for your video and commentary.

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  2. Hi Ned and Michelle I hope all is well I was stationed in Hawaii and my Korean friend treated me to authentic Korean food how does philippines food compare to Korean food just wondering because for my sake I hope it a lot better but if not I could lose more than a few pounds take care nick

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  3. Wow found your site–my wife loved the pictures of the fish at the market. Also have enjoyed all of your videos. have not seen them all be will in time. Keep up the good work.

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