Vegetable Shopping in the Philippines

Daro Produce Market

One of the great things about living or retiring in the Philippines is the wide variety of fresh, locally grown produce that is available. The Daro produce market is a shining example of this. Open Tuesday’s and Friday’s, it provides a forum for local vendors to showcase their edible wares to the general public.  (The market is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays as well, but the produce has been sitting around in the heat for over a day by then.)  Upon entering the market, you will pass by the two “honey guys” who will offer you thick honey off of the comb in big metal buckets.  If you don’t have a container, not to worry – they usually have empty Tanduay bottles on hand to supply you stock.  The market is dominated by long lines of tables with individual vendors selling piles of eggplant, ampalaya, corn, lettuce, cabbage, scallions, green beans, peanuts, coconut, pineapple, okra, and more – most of it so fresh that there is still soil clinging to it.

Daro also has a “wet market” of a sort, but it is usually only limited to seafood.  And, if you in the mood to pick up some plants for your garden, there is always a huge selection of seedlings along the inside wall. 

If you’re like me and want to save some pesos, it’s usually a good idea to let your better half do the actual buying at the market.  Foreigners sometimes get targeted with an additional “skin tax,” so having your uyab or asawa handle it will usually result in the best prices.   I personally have not been targeted with the expat tax all that much – most vendors are fair (at least in Dumaguete) and the only time I was targeted for a “nose tax” was when I had to purchase a used tire for the Pajero after it got a flat.  I got taken in, but I have to add that another Filipino found out about it, rode over to the tire store and quickly sorted it out, getting me my money back.  Thanks again Quick/Robertson’s Tire on South Road!  You guys rock and will always get my tire business.

Getting good veggies into your diet can be a bit of a chore in the Philippines.  If you are considering retirmement here, don’t expect to get your fill of them at local restaurants, becuase for some reason, even though there are many fresh vegtabled available, you very rarely see them outside of chop suey, which tends to get very old very fast.  One subscriber to our Youtube channel actually suggested that it might be a social status thing – that vegtables are associated with the poorer classes while the richer folks tend to gravitate towards meats (which are more expensive here than in the West). 

So, if you are looking to get good veggie’s into your diet, you are best off cooking them yourself at home.  Stir fries are very easy and it doesn’t add too much oil and fat.  Pinakbet – one of Michell’s specialties – is also very good and stock full of all kinds of local produce.  You just might want to pass on the shrimp paste, however….  



Is retirement looming and you are looking for a way to get more bang for your fiscal buck?  Consider bringing that pension to the Philippines!  Subscribe to our updates to see all about the good and the bad of these 7,000+ sparkling islands!



  1. Great video of market… wish I could purchase veggies at those prices in Philippines.
    I live in Florida.
    I remember when living in NCR, it was great to have fresh veggies from the street markets. I look forward to eating great Filipino foods again. Thank you for great blogs.

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