Sunday, November 24, 2013

[Market Walk #1] : Laoag City Public Market

"One of the many places one should explore in visiting a town or city is their PUBLIC MARKET. It is a place of convergence. I must say, It's a jungle in there"

Together with "Nhadj", "Irene" and "Marjes", we went to the Laoag City supermarket to buy food for their stay at the nearby town of Vintar, Ilocos Norte (I am going back to La Union that same day). 

-my pagnapagna-

After some 20 to 30 minutes jeepney ride from Vintar, Ilocos Norte and a short tricycle ride from the terminal of jeep, we finally arrived at the Public Supermarket of Laoag City.
The downtown Laoag City, especially the public supermarket area is bustling with company owned bigger and sometimes fancier supermarkets.

What makes the Laoag City public supermarket stand-out among all the mushrooming mega-company owned supermarket in the area is its diversity in showcasing the ways of life and culture. 

Laoag City public supermarket as well as all other municipal public markets presents life of a certain place in the raw. One can see what they wear, what they fancy for, how they bargain and especially what they eat. The rich, the middle class and the not so rich people all converge in one place to buy things and stuffs that are good for the moment, a day or days to come.

Let me first enumerate the sections of the Supermarket Building:
  • Ground Floor/First Floor - Dry Goods and other stalls of commercial use
  • Second Floor - Stalls of commercial use (Groceries, Bank, Dress shop and Flower shop), Public Market area selling cooked meat (bagnet etc.), fish and dressed chicken.
  • Third Floor - Stalls (Parlor, Groceries), fruits and vegetables, bagoong & patis (fish paste and sauce), chichirias (munchy snacks), jewelries and carinderias (a local eatery)

The adjacent street grounds are then used during the Market Days (usually every Sundays) for selling other merchandise.

Here they sell different kinds of vegetables
Taken from the 3rd Floor of the Supermarket.

Different earthenwares displayed near the plants area
She sells smoked fish and a kind of freshwater mollusk.
Garlic are plenty in the area
Waiting for buyers. Selling  wooden products such as mortars and pestles, washboards and chopping boards.
Merchandize made of metals such as machete and knives
Tobacco dealers. Most of the buyers are the senior citizens
Brown chickens inside a cage
Native chickens "almost to their freedom" .. they are tied at their legs
While selling peanuts, she also sells bananas and seaweeds on the side
I was told that it's very dangerous to gather the seaweeds they use in making "Gamet". That explains the high price.
Fresh seaweeds and the precious "Gamet"- it costs about 400 pesos a mat.
Onions are one of the main produce of the province and the young bulbs are sought after for their sweeter taste.
Young onion bulbs and cooked shredded bamboo shoots

At the Second Floor, we went to the Meat Section where they sell Langonisa, Bagnet and Adobong Bagis, among others.
Miki and its ingredients
At the meat section
Making Longanisa
Adobong Bagis readied for weighing. They put paper for absorbing oils.
The Adobong Bagis is very tasty, although it's high in uric acid,  (I'll be eating at my own  risk! but in moderation)
Still at the meat section
Buying the Bagnet
Bagnet and its popped skin
"Nhadj" buying Bagoong (Fish sauce) at the third level
At one area of the third floor level, they were watching the Pacquiao-Rios fight. I'm also there to take a look.

After exploring the market, while my companions went back to Vintar, Ilocos Norte bringing with them the goodies they bought at the Loag City Public Supermarket, I went to the bus station to get a ride going back to Home Sweet Home
 -end of pagnapagna-

Bagnet - Deep fried to golden brown chunk of pork. Usually the belly area.
Longanisa - A local Filipino sausage made usually of grind pork.
Carinderia - A local eatery
Adobong Bagis - Cooked pig innards, like the big intestine.
Gamet - a kind of edible seaweeds dried and made into mats and somewhat a local version of the Japanese Nori
Buro - a fermented shrimp or fish

For other posts:
Market Explore #2: Bacnotan, La Union
Market Explore #3: Bauang, La Union

Subject  : Laoag City Public Supermarket
Location : City of Laoag
                Province of Ilocos Norte

How to get there:
From Manila, take a 10 to 12 hours bus ride going to Laoag City, Ilocos Norte. Some of the buses are Farinas, Maria de Leon, Partas & Florida.
At Laoag City walk your way going east from the Provincial Capitol or take a tricycle ride from the bus station.
Photo Credits for some of the photos: Nhadj

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