I love weekend markets, never mind if I have to go there groggy from my graveyard shift. These places start very early, and itâ€™s well-advised to go there as early as 6 am, so as not to miss the morning bustle. This was how I found myself in Quezon Cityâ€™s Lung Center of the Philippines Sunday market yesterday.
What can I sayâ€¦. a tiangge or bazaar in the middle of hospital grounds? Tell me again. Comparisons to the Salcedo weekend market in Makati come to mind. Salcedo is clearly for the condominium -living, well-heeled crowd; this one was more hoi-polloi. Youâ€™d be better off blending here if youâ€™re a â€˜cowboyâ€™ and don’t mind being seen in your sando, shorts and slippers. Also, the Lung Center market is definitely more sprawling. Itâ€™s more than just about food, and food-related products. Cas, a newspaper colleague I bumped into, told me everything was sold at the Lung Center market, â€œfrom the common nail to an aircraft carrier.â€ Thatâ€™s just a figure of speech of course. But itâ€™s true that on some days, some fella can just park in there, auctioning a boat or vehicle!
The Lung Center Sunday market does a good job of showcasing culinary specialties from the regions. I had a breakfast of rice and kinunot sa pagi ( stingray cooked in coconut milk with malunggay leaves) at the stall of Tita Norm which specializes in Bicolano dishes. Likewise, I saw various kinds of longganisa (sausages) from the provinces (Baliwag to Lucban), pancit habhab from Quezon, tuna from General Santos, bagnet and empanada from Ilocos, etc.
IKEA Philippines has a stall at the weekend market. They were selling a few household items like clocks, knives and lamps. For bigger items like furniture, one would be well-advised to visit the large IKEA showroom at 23 Calvary Hill St. New Rolling Hills Subd., 9th St. New Manila, Quezon City. The lady manning the display told us the local IKEA is not branching out into the mall soon to keep their prices down!
IKEA New Manila’s opening hours: 10 am to 7pm (Monday to Saturday), 2 pm to 7 pm (Sundays). Telephone number 412 3112. or visit newmanila23.multiply.com.
Watch out also for the corner selling vintage and other pre-owned items from Ferragamo, Vuitton, Celine and other designer brands. You never know what bargain awaits you at every corner. What you can’t find on eBay, you may find here, huh! The Sunday market also offers export overruns on clothes, jewelry and accessories.
Pokemon figures were in the house! Had to scoop some for my Pokemon-crazed son. They were selling for only P20 to P40 a piece.
Hobnobbed for a bit with Education Secretary (and Batanes political stalwart) Butch Abad, shown here with newspaper columnist and book author Nelson Navarro. Sec. Abad was by his lonesome self and didn’t even come with a chaperone. Naturally, he was sympathetic but wasn’t at all surprised with our Batanes experience. “Being stranded in paradise is the best thing.” Ouch.
More Lung Center Sunday market photos:
Colorful mats and native woven bags from Leyte.
Box of assorted kakanin (native desserts) makes for perfect pasalubong, at only P200. Featured are quarter portions of ube halaya, biko pandan, bibingka and cassava cake.
Stall selling artwork and home furnishings from the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia
The Lung Center bazaar also sells fresh fish and seafood products, meat like Batangas beef, plants and flowers, as well as birds and exotic animals.
Check out the Lung Center tiangge & Sunday market at the hospital grounds in Quezon Avenue. Quezon City. Open from 6 am to 1 pm. Parking is available and costs twenty pesos.