Panabo Market

Panabo market

I love Philippines and all my friends know this already. I love their white sandy beaches, their amazing waters and all the other small things that can make up a unique and unforgettable vacation. But, most of all, I love the people living in this country. Despite their very difficult life, despite all their struggles and fight, hard work and uncertain future, the Filipinos always wear a big smile on their faces, always welcome foreigners in their communities and try to please them as much as they can. Regardless of their age or gender, regardless of their worries and misfortunes in their private lives, Filipinos like to smile. They know better that worrying too much about things which do not work well will only make everything harder… like in the song “When you worry, you make it double/ So, don’t worry, Be Happy”. They are happy by nature, they are good at heart and they never get discouraged.

How could I start my day in a better way, if not in the middle of a happy and very enthusiastic crowd, in the open markets of Panabo? I never get tired of visiting open markets and in Philippines I found some of the most amazing markets in the world. They might be not the cleanest markets, but they surely are the happiest and most colourful markets I have ever seen.

So, after visiting the fish market four weeks ago, and the fruit market eight weeks ago, at 7:30 this morning, I took my loyal friend and bodyguard Joseph and went together with him to buy some fruits from the same market we already knew. As soon as we arrived in the market, I was quite amazed to discover that all the vendors recognized me and started to wave their hands and shout my name. They all invited us to check their products, they even offered me some samples of fruits I hadn’t tried before – like Jack fruit or guava – and promised me they would give big discounts for anything I decided to buy. I didn’t need any discount because all the fruits were already very cheap, I only needed a few minutes to take some photographs of their colourful display and choose a few kilos of mango, papaya and bananas – our favourite fruits. Like I did eight weeks ago, I decided to split my buying in order to have the chance of speaking with more vendors.

Panabo Market

Panabo Market

Panabo Market

Panabo Market

Panabo Market

Panabo Market

Panabo Market

Panabo Market

Panabo Market

Panabo Market

So, I chose 2 kilos of mangoes and one pineapple from one place, another kilo of mango and a few papayas from another and even more mangoes and some bananas from another one. We loaded everything in our tricycle – which was patiently waiting for us – and proceeded to the next destination – the fish market.

We didn’t have a big shopping list this time, but we took a few minutes to walk between all the aisles to see the captures of the day, before choosing the best fish and shrimps. Big tunas were displayed on the tables waiting for costumers (only 100 pesos/kilo ~ 2$/kilo for whole sized up to 6-7 kilos or 200-300 pesos/kilo for steaks), huge amounts of green shells, crabs and shrimps were inviting buyers to take their pick and a happy crowd of floating vendors were moving continuously from one place to another with their baskets full with small vegetables ready to be sold together with the fish for salads or sauces. As I was again the only foreigner in the market, I was the central point of interest, all eyes were on me and all the smiling faces were inviting me to take photos.

Panabo Market

Panabo Market

Panabo Market

Panabo Market

Panabo Market

Panabo Market

Panabo Market

Panabo Market

After we bought everything we wanted, we left the market and returned to the vessel. I am ready now to start another voyage North, towards China. Our fruit provision will last for ~ one week or so, the fish and shrimps will be served on Saturday when we plan to have the well deserved barbeque party everybody is waiting for and I am already looking forward to coming back to Panabo in four weeks time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *