Every Sunday, the parking lot of Legaspi Park (in Legaspi Village, Makati) gets filled with stalls that sell almost every imaginable thing. I’ve been there several times already, am familiar with most of the items, but I still get lost since I find myself absorbed with all the colors, smells, and textures of the weekly market.
It is a meeting place of large scale concessionaires, traditional cottage industry businesses, eco-activists, mom-and-pop store owners, florists, bible school evangelists, orphanage benefits, artists, and collectors. And that is just one half of the populace.
These sellers get to know as regulars not just the residents of the surrounding villages, but people who have just come from early-morning marathons, dog lovers, families, groups of friends who pass by before going to the mall, churchgoers, foodies, and fellow members of creative communities.
I usually go before lunch, with friends or family. Though it is not hard to be immediately drawn to the Spanish, French, and Filipino dishes served – not to mention the fresh seafood and produce that can be brought home for personalized recipes – my first stop is always the dry goods section.
There I find leather articles like bags and sandals, antiques, exotic jewelry with beads and stones from Cambodia to Tibet, trinkets, and lucky charms. For homebodies, there are organic soaps, scents, and fragrances, jars, vases, wind chimes, and other sundry things.
Mostly I look for interesting items, such as ethnic figurines made by the tribes of the northern Cordillera provinces. These are sold with foreboding ritual statues used for harvests and burials.
Of course, once I wander into the wine selections and bottled mushroom and fish, my stomach would be grumbling. I would then head to either the pasta stalls for puttanesca or to the Spanish section for lengua. Especially during the dry season, no meal would be complete without ice-cold sugarcane juice or shakes and smoothies from the wide variety of fruits available.
If I would decide to browse again after lunch, I would conclude my visit with dessert, which ranges from baklava pastries to sweet rice cakes (steamed peanuts if I just want something to nibble on).