Monday, April 27, 2015

The Market Scene in Digos (Digos, Davao del Sur)

As a child, the market wasn't a place of interest. I wasn't encouraged to visit it. It was congested, wet, hot and not the most pleasant place. Fast forward to 2015, I find market visits fascinating because you'll never know what to expect to find - the fruits in season, the flowers peddled, the food stuff available and its slew of very transient characters.

Digos City, some two hours south of Davao City, doesn't feel like a very cosmopolitan place, to be honest. The surroundings seem more rural.

Yellow pedicabs congest the clogged-up streets; one of the "ugliest" road scene I have noticed this side of the Philippines. I have heard that General Santos City is the same. Just the same, I don't like the clutter. The whole road system looks chaotic - no traffic lights and yellow tricycles that zoom away as they please. If this is a sign of urban development, then I'd have to say it is one ugly heck of development. But this is just my opinion.

The market scene on the other hand, fascinates. Let's take the case of a flower vendor who offers 3 roses for just PhP25. Huh? Where in the Philippines do you get red roses, three of 'em, as cheap as that? A trio of anthuriums costs PhP15. Can they get any cheaper?


Then there's a row of fruits selling golden mangoes (PhP55 to 60 per kilo), avocados, bananas (PhP25-35 per kilo), and the seasonal star apple ("kaymito") at PhP25 per kilo. What's interesting is, when I bought 2 kilos of star apples in SM Megamall's supermarekt, they fetched a hefty PhP150 per kilo, and they're not even half as sweet as these 25-peso Digos kaymitos.

Elsewhere, a mangosteen, not in season, costs PhP280 per kilo. Yes, they're plump and juicy, sweet-and-tad-sour wonder, but is almost a king's ransom. When they taste this heavenly, who cares about the cost?

This is the Eye in the Sky!

Very sweet star apples ("caymito", also shown below).

Star apple is also called caimito, abiaba, pomme de lait, milk fruit and aguay. In Vietnam, it is called "vu su'a" which literally means "breast milk". It is "swarnapathry" in Malayalam. There are 3 varieties in terms of color: purple, greenish brown and the very rare yellow which I still have yet to see. The green ones are very sweet. The fruit has anti-oxidant properties.


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