Thursday, April 24, 2008


Besides Divisoria, I notice that Quiapo offers truly affordable prices, especially with certain produce and fruits.

The imported red apples, for example, costs ten pesos each at Hidalgo Street in Quiapo, while the fruit vendors of Salazar Street in Binondo price them at 20 pesos.
The seedless grapes sold by Plaza Miranda vendors for 60 pesos a kilo can at times go for as much as twice that price at leading supermarkets in the city.

A favorite of mine, the yellow kamote, sells for 60-to-80 pesos a kilo at Suki Market at Mayon Steet in Quezon City; whereas, in Binondo, it sells for about 40-to-60 pesos. In Quiapo, it sells for only 25-to-30 pesos a kilo.

I'm not an expert bargain-hunter, but with the current widespread increases in food prices, it pays to keep abreast of where to find certain foodstuffs with lower prices than those at nearby public markets.

And for those who may argue that the extra effort and costs to commute to Quiapo may diminish the potential savings one would make, I suggest doing what most Quiapo die-hard shoppers do -- do your marketing tasks right after attending mass in Quiapo Church.


posted by Señor Enrique at 6:23 AM


Anonymous caryn said...

Hi Senor E! Funny how in Manila, we operate by the 'tumpok' system. hahaha! but i love it how some vendors are often quite charming and throw in a pinch more of this or that for goodwill.

April 24, 2008 8:29 AM  

Anonymous kyels said...

Usually when it comes to fruits or vegetables I prefer purchasing them from the market vendors b/c the price are much lower than the ones selling in supermarkets. I guess it depends on how willing a person would go for a bargain. I know some friends who would just go to a certain shop just b/c the price is a few cents lower. That's quite extreme when you think about it, noh?

April 24, 2008 8:45 AM  

Anonymous bertN said...

My lola and I used to buy fruits from sidewalk vendors near the Quiapo church. Their prices are really cheap but if you are not alert, some of them shortchanged you or bagged less than the number of fruits (apples and oranges) you bought. They were very good at what they do that unless you recount your change or your purchase in their presence, you are cheated with your eyes wide open LOL.

Instead of being angry, I found their trickery amusing and I enjoyed the "game" especially when I catch them cheating. Are they still around or have they found a different way of squeezing profit out of a naive buyer?

April 24, 2008 9:27 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Our typically-Filipino tradition of "dagdag" system does indeed fare well to customers, Caryn.

However, as for the "tumpok" system, I realized that the price of the bunch almost always equals to its per kilo pricing scheme. Nonetheless, for the unwitting and hurried shopper, the tumpok system does appear to be a good, quick buy :)

April 24, 2008 9:48 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Extreme shopping for me, Kyels, would be trekking to the center of Divisoria. Therein lies almost anything you could possibly be looking for and at great prices to boot.

However, it is not for the faint-hearted. The streets can also get muddy even with a slight drizzle. But for store and stall owners, buying their inventory in Divisoria always proves to be a very good deal.

April 24, 2008 9:51 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

I haven't encountered any such characters in Quiapo, bertN. Also these days, it is the buyer who would select each fruit and put it into a plastic bag. The vendor will just check it afterwards. This prevents such "trickery" that you speak of :)

But what happened to me in Binondo was more of my fault. I was too busy chatting with a friend while I was buying some kamote and handed the vendor more money than I thought. I only realized it later on. The vendor never returned the overpayment I made.

I admire your being a sport to those slick vendors ... hehehe.

April 24, 2008 9:56 AM  

Blogger Lawstude said...

The apples look fresh and crisp. It was only lately when i learned how to choose a perfect juicy apple. Since some vendors does not allow you to pinch them, i learned that a gentle knock on the fruits can tell you whether they are fresh or not.

Very good shots as always senor.

April 24, 2008 10:48 AM  

Blogger luna miranda said...

Just what we need this summer...Whatttt (violent reaction)??!! 60 pesos a kilo for the seedless grapes? it's almost 300 pesos a kilo in the supermarket! that is so weird! the price of apples is almost the same in the supermarket.

April 24, 2008 4:14 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Yes, I was told the same way Lawstude ... with a simple "pitik."

It's interesting how I seem to crave for red apples so much here in Manila, but back in the States, I hardly paid attention to them. Friends would even go apple picking in Connecticut and would give me a basketful of them.They'd end up as home decor ... hehehe.

Thanks much!

April 24, 2008 8:24 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Yup ... 60 pesos a kilo, Luna.

But wait a minute, what supermarket are you talking about that sells red apples for the same price as in Quiapo?? SM sells their red apples at a little more than 20 pesos each.

April 24, 2008 8:25 PM  

Blogger Photo Cache said...

senor, is that cucumber with the tumpok sign? i can't distinguish it. it also looks like small opo squash isn't it?

we have seen price increases here too. pretty soon we all could not afford to eat.

April 24, 2008 11:46 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

They're "upo," Photo Cache, or referred to as bottle gourd, I believe.

"... pretty soon we all could not afford to eat."

A scary thought, indeed, but I'd rather envision that we'd explore alternative (healthier) measures. For example, with the price of wheat also on the rise, some local experts are suggesting to blend in "kamote" when baking "pandesal" and other bread products.

And since kamote is cheap and plentiful, not only would it make such baked goods retain their current prices, but they'd make them even more nutritious.

Incidentally, can't truly verify the truth behind this: I was told that adding kamote to our regular dietary regimen helps prevent colon cancer -- local cases of which has now risen at an alarming rate.

April 25, 2008 5:22 AM  

Blogger reyd said...

I hope this food crisis would not last long. I heard from my relatives in Malabon that the rice shortage are affecting our squatter neighbors behind our house. Kawawa daw yung mga batang nakapila since early morning to get their rice supply in the afternoon.
I know there are ample supply of food produce all over Manila Markets, the prices are just rising fast and most of our kababayan would not be able to afford a decent meal pretty soon.
So much for our government on telling how good our economy is and rising GDP.

Well, this is not as bad as during the our RCA days, when we have to buy a kilo of rice and corn together and how ironic that the rice institute is in our country.
Hopefully Pinoys can eat MREs in case we start an emergency food assistance to some affected countries.

:lol: I'm just ranting, I hope everything is fine with you and your family.

Now... I have to catch up with all of yout articles... ang hirap pag walang internet sa disyerto. :D

April 25, 2008 10:10 AM  

Anonymous Mandaragat said...

Hey Senor, is that Upo or Melon?

April 25, 2008 10:56 AM  

Anonymous rhodora said...

"Kawawa daw yung mga batang nakapila since early morning to get their rice supply in the afternoon."

To reyd:
Honestly, napaluha ako sa sinabi mong ito. I am easily touched when it comes to matters about children. Not that I'm a drama queen wannabe or anything. I think it's just me. At siguro dahil nanay nga ako.

Eric, my heart really goes out to those poor kids who have to bear the brunt of daily survival. And to think they did not even ask to be born.

April 25, 2008 11:37 AM  

Blogger Sidney said...

With your Quiapo advertisements I hope you get your fruits and vegetables for free from those Quiapo street vendors! ;-)

April 25, 2008 4:14 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Yes, I've heard of similar stories, Reyd -- many people lined up for the cheap NFA rice for hours only to be told they've been sold out.

This price increases in basic consumer goods may usher in a bright side as well -- people may become more aware and thus, explore alternative foodstuffs that are even more nutritious.

All is well over here, Reyd. Trust your enjoying the warmer weather where you are.

April 25, 2008 7:50 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

I believe they're Upo," Mandaragat.

April 25, 2008 7:51 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

I share your sentiment, Rhoda.

April 25, 2008 7:51 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

With the price increases, Sidney, I'm now too embarrassed to ask for discunts or "dagdag" as I used to ... hehehe.

April 25, 2008 7:53 PM  

Anonymous danii said...

i like how you can also find cheap calamansi at quiapo :)
perfect for calamansi juice this summer! calamansi at the supermarket is so expensive eh.

April 25, 2008 9:11 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Many thanks for mentioning calamansi juice, Danii :)

I was in Quiapo again today and saw plenty of calamansi, but it didn't register in my mind to get some to make some refreshing calamansi juice.

I'll definitely buy some the next time.

April 25, 2008 9:22 PM  

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Life in Manila as observed by a former New Yorker who with a laptop and camera has reinvented himself as a storyteller. Winner of the PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS: Best Photo Blog in 2007 and three Best Single Post awards in 2008.


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