A long stretch of Sagada’s main road transforms from a concrete byway to a bustling marketplace every Saturday. This is apparently the Sagadan way of doing their weekly shopping.
Placed on burlap sacks are beans of every kind; spread on tarps, cabbages, potatoes, and other root crops; live chickens on wire mesh cages; clothes, housewares, toys, and almost everything a regular market has, they have it here.
The only thing missing though are the fishes and other seafoods. The only ones I saw were a few smoked fishes like tinapa and tuyo. I was even told that even though tilapias can be grown on ponds, they never really reach a good size. This might be due to the high elevation of the place.
The vegetables are priced really low, I however did not want to lug all those crops all the way down through the 11-hour ride back to Manila so I just had to content myself on looking and taking photographs. Those staying at dorms with access to kitchens on the other hand would have a grand time with all those cheap veggies around. So, for those planning to visit Sagada, time your arrival on a Saturday.
There was also the usual food stands selling hamburgers, squid balls, fish balls and halo-halos. And their halo-halo is really one of a kind too; included with the milky crushed ice and the usual gamut of sweet ingredients are macaronis. Yup, you can have your favorite cold treat with pasta. A few tourists wouldn’t dare try it, but its taste really doesn’t differ that much from the ones we’re accustomed to in Manila.
The streets were busy from the break of dawn up until my jeep to Bontoc started on its way out of Sagada. I was lucky that my vacation ended on a Saturday or I would never have witnessed this unique guerilla-type of market; here today, gone tomorrow.