Every Baguio getaway eventually leads to the Baguio Public Market.
From the usual officemate pasalubongs of peanut brittles, ube jams, choco flakes and lenguas; to mom’s fresh fruits and veggies, dad’s strawberry and rice wines, aunt’s carved home decors (huge spoon and fork anyone?), and sibling’s request for t-shirts; everything Baguio is here, and yes, that includes the infamous Barrel Man too.
From the market’s many entrances, tourists done haggling with vendors stream out lugging huge plastic bags filled with the city’s products. This is indeed the place to go for that last day in Baguio and you’re cramming to buy everyone back home something that would remind them of pine trees.
I’ve been here for a number of times and the alleyways were always dark and somewhat dingy. It was a surprise then that on this last visit, we saw a new face to the market. The usual dark corridors are now gone, replaced by a huge span of curving translucent green roofing. Everything glows green! The place now feels very airy, a big contrast to the once stuffy market.
So we started picking items and shooting them down our own eco bag (yes, we came prepared, hehe). We tried to haggle for the bottled foodstuffs (jams, flakes, lenguas, etc) but it was hard to do so since every stall has the same price for them; they told us that they have standardized the prices among themselves to be fair to every one. Well okay, fair’s fair I guess.
Like every busy marketplace, be it in Manila or on some remote location, alertness is the key to safety. Pickpockets like to frequent these places since it is crowded and busy. Make sure to take note of your belongings.
After an hour and five bags later (our eco bag was not enough), we have completed our lists.
We passed through Maharlika Livelihood Complex where a treasure-trove of trinkets, shirts and carvings can also be bought and finally purchased my personal souvenir, the everlasting ref magnet. This signified the end of our short vacation in Baguio City and it was unfortunately time to go back to Manila.
Baguio City Public Market
Address: Rajah Soliman Street, Baguio City
Open Hours: Daylight hours