Whoever said that you cannot eat in wet and smelly markets? Marketing for the weekly food supplies is a serious and tiring endeavor. One can get really hungry and thirsty. Thankfully, there are a few carinderias inside the Cebu Carbon wet market which is a God-send for most people because it is cheap and very filling.
I decided to go out of the wet market to look for the vegetable area just a few meters away but in a different complex called Taboan. Make sure that when you come visit Carbon market , you dress simply, avoid wearing jewelries and do secure your wallets and phones at all times as this is not the safest area to be in.
Thank God this is an open air market because the malodorous aroma of these two Filipino delicacies put together in one area like this plays havoc on your nose and can make you feel nauseous if you aren’t familiar with it. It’s either you love it or hate it. Imagine rotting and fermenting fish in salt brine and left for 30-90 days in room temperature. The smell can kill you but somehow when you eat it with rice, boiled bananas or camote with fish, it works! I have grown to love this bagoong (sweet krill) but so do flies so I consume it very sparingly.
It is rather a very hot day and I am getting sweaty and thirsty exploring the streets of this market so it was pleasant to come by this vendor selling Del Monte pineapple juice with the juice cans displayed on his makeshift portable beverage store on bike as an advertisement. The P10/glass pineapple juice was cold, sweet and diluted but nevertheless refreshing.
These two cheerful old dames have become great friends through the years. Tobacco Lady sells tobacco and lomboy leaves for smoking. Bag Lady has been an old client for tobacco and lomboy leaves. When I arrived they were both chatting gingerly as old women are wont to do with low voices only they can hear. They were both putting some tobacco inside the lomboy leaves before rolling it slowly when I asked to take a photo of them. The lady selling the tobacco asked me if I smoked. I told her I don’t but I bought a tobacco leaf anyway worth P10.00/leaf. In retrospect I wish I had bought more so Tobacco and Bag Lady could go home sooner to be with their families.
Me, with my purchases from the Carbon & Taboan market. A parol made of glittery material, a tobacco leaf, camote-que for snacking (I got hungry walking around taking all the photos) and a Batik piece of cloth for my future travels.
Cebu Carbon Market
M.C. Briones St.
Cebu City, 6000