Wednesdays at Malatapay Market are always abuzz with activity. It is a place where livestock growers, local farmers and fishermen converge to sell their fresh produce. Aside from that there are also other vendors who display an array of merchandise such as plastic wares, household items, garments, slippers, sometimes even cheap children’s toys. It is a whole day fair for the townspeople, shoppers and visitors. Folks from the neighboring towns also take part in the tabo, a local term which means market day.
Food at Malatapay Market
People go there not only to buy or browse around the market but also to enjoy the open air seaside restaurant that is popular for its fresh seafood dishes. There is always a feast of lechon baboy or roast pig that you can buy by the kilo coupled with the strange but delectable puso or steamed rice wrapped tightly in coconut leaves. Cold beer and soft drinks are also on hand.
It is just a simple pleasure to be able to dine by the beach with sumptuous spread of Filipino delicacies before you. Here you can sample crabs, shellfish soup, tinola (fish soup), grilled squid or prawns, and seaweed salad. Of course the fruits especially the luscious ripe mangoes are a big hit too. It is best to bring your own plates, glasses and other utensils when planning to dine there because there is always a shortage of these items due to the great number of people coming in. You would not want to use hastily washed dishes.
Malatapay provides an experience of the traditional Filipino barter system because the locals trade goods within themselves and with vendors who hail from the nearby Apo Island and those who live in the next towns. On other days, Malatapay is an oddly quiet place with not even a hint of activity going on. The market’s exclusive mid week only schedule always makes it something to look forward to for everybody.
You can find fruits and vegetables harvested fresh from the vendor’s land, livestock, and seafood. A beach side restaurant is one of its more interesting features and is always packed with diners. An al fresco lunch would be a choice of grilled fish, squid,or prawns and other Filipino seafood specialties. If this does not appeal much to you, you can have a sample of the all time favorite original lechon baboy or roast pig.
How to get to Malatapay Market
Malatapay is in Barangay Maluay, Zamboangita, Negros Oriental – 30 kilometers south of Dumaguete and a good 20 minute drive from the city. Upon reaching the town you turn left from the national highway to a non asphalted road that could get muddy on rainy days. You will instantly know you are in the right place because even before reaching the actual market, a jumble of products laid out on low tables on both sides of the dirt road can already be noticed.