In a city like Dumaguete, going to the market to buy ingredients for the day’s meals has always been part of almost everyone’s daily routine. As early as four in the morning, people would begin streaming in, in the hope of bagging the freshest catch and closing best deal.
The Dumaguete City Public Market or tiangge (dialect word for market) is the best place to scout for locally produced fruits, vegetables, spices, seafood and meat. Haggling is a normal occurrence so the mood is always noisy and chaotic. Most often the aromas could be confusing when inhaled all at once but such is always the case for any market with so much to offer.
The Public Market is composed of 10 buildings with 934 stalls.The buildings are subdivided into narrow cubicles for lease lined up side by side towards the exterior. These subdivided areas are designated for non perishable merchandise such as pots, pans and other utensils, and also for grocery items with longer shelf lives such as canned goods, rice and other grains, livestock feeds, toiletries and other personal effects. Other items would be native baskets, bags, brooms and coconut husks, plastics, carpentry tools, garments and fabric. On the outside one can even find jewelry and watches, freshwater pearls, sunglasses and other accessories, cds and dvds. Parlors, boutiques, jewelry fabricators,pawnshops can also be found at the Public Market.
At the center of both buildings is the area for fast perishable goods such as chicken, pork and beef meat sold by the kilo, fish and other seafood like crabs, shrimps and shellfish, vegetables and spices and even flowers that can be bought on wholesale price.
In a separate building is the fruit market selling local produce like mangoes, bananas, papaya, guava, pineapple, jackfruit, watermelon and whatever fruit in season. These are also sold by the kilo and because of the tough competition, can be easily negotiated upon.
If you are in town it is quite easy to get to Dumaguete City Public Market, you can stop any empty pedicab in the street and ask them to take you there, expect to pay around P20 for the fare.
There is an outbound mini cab terminal for certain destinations in the city most of which are those located in theoutskirts. The mini cab will not leave though until the seats are all taken.
In August of 2006, the Dumaguete City Public Market passed all criteria set by the Department of Trade and Industry for a Pambansang Pamilihan Award. Evaluation included the compliance of laws regarding the use of price tags, correct weighing scales, price boards, consumer welfare section, clean surroundings, trash bins with proper garbage disposal, clean comfort rooms with enough water supplies, and an existing market vendors association.
Going shopping at the Dumaguete City Public Market could be a lively experience. There is always a fresh catch and a vendor who is more than willing to give it to you at a rock bottom price if you have a knack for haggling.