Saturday, March 1, 2014


Saturday morning I went to the market place of Palo to buy some garden rakes for the seminary. I remember one conference that I attended once when I was still in college, by an anthropologist who was studying Leyte├▒o culture that he enjoyed coinciden to market data because he could observe many thing: people, the local produce, the social interaction. 
I've been familiar with market day in Palo, ( which is also known in the local language as "tabo") which before used to fall on a Saturday. It still does nowadays, except that they've extended it to Friday afternoon as well. 
Market day is a social thermometer in any town, especially in Palo, a good-sized municipality known for its tradition, and yet rapidly opening itself to economic progress. Heavily damaged by super typhoon Yolanda (international code name Haiyan), it nevertheless sought to rise rapidly from the ashes despite of the immense devastation that it suffered. Market day resumed a week after Yolanda, another proof of the resilience of its people and the will to rise from the destruction. 
This morning I could see some of the structures in the market place still unrepaired. Some stalls have collapsed due to the string winds, and yet people still set up shop wherever they can, and the rhythm in the market still continues on as before the typhoon. There's one thing that I miss though. I could remember that as a child I used to see and hear vendors sing as they count the produce that they were selling. They weren't merely counting the fish that they were selling, they were singing what they were counting. 
I went around for a bit, and bought some of the homemade delicacies that would always be featured in any market day. I bought a small cake made out of sticky rice topped with melted caramel syrup. Very tasty.  

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