Philippines Cost of Living: Market Day

Philippines Cost of Living: Market Day


I wanted to share our recent market day haul in order to provide another facet of the cost of living in the Philippines. Market Day is a common practice throughout the Philippines where once and possibly twice per week all of the produce farmers around a municipality will gather at the local designated market facility to sell their fruits, vegetables, meats and other various products and wares. Generally speaking, the market is open every day of the week, but there are many items that can only be found there on Market Day and the variety is also much greater. Produce is also typically of a better quality on Market Day.

The assortment that you see above cost us a grand total of 1700 PHP or about $33 at the current exchange rate with the US dollar.

You will note that the list above shows rice sold by "ganta." The ganta is a unit of volume and not weight and it is equal to three liters. They measure it out sometimes by using one of the large  pineapple juice cans and they give you two level canfuls of rice, which equals three liters. At this time rice is selling for 85 PHP per ganta, but out of season it may go to 110 PHP or higher for a ganta. A ganta of rice will weigh approximately five pounds and will vary based upon water content and other factors. We have found brown rice on rare occasions and it runs about 150PHP per ganta.

The little purple onions cost three times as much as the big Spanish onions. I cannot understand why we still buy them.

The ripe banana is typically cooked, whereas the sweet banana is like the kind you are used to eating in the US. Sweet bananas are also more expensive.

A few different kinds of papaya are available to us here. The bigger ones tend to be "hybrid" varieties. The smaller ones are called "native" around these parts. The bigger ones are less sweet and less tender. The small native papayas are very sweet and taste similar to a mango IMO. We have lots of papaya trees, but none of them have ripe fruit right now. Same goes for mangoes. In season we go through a three gallon bucket of mangoes each day and they are all free because they come from our own trees. Our mango trees are a different variety from the ones at the market, hence the reason they are not producing at this time.


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