- Pizza Hut
- Burger King
- all the other food places you see in malls
- wala rin kasing malls
You must understand, I was the undisputed takeout/delivery queen of Guadalupe Nuevo, Makati City. That is, until we uprooted kith and kin and followed the sun (i.e. hubby) here, to the city of waterfalls, as government propaganda for tourists call it. To have discovered that none of the above mentioned establishments existed in Iligan was devastating. They do have ChowKing, Dunkin Donuts and Jollibee (their first drive-thru opened just last year), but after you’ve done the rounds a few times they start losing their novelty.
So, there was nothing else for me to do but go to market. I was told the supermarket was where I should go, one short multicab ride away. It turned out to be not the supermarket I was used to, city mom doing groceries with baby perched on shopping cart. Super Market is what they call the wet market in Pala-o. As opposed to the bigger market near Gaisano, which they call the Wet Market. Go figure.
One thing I must admit, on pain of being tut-tutted to embarrassment, is that I had never mastered the politic art of haggling. Which is why I really don’t like going to market. I prefer the bar-coded certainty of a price tag, even on the tiredest bunch of kinchay on a supermarket shelf. Better that than to endure the suspicious glance of a tindera who has just announced the total amount of what I had just purchased, to which my only answer is to give exact change and go. The closest thing I do that has been misconstrued as haggling is the pause I make from the time the amount was mentioned to the time I dip into my wallet to pay it. Then the monger him/herself takes a fraction off the price he/she just quoted, as if worried that if he/she didn’t take 5% off the total price I would go away and do business somewhere else.
Truth is, here in Iligan I’ve never had much reason to make tawad, or hangyo as we say in Cebuano. Everything costs so much less than they do in Manila, so much so that here I can take P1,000 to market and come home with enough to feed my family healthy lunches and dinners for an entire week. And since this is the “province”, people here pay special attention to shoppers with babies in tow, asking me to sit for a while as they double-bag my purchases (Lingkod usa mam kay duna ra ba kay bata), even volunteering to walk me to the nearest multicab stop. I never got such special treatment at the Guadalupe wet (or dry) market.
So now I say so what kung walang insert-fastfood chain-here sa Iligan. Here we can live for a fraction of the cost than was required in Makati. Here I can take a PU (non-aircon taxi) and be charged only P30 to any point within Iligan City. Here multicab drivers wait until a passenger is comfortably seated before he steps on the accelerator.
Walang ganyan sa Manila. :)