Escolta Saturday market attracts buyers

First United Building , Escolta street , Santa Cruz, Manila-Philippines

Escolta street early in the 20th century

After several weeks and months of planning and conceptualizing , The big day had arrived.   A guided tour organized by Heritage Conservation Society  , Escolta Commercial Association ( ECA) and various concerned citizens to promote the area  and aimed to revitalized the former glory and splendor of Manila’s premier business district . Heritage Conservation Society Youth  organized a tour at around past 9:00am to  past 12:00 noon  a tour dubbed as  “Escoltara!” to explore the district and get to know its many Art Deco buildings and immense on the rich history of the place.

old magazines, books are on sale

a dealer together with an interested buyer examining an item for sale

The venue was of the Saturday market is the bare-walled space in the ground floor of the First United Building . The  dealers /sellers  area was set up with mats and tables .

stylist office chairs

There are about 30 dealers/ sellers  offering a wide range of items such as old cameras, postcards, old photos, fashion accessories , toys, vinyl records , books, clothes, art pieces  to  old chairs , furniture and even old soda bottles.

Ms. Gemma Cruz-Araneta also  bought some old postcards of Manila ( circa 1960’s) . The postcards were being sold from Php 200 each to Php 500 each depending on the date of issuance.

a volunteer of 98-B gallery selling T-shirts, customized mugs with escolta designs and umbrella

  a dealer holding vinyl record ( mint condition )

In history, Escolta had a lot of firsts: first ice cream parlor, first cinema, first elevator, first escalator   . The younger generation must appreciate the value of the place . Some of them prefer to go to malls or elsewhere.

The Masonic temple building( PNB) and Escolta  before the onset of the second world war as photographed from Santa Cruz Bridge

Photographer: Harrison Forman 1904-1978

This image is from the American Geographical Society Library of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee USA collections

I would also add to the long list of first, When Far Eastern University was founded by Dr. Nicanor Reyes Sr. in 1928 ( Institute of Accounts Business and Finance ) The institute  rented a space in the former masonic temple within the Escolta street. The review center would eventually moved to Avenida then eventually to its present location .

Old Fajaro Building ( second building occupied by then Institute of Accountancy ) scanned copy from the personal collection of the author

El Hogar building from an old postcard collection: Filipinas Stamp Collectors’ Club

El Hogar  is a beaux-arts building, designed by architect Senior  Ramon ( may also be spelled Ramond ) de Yrureta-Goyena ( may also be spelled Irrureta-Goyena)   and set by the Pasig River on Muelle dela Industria street in Binondo, was built as a wedding gift for the union of a Zobel daughter and a Peruvian count back in 1914. It housed the offices of the lending company El Hogar Filipino (hence derived the name) and the original headquarters of Ayala Life Insurance Company. After World War II, the building found itself in the hands of the Fernandez clan who still run the building till this day.

present day El Hogar building 

 Darling of Movie and Television

The building and its offices spaces is a favorite shooting place for television commercials , movies and architectural photo-shoots . Some people would refer the building as ” Studio Three ” . The building and its premises  has now become the darling of Manila’s TV and film production design world. Aside from being used as the backdrop for Globe and McDonald’s commercials, it’s also used as the setting for the music videos of indie groups Bamboo (“Hallelujah”), Cueshe (“Stay”), Sarah Geronimo’s remake of Foreigner’s “I Wanna Know What Love Is”.  It was even used in the opening scenes of  Mr. Peque Gallaga’s recently premiered “Pinoy Blonde”.  Another recent shoot  was the MTV ” Pusong Bato ” of Mr. Jovit Baldivino  . Filipino directors love to shoot the building in different angles,  The place and building can be stimulated to look like those found in  Paris, New York , London or even Madrid.

However the tangled electricity wires and telephone lines makes it difficult for photographers to take pictures. The broken windows of the building adds to the charm .

used soft drink bottles for sale

Space rental  cost P500 for the entire day , However sellers had to bring in their tables and chairs. The same space had been Berg’s Department Store, one of the major stores in Escolta in the 1940s. The concept of holding a Saturday market was inspired by this department store.

Heritage Conservation Society  and Escolta Commercial Association members souvenir shot in front of the First United Building

While the Escolta Saturday Market ( frequency once a week ) can be  similar to Salcedo Sunday MarketEaton Centris ( Sidcor) Sunday Market or  collecting clubs which have a monthly event where members and non-members hold their bourse/swap meeting. The Escolta market  will target the collectors and lovers of art.  The next event is slated on April 27, 2013 . The organizers wanted to have it on a weekly basis activity in the near future.

Note:  parking space is limited within the Escolta area.

Escolta walking tour and vintage items sale

The event slated on March 9, 2013 was organized by Heritage Conservation Society ( Youth ), Escolta Commercial Association, 98 -B Gallery , and group of concerned citizens which aimed to revive and promote Escolta and nearby streets . There will also be a ” Saturday RETRO Sale ” were old items ranging from clothes, fashion accessories , books and other collectibles items will be on sale.

Collecticon 2010 update

Last October 3, the author personally went to Robinson’s Place in Manila to visit the Collecticon 2010. Unlike last year were Ondoy’s wrath and the sad stories of collectors who lost their collection from the flood.

There were about 80 commercial stalls and table bourse traders selling   different kinds of collectibles ranging from comics, die-cast toys, action figurine, stamps, bottles, car plate , anime , stuff toys , key chain, accessories among other stuffs.

Traders in anime costume complete with colorful hats

This year’s event was full of life and euphoria as thousands of people from all walks of life ( mostly teenagers, cosplayers  and toys collectors)  went and participated actively in the collecticon 2010.

Coca-cola bottles (unopened / pristine condition ) for collection

Unlike other event , This is open to the public with no entrance fee !

crowd

You can see various collections being exhibited at the lobby and traders selling their goods. Various cos- players also added to the lively atmosphere of the mall. There was a live toy / collectibles auction were  starting bid started at  one  peso and some toys even reached several thousand of pesos !

action figures on sale

Just like any other  trade shows focusing on vintage stuffs , there are some sellers which are selling toys ( ukay-ukay ) .  Some of the toys are previously owned . These toys enjoy high patronage among the crowd with limited budget. Having a limited budget does not deter collectors to acquire toys or any vintage stuffs for their collection.

According to the traders, the organizers of Collecticon 2010 is also the same with the organizers of the much bigger Toy Convention .

Again, until the next event ! Congratulations to the event organizers .

Tiangges in the City

Since the Hispanic era , People from every town and cities across the country would come to the market center to buy and  sell their products during the fiesta. Traders  from far flung barrios and municipalities come and trade during market days.

tiangges / bazaar /   flea saod ( Bicol term for market place).  These  market started as a small outdoor market with a lot of cheap bargain prices , old antiques, export overruns , imported items  and exotic goods that are available for sale !

plant stalls within the Quezon Memorial Circle

Some of the more common flea markets are those in Marikina , Greenhills in San Juan, Tutuban night market in Manila, Baclaran street stalls in Paranaque.

AANI weekend market inside the Quezon Memorial Circle

a more recent additions are the Lung Center sunday market, Salcedo Park sunday market, AANI weekend market in Taguig and Quezon Memorial Circle, Strata Food Stall in Emerald Avenue in Pasig among others.

a food stall in Stata street market

The Stata food street market is located near the Strata building hence the name, The food market  is also known as Emerald Avenue night  food market / Banchetto night food market  were over 100 stalls were rented out .

Monster Burger outlet at the Emerald Avenue night market

Most of the clients were office workers, call center agents, passers-by , joggers ,  residents of nearby places like Ortigas, Pasig .

There are ready to eat meals, candies, drinks, imported  chocolates and home-cooked meals that were available and ready to be packed for those hungry customers.

pasta carbonara, macaroni ,pancit palabok

home-made cookies, cakes and sweets

The phenomenon started when a group of entrepreneurs started to set-up about 200 stalls within Sidcor Resort in the present day Makro in Cubao, Quezon City in mid 1990’s.

plant stall

Sidcor Resort was  a swimming  style resort were several areas were used  to accommodate people.   Ka Earnie Baron, Mr. Zacarias Sarian and several television and radio personalities used to conduct weekend seminars and trainings . At one time,  Philippine Orchid Society used to rent a space within the compound in the mid-1990’s .

stall selling various native bags and ready to wear

As the tenants and buyers increased, the organizers started to looked for possible alternative areas to be the next market place . After the Ayala group bought the land from the owners of Sidcor in the mid- 2000 , With  series of negotiation , organizers found  the alternative  nearest and most accessible place was the Lung Center compound.

vintage collectible  glasses and fancy mugs from Japan

Lung Center tiangge can be a bit overwhelming, but not confusing. There are an estimated 450 to 500  stalls with  similar items being sold  are clustered together. The present area were fully occupied , The stall tenants usually set-up their items for sale during  late saturday evening or early sunday morning.  Plant traders usually come during late saturday evening.

car plates from the United States- collector items

Majority of the stall owners pack-up their things by 12:00 noon. Some tenants may linger for about an hour or so after the 12 noon deadline.  Some of the tenants may sell their produce at an even lower price, instead of  returning their goods or produce back home, some will give -in to the request of additional discounts to their  insistent customers. ” Minsan binibigay na namin ng mura , kesa naman masira o magbayad ng dagdag freight

stall selling export overruns of  children and infant dress

“Sometimes we give our customers lower prices instead, to prevent spoilage or paying additional freight” according to one of the stall owners. This is another opportunity for bargain hunters to come -in! Baratan Time !!!!

The market also had a smattering of cooked delicacies, including breads and cakes, sweets and kakanin (rice cakes), carinderia style eateries, leche flans (crème caramel) and sumans on offer. In fact, the mix of vendors was a little unique and aimed at a wide audience of buyers. The people who go to this market must represent a relatively broad cross-spectrum of society, though that may be a stretch as most probably came in cars while some were definitely commuters.

stall selling native fruit wines and vinegar

weekend market is also a place were new products , services or even a venue to advertise one’s  own business.

stall tenant selling vintage items from Japan and Korea

There were sections for Ukay-ukay from Japan, Korea and China  were all sorts of mugs, plates, cups, dolls, books, bottles, vases,  ceramics are sold . Bargain hunters and collectors of vintage stuffs used to frequent the place every sunday.

Dr. Micheal Tan inspecting the vintage items

Dr. Micheal Tan an anthropology professor ,  Philippine Daily Inquirer columnist and  collector of vintage stuffs frequents Lung center flea market .

Tita Rosie Santos an orchid and plant dealer from Quezon City

The sunday market is like a social activities were friends , relatives and barkadas usually meet . In some cases, a group of native orchid and plant enthusiasts  usually went to the center the night before!

Ceratocentron fesselii Senghas 1989

This miniature  orchid depicted above is found in Luzon, central Philippines in montane forests as small sized, cool to intermediate growing, monopodial epiphyte found on tree trunks between 900 to 1,300 meters in elevation that need to be mounted on tree pieces to  yet kept moist at all times . This species has an erect, monopodial growth habit with very leathery, dark green, elliptic, obtuse, leaves that are basally con-duplicate and clasping the stem which blooms in the winter on an axillary, erect, short, 2 to 4 flowered, often more than one inflorescence per leaf axil. flower color may vary from yellowish to dark orange.

Synonyms Hymenorchis javierii

Popular Ineng’s barbecue started its operations in flea market

Some stake-out at the wee hours of the saturday night or early sunday morning just to buy the plants coming from as far away as Quezon, Laguna, Batangas, Bulacan, Nueva Viscaya, Bicol.

silverware from Thailand

This is the trill of plant hunting on the tiangge style, Just to be ahead of your potential rivals! Bring flashlights and Have a keen set of eyes !  Some even pre-order the plants or goods way ahead of others! During the past few years, as the strict enforcement of DENR  regulations on the trade of  wild plants and animals  , fewer and fewer native plants including orchids are being sold ! So most orchids being sold are supposed to be grown in farms.

customers haggling

RTW, linens, curtains, pets, brick-a-bracs, seafood, poultry, meat, fruits, vegetables, breads and pastries, cooked food (with an adjacent area with tables and chairs where you can eat al fresco) and plants.

Oncidium orchids  inter-generic hybrids on sale

Bazaars have been popular these days primarily because of its unique appeal. Also, they are affordable, they have a wide variety of products or goods and more enjoying than your usual grocery shopping at the supermarket.

This market has been known for it’s enticing fresh products that still came from far-off provinces. Fruits and vegetables were of high quality and the sea foods are those not usually found on our local markets.

roasted calf

Prices are quite reasonable , While the art of  haggling and grappling is not frowned upon (of course, it’s a tiangge!). Be sure to be  early in order to get  discounts based on buena mano.

ube jam

There is also a section were fresh organically grown fruits, vegetables, produce which are being sold . There are also free taste on new products.

How to get to Lung Center of the Philippines:

Commute: From MRT Quezon Avenue station, best to hire a cab or if you feel like really commuting, board a bus or jeepney bound for Fairview/Lagro/Philcoa or UP and drop off in front of the Lung Center of the Philippines. (this is opposite the pedestrian entrance of the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center) also on Quezon Avenue. From Manila, jeepneys and buses with signboard Fairview, Lagro and Philcoa all pass by the place. From LRT Monumento station (good for those coming from Cavite), you need to board buses going to Baclaran or Cubao then alight on Quezon Avenue before transferring to a Fairview-bound jeep or bus.

Commute : From Novaliches /Monumento/ Valenzuela / Caloocan  – ride any bus going to the south ( Baclaran, Alabang, San Pedro, Makati  )  go down at the MMDA foot bridge near  the Philippine Women’s University then walk towards the Jeepney station below the Quezon Avenue flyover / there is a Lagro / Philcoa jeeps .

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