It’s not your regular flea market. This strip of stalls selling almost anything from dried fish to shirts to ropes to kitchen utensils to knives to brooms to fresh fruits to tin and plastic ware comes alive every Wednesday only. If you’re planning to visit Apo Island, you’d find your boat at the end of this strip where you can also take your breakfast al fresco.

 

 

 

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The Road to Malatapay

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Malatapay Flea Market. Only on Wednesdays.

 

 

 

While I hardly give any real travel tips in my blogs (mainly I offer musings and ramblings, in case you missed that), let me advise you here and now to time your Apo Island visit on a Wednesday. The sights, the colors, the smell and the variety of goods for sale here are to be experienced.

 

 

 

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An assortment of goods for sale. Malatapay Flea Market.

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Dried Fish from Malatapay Market.

 

 

And the sounds? I know they speak Cebuano here but I didn’t miss hearing many conversations in Chavacano. After all, Zamboangita (next to Dauin) is not called that for nothing. That, plus the sound of livestock up for auction. You heard that right. They auction off animals here: cattle, pigs, goats. I found cattle lined up in a fenced area where men whispered their bids much like they do in fish markets. The goats were pulled by their masters, seemingly oblivious of their imminent fate. But the pigs. Oh, the pigs. They made the loudest noise of all. Makes me wonder if they’re the smartest of the lot. These pigs behaved like they knew their destiny as soon as those men offloaded them from carts pulled by tricycles. 😦

 

 

 

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Cattle for sale. Live auction every Wednesday here in Malatapay.

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These little piggies went to market…….

 

 

 

It wasn’t easy shifting one’s attention from the wailing animals to the fruits and vegetables for sale. Piglets stuffed into sacks? Poor thing. It doesn’t help that there are lechon (roasted pigs) stalls near the breakfast area. I could have sat down for a lechon breakfast near the wharf if not for those scandalous piglets!

 

 

 

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I watched this man drag these pigs. My friends saw him put them — not without a fight — into sacks. So pathetic.

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Quite honestly, the veggies for sale looked “tired”.

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More dried fish. And so cheap!

 

 

 

Now, another piece of advice. Walk straight up to the end and ignore all the stalls. Have your lechon breakfast and savour the Malatapay version. There’s a table right in front of a Police Station where a local resident plays the saxophone while you’re having breakfast. For the win! After this sumptuous meal, go back to the market for the experience. (You’d feel guilty upon watching, hearing the pigs, but you’re done with the lechon by now) Β Just don’t forget you have a boat to catch to go to Apo Island. Trust me, you wouldn’t wish to leave the island so late in the day to sail back to Malatapay. more so when it starts to rain and the wind blows stronger. Good luck!

 

 

 

 

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The goats go to market.

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Must be a MAMA pig. Malatapay residents are proud of their lechon.

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Fine dining? Music from the saxophone for the win!