September 20, 2021 - Monday
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Davao City, Philippines

Back in high spirits

June 03, 2020 - Wednesday 4:06 AM by Jimmy Laking

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There is an unmistakable sigh of relief in my neighborhood with Mayor Sara’s announcement that the Agdao market has been reopened effective June 2.

This is music to the ears of my neighbors whose livelihood is linked to the operation of the market 24/7.

Among them are at least 20 motorized and manual tricycle drivers that cater to residents of Obrero and Agdao.

The quarantine period allowed me to take a closer look at most of them for three times when “ayuda” was brought in by barangay officials. While they were appreciative of the relief goods, most clearly missed the days when their three-wheeled contraptions were the mode of transportation to reckon with in the general vicinity.

That neighborhood also has its share of market vendors but none were in the list of suspected COVID-19 persons of interest, or at least that was the assurance I got.

Mayor Sara ordered the closure of the market on March 23 after it was determined that six COVID-19 positive cases had exposure in the market area.

The mayor promptly had the market sanitized even as the City Health Office sought out for treatment the vendors and market personnel believed infected with the virus. This done, she had the market reopened.

For a time there, its temporary closure deprived us of a food source within walking distance. The nearby malls compensated in some. There is also this “hole in the wall” opened by the Stella Maris Academy where fruits, root crops, and vegetables from Paquibato are sold. Most are newly-harvested and are decidedly cheaper. Whoever thought of opening this vegetable outlet is doing the community a great service. I have since made it a point to drop by this place once a week.

Supply of fish proved no problem. Time and again, ambulant vendors would come around and the freshness of their commodities showed that fishermen were never dormant during the pandemic crisis.

The household also tested the waters in so far as ordering online was concerned. A favorite remains the alternative catering service run by Mila Teves and her daughter, Langga in so far as cooked specialties are concerned. Its cooking is something else and rates among the best.

Out of curiosity, I ordered a kilo of rice field frogs online. To my surprise, it came all the way from Midsayap (North Cotabato). I had it promptly cooked adobo-style. They are decidedly tasty and my memory harks back to a time in Lake Sebu when I had the best of frogs, the bulldog type that lurks in springs or ponds and the long-legged ones caught in the rice fields. Like the chicken, it can be cooked in a variety of ways.

I also found out that overnight, a number of online services dealing in vegetables and fruits have sprouted in Davao City. This is good for the economy.

In contrast, it seems that it may take a while before this city’s lone vegetable trading post run by Jun Cadigal and Bong Cajes of the Vegetable Industry Council of Southern Mindanao will take off.

The facility, located in Daliao, Toril, has already been inaugurated but its operations appeared not to have caught on with vegetable producers in the manner that its counterparts in Sariaya, Quezon and La Trinidad, Benguet are currently providing a lift to their local economies. Who knows, this may well be its break-out year.