Bataan Public Market

A public market is not typically listed in a romantic trip itinerary, but during a recent weekend getaway to Bataan, the SO and I took a short detour to the Balanga Public Market right before breakfast.

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We rode a tricycle from the hotel to the market, which was more or less a five- to ten-minute trip, and after being dropped off at the terminal, we headed straight for the market to hopefully find some goodies to take home.

Bataan’s market, as it turned out, was a lot more interesting than expected. The place was so organized (no kidding), the floor, spotless and dry to a degree that might have been favorable to anyone wearing white shoes.

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Stingray meat 
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Just one of the crabs fresh off the Orani Port in Bataan

After overcoming this initial surprise, we walked around. The SO headed over past the fish area, where I was kept going back and forth to find kapak, a local caviar that was one of Bataan’s specialties. I asked one of the fish vendors about it, but she seemed sympathetic and told me it was out-of-season. I wanted to buy some fish to thank her, but since it might cause logistic problems, I just ended up taking a few shots of her, which luckily she didn’t seem to mind.

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I thanked the lady and caught up with the SO, who was already carrying a bag with a pack of dried fish. She seemed pretty happy about it and took me to the dried fish area, which was just as organized as the rest of market sections.

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There was every variety of dried fish you can find, some of them still in the drying containers, gleaming and golden under the morning sun. In the end, we brought home more dried fish and squid than we intended and a couple of photos of the vendors, who were more than willing to have their photos taken.

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