The Taboan Public Market appeared in one of the episodes of “No Reservations” of Anthony Bourdain when he visited the Philippines. While the more popular product sold at the market is the danggit, visitors can find a number of other pasalubong items, including dried mangoes, chicharon and otap. A trip to Cebu seems incomplete without visiting the Taboan Public Market.
If this is your first time in Taboan, here are some tips to help you make the visit productive.
The first thing to do before heading down to Taboan is to ask local friends for recommendations. Since the “suki” system in the Philippines is very much alive, your Cebuano friends can refer you to their suki at the market to get a discount or a good deal on your purchase. If you do not know anyone in Cebu or your local friends don’t normally go to Taboan, you can ask for recommendations from the front desk personnel of your hotel.
Since you are not going to the mall or a high-end resto, it would be better for you to wear something that does not attract too much attention. Dressing down will also allow you to get a good price compared to wearing something you would wear to a party. Besides, it would not be a good idea to have your best clothes smelling of fish after your visit to the Taboan Public Market.
Volume purchases normally get a bigger discount. Due to this, it is advisable for you to bring some friends who are also interested in buying danggit to bring home with them. Vendors also tend to give more attention and provide better service to customers who buy in bulk.
When you arrive at Taboan and you were not able to find someone who has a suki in the market, it is advisable to compare prices first. Some vendors in the interior may offer better deals compared to the stalls found close to the entrance. You can also haggle with the vendors to get the best price for this Cebuano breakfast delicacy.
The Taboan Public Market is located in Pahina Central, Cebu City. The best way to get to the market is to ride a taxi and simply tell the driver to bring you to Taboan. However, if you want to go on an adventure, you can ride a jeepney going to the place. You can ride a jeepney marked 04D or 08G. Ask the driver to drop you off at Taboan. Since the jeepney will not go to Taboan proper, you can take a trisikad ride to the market itself.
Last tip: Since the smell of dried fish has the tendency to stick to your clothes, it is better to make sure to take a shower after visiting Taboan before you go on your next adventure in the Queen City of the South.