For filming and photography, I wanted to go to the city earlier than usual on this day in February 2022, so it was agreed that we would have breakfast at the Agora Market.
The Agora Mark in the city of Cagayan de Oro, Northern Mindanao was created from a run-down old market and the city planners had something special in mind for this market. Not only did they want to keep the market bright and clean, they also wanted to integrate a bus station for connections to the north, east and south. For many years, there were still vegetable landings from the surrounding areas of Misamis Oriental and Bukidnon provinces on the access road and some side roads at the market, but these were relocated in the coming years to the vicinity of the fish landing in another part of the city.
Today, the market is light, tall and airy because of its single-storey design and the builders gave the market a tiled floor rather than the usual grey screed as soon as it was built. The market is now just over 40 years old and still looks good.
Compared to other markets, the market area is quite small because a department store with a supermarket and a few shops with fast-food catering were also included. Nevertheless, there is enough space for a whole row of so-called 'eateries' or 'carinderias', which can set up tables and chairs on both sides in addition to the benches leading all around. So the hungry bus travellers and market goers sit in front of the egg sellers, butchers or fish sellers and on the other side by the shops with clothes, shoes and other things.
That didn't take long. My wife wanted to do a few other things and I was able to set off with the camera to visit the other small restaurants. At each of these eateries there was an unusually large selection, which could be explored by lifting the lid and looking into the pots. If you don't know what the dish is, the always friendly staff are sure to help.
There is hardly any need to save on staff costs here, because there are usually plenty of staff and everyone has their job. In the Philippines, no one has to take their used dishes anywhere themselves. That is done by hard-working hands who otherwise would not have a job, and I must say that I feel very comfortable doing that. This is not only the case in restaurants, but everywhere in daily life, whether at the petrol station or in the supermarket. Yes, there are supposed to be some newcomers and also expats who have been here for a while who can't get used to it and who find it too slow at the checkouts.
Um einmal ein Gefühl dafür zu bekommen, wie solche Eateries und Carinderias in einer Reihe aussehen, hier noch ein paar Bilder. Übrigens werden solche Ansammlungen von kleinen Eßständen auch ‘Food Court’ genannt. Die haben dann allerdings meist alle gemeinsame Tische und Stühle in der Mitte oder vor den Ständen und diese findet man eher in den Kaufhäusern und Malls.
There is a video about our breakfast at the Agora market and my tour of the market, which gives a good overview of this market in the city of Cagayan de Oro and can be watched right here by simply clicking on it.