Sunday in San Miguel, Jordan municipality, in the mango province of Guimaras in Western Visayas, is the busiest market day on the whole island. Residents from all over this rural island gather at the “New Site” Market to take advantage of great bargains from everything to cigarette lighters (3 for 20 pesos) to fresh pork tenderloin from newly slaughtered pigs (P170 a kilo.)
Since our move to Guimaras in mid-October, we've not made any trips via pump to nearby Panay Island, home of Iloilo City. “The City of Love” has vastly more shopping opportunities than our new home, but takes about 31/2 to 4 hours of round trip travel time to shop there.
While you might save some money on certain items, I'm trying to convince my asawa to shop locally as much as possible and severely limit our trips to the big city. I'm trying to simply life as much as possible.
We've been doing monthly shopping trips to the SM City Supermarket or the SM Hypermarket in Iloilo for over four years now. While the majority of items we purchase on Panay Island are cheaper than what we can buy in Guimaras, once you factor in the cost of jeepney, pump boat, taxi and multi-cab rides (to haul the groceries from Jordan Wharf in Guimaras to our home), I question if we are really saving any money or not.
So this past Sunday we decided to re-visit the “New Site” Market in local San Miguel and see what great bargains we could find. We've purchased fish at the local market before but haven't bought any meat, other than chicken, as we've relied on the meat market at SM City and the Hypermarket.
But upon the suggestion of an American expat friend who recently bought some pork at the San Miguel market, we decided to give it a try. My asawa purchased several kilos of fresh pork, including pork tenderloin, for only P170. It was delicious. I honestly do not see any need to return to our former shopping venues in Iloilo for those monthly visits.
I waited for my wife to buy the pork and stood outside the fish and meat area as not to influence any possible “kano tax” incidents. I noticed a young lady hop off a motorcycle carrying a large bundle of individually packed long beans. I love these beans and decided to walk over and ask her how much the beans cost. P10 a bundle. Fair price, I thought. I purchased three packages and asked my wife if I got a good price. I had. She has paid double, P20, for the same amount of long beans at the market in Iloilo.
After a stop at a local “supermarket” to buy snacks for niece, Shaina, and nephew, Sherwin, who live with us, my wife was pleased to discover that she paid P43 for a 1.5 liter bottle of soda, the same price she had paid in Iloilo. I'm hoping this recent Sunday visit to our local market can convince my asawa that we are able to find great bargains right here in Guimaras.
Guimaras doesn't offer the entertainment venues that Iloilo has, such as cinemas, but we haven't gone to a movie in months. Plenty of fairly recent flicks available on our Cignal Satellite System and there's always some local outlet that has the latest movie on DVD.
But we have cheap eats at Lisa's Talabahan and karaoke at Sa Payaw, just down the road from us, only costs 5 pesos a song. Life in “paradise” keeps getting better and better. Our new location is a hundred times quieter and more relaxed than our former residence in Iloilo. Running water, 24/7, and far less brown outs are a huge plus. We're definitely adjusting quite well to our new home in Guimaras, home of the sweetest mangoes in the Philippines.