August 24, 2008

Commerce in Burnham

We're still at Burnham Park in Baguio City. I saw a thriving informal economy at the park and couldn't resist taking photos of the people selling goods and services. You're going to see a few weird angles here. I didn't want the people to notice that I was taking their picture because they might turn away. Hungry? Let's start with some warm taho, perfect in Baguio's cooler weather. It's made of fresh, soft tofu with tiny pearl sago and sweetened with brown sugar syrup.

taho vendor in Burnham Park in Baguio City
If your heart can take it, you might like what this guy's selling: chicharon (puffy fried pork skin), hard-boiled quail eggs, and inside the basket, balut (boiled fertilized duck or chicken egg). And just so you know, I have never eaten balut, and never will!

chicharon and balut vendor in Burnham Park in Baguio City
If you like sour foods, you're going to love this snack: burong mangga (fermented green mangoes). Click on the link to get a recipe from our Department of Science and Technology. Using rock salt is a must for this one.

burong mangga vendor in Burnham Park in Baguio City
I question the viability of selling ice cream in a cool city, but I guess some people have a higher tolerance for cold than I do. There are three flavors of homemade ice cream inside that cart and you can choose which cone to have it on. There's a bigger wafer cone and the tiny one that's more like a very thin sugar biscuit. I always choose the sweet cone.

ice cream vendor in Burnham Park in Baguio City
When you're done eating and beginning to feel sleepy, or are starting to ache from all the walking you've been doing, then it's time to get a massage. The sign says you can choose between Siatsu (sic) or Swedish.

massage at Burnham Park in Baguio City
I'm not one for getting pounded, pulled or kneaded, so I'd prefer this woman's services: a pedicure or manicure while watching the rowboats. This young lady was waiting very patiently while her friend got a pedicure, though they were chatting too so I don't think she minded much.

having a pedicure in Burnham Park in Baguio City
For those who don't have a camera (not in this group!) but would like a souvenir photo of themselves at Burnham Park, there are photographers who will take your photo with film cameras. They probably have small dark rooms set up very near the park. You meet up after an hour and they'll hand you your prints.

photographer in Burnham Park in Baguio City
Sunny day and you forgot your sunglasses? Not to worry, you can buy a pair from this young man. I saw a man buying a pair of knock-off Oakleys and the first price quoted by the vendor was 200 Philippine Pesos (less than US$5). Bartering is very much encouraged.

sunglass vendor at Burnham Park in Baguio City
Finally, time to buy some souvenirs. Baguio is well-known for its silver because of Benguet's silver mines and smiths. You don't have to go to the city market to buy some jewelry as I saw several men selling them in the park. As a rule of thumb when bartering, your first offer should be no more than half of the quoted price. BAGUIO CITY SERIES #6

silver jewelry vendor at Burnham Park in Baguio City


Debbie Courson Smith said...

Just like the streets of New York in a way...

Laurie Allee said...

This is a wonderful tour, Hilda! I want to try some of that taho and sour green mangoes.

Unknown said...

Excellent! Love the way they are unaware of the images, this lets you capture them in a natural way.

Great collection of images Hilda.

Louis la Vache said...

Excellent - and fun - collection of unposed, natural images. It was if we were right there with you!

Layrayski said...

Re- balut-- never say never! Hahaha you should try it at least once! hahaha

I enjoyed your trip to baguio. I feel like i've been there too! I even imagined the cold. You're so lucky you still have lots of photos to post. Sigh.

Jane Hards Photography said...

This is wondefrul social documentary photography. It would be a perfct dtudy as b&w. It does have the feel of a busy city. Well done.

Petrea Burchard said...

Fascinating post! Thank you, Hilda.