Monday, August 17, 2015

Grocery Shopping in the Philippines

Security guard in official uniform outside SM Mall. 
When you are in a place long enough while traveling, you are going to have to venture out to get groceries at some point. You are going to have to pick up supplies and groceries or other food stuffs just as the locals do.  Living in Angeles City, Philippines this holds true as well.

Here there are little one room stalls or open markets all along the streets that you can visit if you like, but I am referring to the full blown action of the grocery store.  Most of the larger grocery store chains here are located in malls or bigger shopping centers.

Fish looking at me from Fish counter.
When you enter these grocery stores, you will have to go past security men/women that will more than likely check you with a metal detector or pat you down.  This is completely normal for this area of the world.  You will know the official security folks by their unique white and black uniforms (shown above).   

All of the markets in Asia will have a certain smell that just can't be described.  Soon as you step foot inside the doors, you can smell the distinct smell.  It is a mixture of fresh fish, seafood, poultry, pork, and other meats.  Some people are repulsed by it, but I on the other hand find it very comforting.  You will also get hints of durian and other asian fruits and veggies that are a bit out of the ordinary.  If you are unfamiliar with the durian fruit, you can read about the King of Fruits in my blog by clicking here.   This scent is so enticing to me, when I am in the United States, I seek out Asian Markets to shop in.  It takes me back to my homes I have had abroad.
Packets of mayo with jars sold below.

Here in the Philippines, there are many ways to buy a certain product.  You can purchase a regular size jar of an item lets say mayonnaise.  Or you can a full sized packed of mayonnaise to refill your previous jar with.  Or you can pick up single-serving packets of the mayonnaise.  These single packets are actually bought up by people and taken to  their road side store or stand in their local village in most cases.  I am just using mayonnaise as an example. Any item for the most part can be purchased like this.  The pinoy (relating to the Philippines or the Filipinos) seem to be a single-serving culture and I love them for that.

Roadside market showing the individual packets hanging.
If you are a creature of habit and wish to purchase specific brands that you have grown accustom to, you can find a lot of the same products on army bases, duty free stores, or some stores have a foreign section as well.  Please be aware that these foreign products may be two or three times the cost of what you are use to paying in your home country.

The Philippines are also really strict when it comes to rules.  They have check out isles that are for certain shopping cart sizes (they refer to them by color and size).  The orange carts are the hand held carts we are use to here in the United States, but they also can have a push cart that holds 2 of these hand held carts which is still makes it okay to check out in the orange cart isle.  They also have a big cart check out and those usually vary in color, but are strictly referred to as Big Cart Isle.  Then last but not least they have a Senior Citizen or Pregnant Isle to check out.  Even if all the Big Cart Isles and the Orange Cart Isles are backed up with 10 or 15 people, they will not allow anyone who isn't a Senior or Pregnant to check out in the Senior or Pregnant Isle.  Crazy but true fact.

I hope this has helped you or entertained you in some way.  If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.  I will be glad to answer them.  Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.
Senior & Pregnant Isle.

Big Cart Isle.

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