I don’t know about you, but I am a fan of the biggest farmers market in Cebu that is the Freedom Park. More widely known as Carbon to the locals, this place is filled with sights, sounds and aroma that can give you sensory overload.
Sunday, no work, kids were taking a nap, it suddenly crossed my mind that I wanted to go to Carbon. I had no specific reason for going other than the fact that I wanted to share this place to the world. So under the heat of the 2pm sun, I dragged my husband under the pretense that we needed new laundry baskets. We could get them cheapest at Carbon.
After 30 minutes of walking around and taking photos, I was sure that my husband realized my real motive for coming but he knew better than argue with a blogger with a story line in mind. He tagged along and even let me use his phone because I have a crappy phone camera.
Freedom Park is a homemaker’s haven. Although my husband will be the first one to disagree about me being a great homemaker. Our house is always running out of something and yes, I understand that I am digressing. Anyway, Carbon offers a multitude of things to enjoy. However, if you lived under a rock all these years and have never visited Carbon once in your life, allow me to give you a tour and a few tips on how to enjoy the beauty of the place.
You can thank me later.
1. Stop and smell the flowers. Go on, they smell heavenly. Never mind that right beside the fresh flower vendors are the funeral flower vendors. Don’t they remind you of something? I was talking about first dates and valentines in case you were thinking about death.
2. Touch and smell the Bulad. Imagine them freshly fried and golden crisp paired with last night’s rice dipped in spicy vinegar. Does the thought of eating Bulad make your mouth water? All the time, right? Of course I’m right, now close your mouth and continue reading.
3. Enjoy the sight and smell of the Ginamus, Talaba and Hipon. While you’re there, grab a kilo of green mangos. Heaven.
4. Banana Que, Siakoy, Dirty Ice Cream and Samalamig. Need I say more? Grab a chair and enjoy a Pinoy merienda.
5. Balut vendors abound. As early as 2pm, you can find them all over. No need to wait for sunset to fill your Balut cravings. Don’t be a sissy, enjoy one or two. I know a lady who can finish five in one sitting and nuh-uh I ain’t telling who.
6. Barbeque, Isaw, Atay, Taba and Puso! We only live once, enjoy life. In moderation of course, a little bit of everything to satiate the Pinoy taste buds in you.
7. Fruits, vegetables and root crops! All these from Carbon at a much lower price compared to the malls. PhP300 worth of vegetable shopping in the farmers market can feed a family of 4 for a week (unless you have stir fried vegetables every meal). If you can get more vegetables at the mall for the same amount, I will go shopping with you.
8. Fresh fish. I have to tell you though that the catch on the photos look like aliens to me. I do not know exactly what they are, but they sure look interesting!
9. Livestock! Manok bisaya, perfect for tinolang manok. Aren’t they lovely?
10. Kikay trinkets, generic slippers and ukay-ukay! Who knows, you might even bump into your favorite office fashionista in one of your trips.
11. Bags, native lanterns, lamps, coin banks, and coconut shell purse. Perfect for pasalubong if you happen to just be visiting Cebu. They are much less expensive here compared to getting them from pasalubong centers in the mall. Quick tip: Dress in your house clothes and you can haggle more effectively.
12. Many random things. If you walk around enough you might even see silver jewelries, tabako for your grandma, charcoal stove (if you run out of LPG) and heart shaped dippers.
13. Enjoy. Don’t be scared to touch and smell the things around you. It’s just Carbon.
There is so much more to it than dirt and dust – a bustling little community that offers more than your favorite Binignit recipe ingredients. Carbon is a living stamp of Cebu.
And of course we did not go home empty handed. We got those new laundry baskets that I was talking about. 😉