I, being a promdi, have known and seen the innards of a public market at a very young age. My mother used to take us three kids to palengke where she sold paper bags to her "suking" rice dealers. We used to make them out of empty cement bags that father used to take home from work. Mother would religiously clean the uncut cement bags and cut out patterns and fold and mold the bags. We kids helped in pasting the cutouts together using glue that mother made from gawgaw. That was our pre-school education.
Today, I have no qualms having goto and lumpiang prito in a karinderya inside a palengke. I've never minded sharing the long bench with kargadors and tricycle drivers. That alone is an experience I carry like a badge of honor. Yesterday, a skinny boy bought spaghetti "yung walang hotdog" and dared someone to gawk at him. A granny bought guinatan and ate only saba and kamote and left everything else in the bowl.
Oh, the market place is heaven on earth where people call me "Nene" or "Ineng" where I am usually mistaken for a 17-year old. And when I'm lucky, Manang Tindera would call me "Ganda" without the prefix "Vice," of course.
Palengke is a place where brands don't matter. You walk the wet and slightly muddy floor where your Ipanema usually gets stepped on by either Sunbeach or God forbid, real bakya ni Manang! You may wear a tattered souvenir shirt from Boy and Zeny hardware store without people staring at you drilling into your head: "What the hell you thinking looking like a rug?"
Of course, I get extra finger chilis, tomato, onion, some shrimp and everything I bought with extra something with it. I'm not one shameless "tawad" queen, but I wear a crown being "dagdag" queen. In my opinion, asking for dagdag is more practical than asking "tawad." Well, do the Math. And by the way, this is from someone who had made a living in palengke at age 4.
At Astrovision in Festival Mall last Friday. A very local looking father and his two little sons were having very strong American English twang-y conversations:
Son 1: What are these, Dad?
Father: Those are VCDs.
Sons 1 and 2: What are VCDs?
Father: DVDs are better.
Sons 1 and 2: (Stared at Dad, stumped.)
Father: (To the sales clerk) Miss, meron ba kayong DVD nito? (Pointing to a VCD.)
Sons 1 and 2: (Start playing "touch me, i pinch you" and run around the store. Grrr!)
And we want to trust sex education to today's parents? They can't even explain what VCDs are to their kids! "DVD's are better"? Pray, tell them what VCDs are first and then what makes DVDs better! And the kids were asking what VCDs are, not what DVDs are, deymit!
And the kids? Aren't kids supposed to ask follow up questions? I remember my siblings when they were kids. They would ask a hundred questions until they were satisfied with the answer.
I pity the sons of this DVD man. Children who don't ask tons of follow up questions are raised poorly. Methinks.
I therefore conclude, palengke people are better.