Sunday, January 10, 2010

Day 9: Market Day

Saturday is Market Day.

With my trusty purple and yellow modern  "bayong", hooked on my shoulder,  I trooped to the neighborhood market, my 3-year old daughter in tow. 

Understandably, when it's market day, there's more produce and more produce means more people. Wednesdays and Saturdays are the two days of the week that people would normally go to the market here.  There are more choices in terms of fish/seafood, meat, vegetables and fruits.

Growing up in a middle-class family, I didn't really bother myself with "wet" market details and always thought that weekly marketing was such a boring task.  It is only when I became a wife and a mother that I learned the ropes of going to the market.  Hubby was the one who taught me how to go about buying our weekly supply from the market.  Having gone through the weekly exercise of going to the market for the past several years, I've come to realize that it isn't a boring activity at all.  In fact, my weekly marketing has become a therapy of sorts.  I love to be surrounded by the buzz of people and merchants.  I get a high when there are a lot of fresh produce to choose from.

In recent times, there has been a more important reason why I love going to the market.  It reconnects me with my mother who is currently based abroad with my younger sister.  Every time I go to the market, I feel as if Mommy is just around.  You see, I grew up watching Mom do the weekly regime of going to the market to buy our supply of food.  Despite being a busy pedia, Mom always took the time to do the marketing herself.  I don't remember her ever relegating the task to our helper.  Early on a Saturday morning, she'd wake up and ask us what we wanted for the week and after taking a mental note, she'd go off to either the neighborhood wet market or to upscale Farmers Market in Cubao.  After a few hours, she'd arrive with a grin on her face which I never understood why she had until I myself went through the same exercise.  Being in a market is like being a little girl inside a candy store.  Go figure.

Mommy's task doesn't end there.  She would be the one to painstakingly unpack her goodies, wash and prepare them to be stored in the pantry or the refrigerator/freezer.  With utmost care, she would divide the fish/seafood, meat and poultry into portions that would be easy for her or the maid to cook within the week.  It is only after preparing and cooking our Saturday lunch and leaving weekly cooking instructions to the maid that she'd finally relax and take a shower.

My siblings and I often resented Mommy's 24/7 profession while we were growing up.  We envied our classmates' Moms whom we would usually see in school, attending to their needs...whether it be for PTA or what-have-you.  It is only now that I've come to fully understand how difficult it was for Mommy to be juggling a full time job and taking care of the family.  Looking back now, she has shown her love and care for us in her little ways...instead of resting her heels during the weekend, she took it upon herself to do the task of marketing to ensure that we'd have the best and freshest produce.  It is these little things that I failed to see and acknowledge.  I guess this is the reason why I really insist on doing the marketing myself, rain or shine.  For one day in the week, I get reconnected with Mommy and I am reminded to be grateful for all she's done for me.

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