During summertime, around April and May, you may want to take advantage of the fruits in season. Have a taste of local fruits such as chico (sapodilla), mangga (mango), langka (jackfruit), guyabano (soursop), santol, melon, and avocado.
Buying grated coconut meat from the market is not recommended if you have a sensitive stomach. But if you must, check the meat for any sour smell or taste. If you’re unsure, it’s better for you to just avoid it altogether.
Guinamos (fermented fish) is very common in this market. But be informed—there is not just one variety of this fish, but eight! The different varieties are due to the various levels of fermentation the fish is subjected to, resulting in each variety having its distinct taste.
Now here’s a real warning: be on the lookout for illegally sold sea creatures like thresher sharks and sting rays. While not all species of sharks and rays are protected in the Philippines, it is still best to avoid propagating their trade to help conserve and protect them. Illegal fishing and trade should be reported to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines.
On a lighter note, feel free to greet the vendors with “Maayong buntag!” (Good morning!) when shopping or window shopping in the morning. Who knows? It might make it easier for you to haggle when you’re actually buying.
Enjoy these markets in Tagbilaran as well as the rest of Bohol!