mercatohaulWhile the world was supposed to be ending, Joy, Tristan and I were out hunting for organic and fair trade products at Cocowonder and the Mercato Centrale weekend market.

Cocowonder is an exporter of virgin coconut oil based in Makati.  Joy was researching on VCO in an attempt to find cost-effective organic local or fair trade products for cosmetic and internal use (hair, face and body).  She bought culinary grade and raw VCO (both cold-pressed), VCO hair conditioner and body wash, amino seasoning, nectar and cocoa tablea.  Local sellers at various trade fairs don’t label their products very carefully, and oftentimes can’t answer detailed questions, so she found the Cocowonder site very useful.

I’ve tried VCO massage oils in the past, but this time I finally tried the culinary grade VCO as a facial night moisturizer (a tiny amount goes a long way) .  It’s only been a couple of days, but I notice it’s absorbed quickly by my skin and it seems to be successful on my dry problem areas (more on this in a future blog entry).  It doesn’t have that off-putting bukayo smell, just an initial faint scent of nutty baked goods, which eventually fades.  As a family we’re trying to use more natural products, so this is right up our alley.

We arrived at Mercato just before noon, and decided to have lunch at the al fresco dining area.  It’s fun to walk around before deciding what to eat – there were so many yummy choices!  We shared a quarter-pound burger from Monster Burger, delicious grilled sausages, some very tasty prawn-bacon and kani-bacon skewers, cheesy baby potatoes and stuffed tomatoes, washed down with icy cold cantaloupe juice.  I don’t have any pictures since we were so hungry we ate it all.  Only then were we fortified enough to browse in the market.

Since our last visit was only 2 Saturdays ago, we didn’t really buy a lot this time.  I bought more different brands/varieties of whole coffee beans from the National Coffee Board stall.  One was from the Mt. Apo area (Altura Blend, a Dizon Farms coffee).  Continental Coffee is a CAFEX brand, which is a local coffee they serve at McCafe’s nationwide.  I was curious about Culinary Exchange’s Embarcadero Blend, which has beans from Northern Luzon and the Visayas. There’s coffee from Mt. Kanlaon which I mean to buy next time (I didn’t get it because it was already ground) – I tried the coffee sample they served me and it was very good.  Joy bought Ifugao Heirloom brown rice, and wasabi vinaigrette from Comida Rica.  One day we’ll go on a Sunday morning instead of a Saturday, bring our parents and have lunch.

“Fate could not harm us, for we have dined today.” – Sidney Smith (1855)

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