MANILA, Philippines –The Greenfield Open Park is a small piece of green right at the heart of the city. It’s one of the newer weekend markets that have sprung around the metro, and is rich with adventures in food, fun, shopping and entertainment.
You only need a little bit of daring and some cash, of course, to get the most of what the place has to offer. (You may spend at least P100-P150 on food, plus more if you plan to shop.)
Greenfield is located within the Greenfield District along United Street in Mandaluyong. To get there by train, get off Shaw Boulevard Station and walk towards the location of the old Edsa Central. By car, take Shaw Boulevard and turn towards United Street.
Treats for the discriminating foodie
Take for example Tili’s Sate. Partly owned by Christine Torres, Tili’s Sate is named after its Indonesian cook Tili, who personally makes all the dishes like the nasi goreng, chicken sate, beef rendang, vegetarian bakwan and sambal (homemade chili). You get fresh and authentic Indonesian food at market prices.
Halley’s Let’s Wing It is another reason to visit since it’s available only in Greenfield. She creates her own recipes, including the bestseller Thai Wings and Blue Cheese Dip. Other favorites are the Buffalo and Honey Soy wings, and the new sensation, Whisky Wings.
Macs Deli, owned by the Cordova family of Vigan who was responsible for bringing Vigan empanada to Manila, is also selling authentic Vigan empanada, bagnet, miki and okoy in Greenfield. For their miki, they use the brand that has been around since 1940 (and is not available for sale on its own).
Another favorite is Johann Sy’s Stanford & Shaw Fresh Ginger Ale. It’s naturally fermented so the kick is all natural, coming from the brew’s own alcohol content—which is only 1%, Johann said.
Out of the 80-90 stalls in the park, food stalls make up the majority. There are vendors selling drinks (ashitaba with calamansi, pandan, lemongrass, dalandan, soya milk, milky melon, lemon, calamansi with mint), sweets and desserts (snow cones, cakes, cupcakes, pastries, kakanin, puto with fillings).
There are meat and pasta options: Habib’s shawarma with a twist, steak chops and prawns, T-bone steak, US beef tapa, Angus beef, Schmidt’s gourmet hotdogs, Cuisiners’ slow roast beef, liempo, barbecue, Juan Longganisa meats, Japanese Corner’s rice bowl with takoyaki, gyudon, takoyaki don, wraps, dimsum, nachos, Chef Giuseppe’s pasta dishes, Herbert and Tess Coloma’s fresh sausages with organic herbs.
There's also fresh produce (fruits, culinary herbs, spices, organic vegetables, brown rice, salted eggs).
Aside from the food, pick up a few knick-knacks during your visit, too.
Dainty Dream Designs’ Sharon Nava is the Philippines’ first creator of silk ribbon embroidered lockets. Together with polymer clay necklaces, key chains and loom bands, she sells her finely crafted wares in Greenfield and will, in fact, be offering silk ribbon embroidery workshops come July or August (www.daintydreamdesigns.com).
The Rugged Prince offers vintage and vintage-inspired items like rings, necklaces and bracelets. Co-owner and artist Angelo Padilla also sells his unique artworks that are partly made from balsa wood.
Happy Bubbles sells bubble-blowing kits that can make enormous bubbles. You can also buy “healthy” pillows from Kimochi Aroma Pillows, or score some very colorful indoor and outdoor lanterns from Lightemup. Happy Star Child is Connie and Cax, the mother-and-child team that makes hand-painted shirts/bags/dresses from original drawings by the 10-year old artist. Also available are books, vinyl records, shirts, artworks, toys, toiletry items, and many others.
Painting lessons, live music, more
Artists from groups like Mandaluyong Artists, The Mustache Creative, Lucid Art Group, and Art Without Boundaries offer painting lessons to the public. And the good news is, both the lesson and materials are for free. It’s a creative way to spend weekends with your friends or your children.
Starting at around 6:00 p.m. musicians take the stage to play soft music that is the perfect accompaniment to conversation, bonding, reading or even some quiet contemplation. And if you’re into feng shui or Tarot cards, you can get consultations for a price.
Apart from these activities, the management of Greenfield District regularly comes up with special weekend events for everyone. Think free yoga sessions, games, vegetarian cooking demo, film showing, car show, a back-to-school event, and others.
The Greenfield Open Park project is a work in progress, according to Greenfield’s head of Corporate Planning and Corporate Marketing Mike Andan. “It’s a holistic experience for the afternoon weekend market—there’s live music and live art, unique finds, good food and good vibes.”
If you're not into the scene yet, maybe it's time to make a new discovery. – Rappler.com
Greenfield Weekend Market is open every Saturday. For more information and updates on special events, visit their Facebook page here
Ime Morales is a professional writer of advertising copy, feature articles and poetry (including verses for children). Her topics of interest are: spirituality, wellness, parenting, and culture. Her personal blog desperately needs an update