IN PHOTOS: Manila’s ‘experimental’ night market opens

Rappler.com
Mayor Joseph Estrada is clearing Divisoria of street vendors during the day, allowing them to sell their goods only from 6 pm onwards

MANILA, Philippines – Divisoria is a one-stop shop for almost anything – from school supplies to textiles to appliances and even wedding memorabilia. It is a bargain hunter’s paradise.

Hawkers overflow to the streets, similar to the ones in Hong Kong. But unlike Hong Kong, the other end of Recto Avenue in Divisoria is still used by public and private transport, resulting in a traffic nightmare when vendors and vehicles meet.

Enter movie-star-turned-Manila-Mayor Joseph Estrada. The former Philippine president’s administration is making a lot of changes in the Philippine capital, starting with the ban on ‘colorum’ buses.

Now the local government aims to clean up Divisoria by clearing vendors from major streets and allowing them to sell only from 6 pm onwards in a night market.

The policy has received mixed responses.

How did the “experiment” fare on its first night on Friday, August 16? Find out through these photos by Rappler intern Mark Demayo:

FOOT TRAFFIC. Manila Vice Mayor Isko Moreno says the night market was made to ease foot traffic in the city's congested streets.

ANTI-POOR? Vendors, however, say they got the short end of the deal. Most say their incomes have been cut dramatically since clearing operations began.

CAT AND MOUSE. They're now allowed on the streets during daytime but hawkers find a way — quick escapes when authorities arrive and quick returns the moment they leave.

CLEARING OPS. City units have been preparing for the night market all week. Cleaning operations occur alongside road clearing operations.

CHANGES. Onlookers watch on as Divisoria hawkers move their stalls around in preparation for the night market.

ADJUSTING. Vendors move their carts around on Friday, August 16, the first night of the "experimental" night market. Photo by Rappler/Mark Demayo

IN FLUX. Manila Mayor Erap Estrada and Moreno inspect the "experimental" night market on its dry run.

MORE CHANGES? Moreno says changes can still be made to the night market. 'In a few days, in a week,' vendors and buyers will just have to wait and see.

– Rappler.com