canelar_2

Canelar, Zamboanga City’s shopping mecca

Rows upon rows of Malaysian/Indonesian wares line a stall at the Canelar Trading Center

Mindanao, the Philippines’s second largest island has a veil of mystery draped around her. Feared by the uninformed but loved by those who know her true worth and beauty. This series is my tribute for Mindanao, where I’ve been crisscrossing over the years and where a part of me also comes from. The rows upon rows of colorful batik dresses and sarongs were mesmerizing. An explosion of colors and patterns, gazing at the merchandise displayed here can be a treat in itself. For the serious bargain hunter, this is the place to visit in Zamboanga City.

Zamboanga City is known for its barter/trade industry. Think of Malaysian or Indonesian items from clothing, umbrellas to foodstuff, and especially candies, biscuits and chocolates and it is found here, brought via the Philippine backdoor. One of the must visit places is the Canelar Trading Center.

Merchandise mostly via the Philippines "backdoor"

Canelar Trading Center

The open air structure looks more like a warehouse converted as a shopping center. Stalls line its sides brimming with items displayed at every available space while still boxed merchandise piled at the floor. The short path that leads to each stall is not spared as hangers of shirts make a colorful curtain that one has to stoop to pass.

But I was here to check out and perhaps buy wafer confections and chocolates and malongs to bring back home as pasalubongs, depending on the price. The last time I was here last year, I bought a box full of chocolates and wafers which I brought to Makati and then to Cebu.

If you ever go here to buy, do try to haggle.

Canelar Trading Center
Brgy. Camino Nuevo
Zamboanga City

Estan Cabigas is freelance photographer, blogger and writer based in Makati City, the Philippines. A true blue Cebuano, he makes stunning images and meaningful photo stories. His work has been published in local and international publications including National Geographic Magazine, Geo (Germany), Sunday Times Magazine (London) and other publications. He is also a peripatetic traveler and has traveled to all 81 Philippines provinces. I'm open for work, collaborations and inquiries, including hotel, restaurant and site features and reviews.

2 Comments

  1. suzette
    April 4, 2017 @ 7:34

    how can i buy malong? ung naka balot ka walang dulo. basta ung pde kumot na pabilog

  2. estan
    April 9, 2017 @ 14:33

    Just visit Canelar

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