Malatapay livestock market

Photo essay: The Malatapay livestock market

Livestock grazing under coconut trees

Livestock grazing under coconut trees

A cloud of dust hung in the air as boisterous livestock were everywhere. There were cows, carabaos, pigs and goats in between throngs of people under the uncaring gaze of slender and tall coconut trees. It was Wednesday and for the barangay of Malatapay, in the municipality of Zamboanguita, Negros Oriental, it was livestock market day.

I was told that sellers and buyers come from all over Negros and even Cebu. Piglets inside wooden pens or sack being checked by buyers. A seller is dragging a hesitant calf, probably oblivious of its fate. While several carabaos were tied to a fence at one area, bundles of pesos were being exchanged at another.

But the market has a unique way of selling via auction: hong-hong (whisper). There’s no loud shouts of prices but instead, hand motions, whispers and either a nod or a shaking of heads. If the price is acceptable, money change hands. If not, another will whisper his bid.

It’s a lively open market. People are laughing, some looked seriously. There were crying pigs being led to a cage or a man carrying his pig after a sale. People come and go as livestock is being led into the fenced bidding area. Just another Wednesday livestock market in Malatapay.

Buyers evaluating piglets

Buyers evaluating piglets

Piglets inside a sack

Piglets inside a sack

The Malatapay livestock market is one of the most popular markets in Negros Oriental and happens every Wednesday

The Malatapay livestock market is one of the most popular markets in Negros Oriental and happens every Wednesday

Livestock, typically cows, carabaos, pigs and goats are everywhere during the Malatapy livestock market

Livestock, typically cows, carabaos, pigs and goats are everywhere during the Malatapy livestock market

A carabao being shown to bidders

A carabao being shown to bidders

The graceful curve of a cow's hump and neck

The graceful curve of a cow’s hump and neck

A carabao is numbered for auction

A carabao is numbered for auction

A proud cow owner rides his animal

A proud cow owner rides his animal

HOW TO GET THERE: From Dumaguete City, ride a jeep bound for Zamboanguita. Jeepneys pass by infront of Robinsons. Tell the driver to drop you off at Malatapay. Its better to alight at the junction and walk to the open market. This is also the way where one can ride a pumpboat for Apo Island.

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.

One Comment

  1. Estan Cabigas (@EstanCabigas)
    September 18, 2014 @ 18:12

    #photoessay The Malatapay livestock market http://t.co/aMcY7l6lfy #photography #monochrome #blackandwhite #market http://t.co/sp4SnWcgVq

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