Friday, April 20, 2012

Oakridge Sunday Market | The newest weekend market in Cebu

Weekend market is beginning to invade Cebu City. If there is one who started it all, it’s Banilad Town Center Weekend Market sometime 2 years ago (see related post: Weekend Organics Bazaar at Banilad Town Center). I have seen how it transformed from mere table displays with limited varieties of offerings to what it is now-- a more organized with eclectic offerings of fresh organic produces in an enclosed mall setting. Zubuchon, Cebu’s famed lechon started on this weekend market. I was delighted to learn that Oakridge Business Park, a posh Retail and BPO community in AS Fortuna Street, Mandaue City will be having for the first time their weekend market.

Since Cook My Garden started blogging, weekend markets have been always on the list of must-to-go places, other than my comfort places the supermarkets and 'palengkes'. Weekend Markets, or community markets (or farmers market) as known outside our country are just your typical 'palengke', elevated with higher standards, that offers unique merchandise from organic produces, kitchen ingredients, to dry goods, and now as it evolves, a haven of home cooked meals and dishes.

I lived just within a kilometer radius from this park, so last Sunday, April 15, 2012, I was so eager to check this place that I went there early at 8:00 in the morning. The well-manicured park was packed with enough number of tents and it was carefully arranged in a circular fashion. It was not crowded as there were only enough merchants invited to display their goods and dishes. I was literally enjoying the feel of a market set in a green park –cemented pathways, great landscaping, with park tables and chairs for more than just al-fresco chit-chat and dining, and there were even something for the kids to enjoy: there were mats (banig) with throw pillows, clowns, stilt walkers, and one huge inflatable playhouse.

Sunday is always a family day, and it is being celebrated here in Oakridge Business Park. Moms can check on the fresh organic produces, Dads can eat on authentic home cooked meals and on ornamental plants. Anybody can join the cooking demo set at the center of the tented area. Kids can enjoy playing at the park and there are a lot of foods to keep them busy and amused. It’s a first in Cebu and Oakridge Business Park truly made the weekend market concept alive.

I was too early when I went to this place and wasn’t able to get photos of the crowd. I was even early than some of the exhibitors. The place was clean, and all are in order. There were only 10 tents for almost 20 exhibitors, with one central tent for the cooking demo. I love this kind of thing where merchants engaged with their customers through cooking demonstrations. I was informed that Chef Steve Shrimski of Canvass Bistro Gallery, a chic Australian restaurant in Ayala Terraces would do the cooking demo for the kids.

Weekend market is where we can buy some of the freshest, and to borrow a word from Anton Diaz of Our Awesome Planet, “not tired” vegetables and other organic produces. There is always a premium for choosing healthy organic foods, it’s a bit expensive than the usual vegetables we bought in palengke, but we are assured it is  not laden with toxic chemicals, it is grown sustainably (if we are loving this earth) and we are helping farmers earn a living!

While enjoying exhibits of organic vegetables, enjoy some on the food displays. They are sure to please your palate as these are family recipes and sought after menus from top restaurants in the city. Cafe Laguna, Marscha K Restaurant, Canvass, Fruits in Ice Ceam are just one of the few who joined this bazaar.

You can bring kids to this community market and make their summer memorable. There are a lot of stuffs for kids to enjoy, not to mention that this park is kid-friendly.

One thing I noticed was this stall selling healthy-looking potted herbs. I even saw rosemary and stevia (sugar leaf), and guess what, they are even cheaper when you buy it at the Sunday Market in BTC. That’s a tip!

This is also one thing I saw in Mercato Centrale’s late night food market where chefs and even aspiring entrepreneurs are demonstrating their flair in cooking. This is another thumbs-up for this weekend market, an activity that makes your trip to this place full of learning and fun. Behind this area is the huge inflatable playhouse for the kids.

This weekend market will run all Sundays of April 2012, from 8:00am up to 2:00pm. Hopefully this concept will be accepted and embraced by Cebuanos and will stay for good.

Where to find?

Oakridge Business Park is located in 880 AS Fortuna St., Mandaue City. This is a property of Oakridge Realty and Development Corporation. You can visit their facebook page:

Did you know?

Rovilson Fernandez in his show ‘Ang Pinaka’ in Feb 19, 2012 episode tackled the top ten famous weekend markets in Manila. There is Eastwood Mall Weekend Market, Baker’s Dozen at Rockwell, Christ the King Weekend Market in Quezon City, Soderno at Molito in Alabang, AANI (Agri-aqua Network International) in Taguig which resembles the classic ‘palengke’ and probably the oldest among the rest, Banchetto Market in Meralco Avenue in Pasig, of course the Mercato Centrale in BGC Taguig (see my related post: Mercato Centrale and Midnight Mercato in Bonifacio Global City, what is Cebu’s version?), Legaspi Sunday Market, Salcedo Weekend Market and topping the list is the SIDCOR Sunday Market in Eton Centris in Quezon City. Cebu is yet to catch up on this bandwagon.

(Photo grubbed from Oakridge' FB fan page. Top photo is the aerial shot of the park where the Sunday Market is located)

Post Script:
Sunday Market in my own view is not a fad that comes in Cebu like the yoghurt and bubble teas and is predicted to fade away soon. It is here to stay for good, just like our typical palengkes, ‘taboan’, a trading center which is already part of the Cebuano community life. Sunday Markets are just the high end version of your usual palengke, and palengkes stay for good.

I hope to see one of these days that community markets will flourish throughout Cebu.

The next post is all about what you can find at the Oakridge Weekend Market: herbs, dishes, ornamental plants, organic produce, etc...


  1. Hello. Too bad I found your bag a bit too late. Been staying here in Cebu for almost two year and looking for weekend markets just like in Manila. Unfortunately, when I asked around, nobody knows where it is. I've been looking for fresh and natural ingredients and I'm glad i found your blog to update me where to find these markets... I thought Cebunaos are not open to this but I'm glad it's changing already.. :) Thank you.

    1. Hi Ms. Divina,

      Glad that you stumbled upon my blog. New community markets are beginning to sprout here in Cebu, hopefully they will stay for good. Keep updated on the new sunday markets here in our locale throughthis blog.



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