Come Valentines or All Saints Day, this part of Manila is bustling with activity. Then again, this particular area is always busy with commercial activity, though not as frantic as the aforementioned occasions.
Of course, I am referring here to Manila’s “Flower Market” or the “Bulaklakan ng Maynila,” but known more to locals as “Dangwa:” the name of the passenger bus transport company which used to transport the flowers there which come all the way from the Cordillera highlands in the northern part of the country. While Dangwa no longer seems to ply to and from the city, the memory of these buses carrying the flowers to be sold persist in the city’s collective memory.
To be specific, the flower market covers the length of Dos Castillas Street in Sampaloc between Laong Laan and Dimasalang Streets. Dos Castillas Street is the main hub of activity where a number of flower vendors can be found on both sides of that part of the street. (which itself was pedestrianized during the term of Manila Mayor Lito Atienza) But you don’t have to limit yourself to the Dos Castillas area as you can more flower shops set up in the nearby portions of Dimasalang and Laong Laan streets.
And as the trading game goes in the metropolis, so to speak, you can always try to haggle to get a bargain, though even at regular prices, the price of flowers in this part of the city is significantly cheaper than in malls or other flower shops.
It’s also one of the few markets out there that know no operating hours, as it’s open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Patrons prefer going there in the morning, when the flowers are freshly delivered to the market, so to speak.
Even ifnot going to shop for flowers, “Dangwa” is an interesting place to visit to witness how the busy, bustling, sometimes chaotic market scene of Manila is encapsulated there each day.
© The Urban Roamer