My Sugbo Mercado Struggles

Open every Thursday to Saturday, from 5 PM to 1 AM.

Open every Thursday to Saturday, from 5 PM to 1 AM.

You might heard of Sugbo Mercado – that weekend night market that springs out every Thursdays to Saturdays at Garden Bloc, IT Park, Cebu City (now they have a new branch in Cebu Business Park).

The location is very near the office, so my teammates and officemates usually end up deciding to hit this place every weekend to help ourselves whenever we are starving, especially to relieve all that stress from all the work that we had. With just a few steps from our building (actually, it is located across our building), Sugbo Mercado is indeed the easy vote for every dinner options.

While I enjoy most of the time whenever I visit this night market, I just can’t help but experience these struggles when venturing the place. Here are some of my personal thoughts:

1. Seat Wars

Located at the heart of an IT district, you can expect that people will really flock this area. And to think that this only exists on weekends, it means more people, especially during Friday Flydays.

Sugbo Mercado at around 5 PM.

Sugbo Mercado at around 5 PM.

The sad reality of this place though is that the seat are limited. I mean, we are literally at war just to get 1 table. Surely you can find one if you’re an early bird, but once the clock strikes 6 PM, then you’re in for a treat (insert sarcasm).

Around 6 PM. Look at that crowd!

Around 6 PM. Look at that crowd!

If you’re that type of person who prefers solutide, then this place is not for you, unless you’re early AF. Why? Three points: (1) You will find yourself battling between what to do first: buy your food or find a seat, and (2) the prowl for that 1 seat alone is definitely gonna make you starve, ‘coz even before finding one, you will need to suffer standing in there waiting for your turn to sit on that shining chair, while the lucky ones are busy laughing with their peers after they had their meal, and (3) hey, guess what? You are not the only one with that fate. There are like 10 more people patiently waiting for their turn to use the tables, so there goes the war. Good luck! I hope you don’t get bruised.

2. Availability

Nikumaki - one of the most famous food here in Sugbo Mercado

Nikumaki – one of my favorites here in Sugbo Mercado

I mentioned before that my folks will end up going to this place every weekends, mostly after shift. Being a bit frequent to this place, we manage to pick our favorites at some point. But that fact that this thing only exists on weekends makes it so sad for us, because we can only help our cravings for these foods for a limited time of the week.

Yeah, these restaurants can be found somewhere in Cebu that can be visited anytime of the week, but let’s face it, we do not have the luxury of time to visit there branches. Some of them are located very far from the office so travelling from IT park all the way to their location is not a good idea.

3. Golden Prices

Nikumaki Bento. Photo by Jeneviev Jadraque

Nikumaki Bento. Photo by Jeneviev Jadraque

Speaking of favorites, what breaks my heart is the fact that I cannot enjoy the foods that I love that are being sold in Sugbo Mercado because the prices, for me, are not so budget friendly. Really, the only time that I can enjoy them is when I have extra bucks on my pocket or a friend will treat me which is something that I just don’t wanna turn down (Which happens so rarely, which makes it so sad huhu).

Pad Thai

Pad Thai

If I remember it right, the lowest price that I saw was around 60 Pesos, and just by looking at it, I already knew that I didn’t like it. Even the drinks are way too expensive.

But I don’t blame them for making it really pricey. It’s just the nature of every business, with more demand and a constant supply, they need to increase their prices in order to have a profit. Plus the fact that they are paying for their slots in Sugbo Mercado, so it is fair for them to do that.

4. Non-CLAY GO People

The very basic rule in Sugbo Mercado is “Clean as you go” or simply Clay Go. Unfortunely, not all people know the definition of it, or should I say, doesn’t know how to read “Clean As You Go” signs. There are still people who just can’t dispose off their own trashes when they are about to leave the table.

Poor trash bins. Some people just don't seem to see your existence.

Poor trash bins. Some people just don’t seem to see your existence.

I love the fact that the management of Sugbo Mercado is promoting this mindset to its visitors, but then again, not all people seem to care. For as long as their stomachs are already filled with what they ate, they’re good with it, never mind the mess that they left. It just shows how rude they are to other people, particularly to the ones who will be using the table after them.

I really hate it when I hear people saying Ah, naa ra bitaw mulabay ana! (Nah, there are people who will throw that anyway.) shortly after they stood up from their seats and leave the place. Seriously, if that is your kind of thinking, then you better hope I don’t see your face in Sugbo Mercado because I will shove your trash into your face. Let’s see if you still have the guts to leave your trash.

Despite the ones listed above, overall, I love Sugbo Mercado, it’s a stress-reliever because the place is filled with fun aura that’s really contagious. You can eat, drink, sing to the music they play and listen to the bands performing and most of all, enjoy and laugh out all the negativity within you.

How about you? Do you have your own Sugbo Mercado struggles? Tell me more about it!


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