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Fresh Produce in Davao

As I mentioned in a earlier article and because of some of the comments, here is more about the available fresh produce here in Davao.

The photos were taken at Agdao Public Market, also known as a Palengke. Agdao is not the only Palengke in Davao. There is a big one Bankarohan and others around, but we prefer Agdao.
About the produce, there is so many varieties, and many I do not know. I will list as many as I can.

Ampalaya (bitter melon or bitter gourd):  looks like a lumpy cucumber. It has a bitter taste but if cooked right it has a nice taste. It is mostly sliced thin and cooked with eggs, red pepers and seasonings. I will post a recipes in the future.




dscn1586Camote (sweet potato): The camote is not like the American sweet potato or yam. I has a nice taste but for me has a gritty feel in the mouth. I only like it boiled, mashed well using a blender.


Sayote: A green vegetable that is skinned and boiled. It has a mild taste and the consistency of the meat of the cucumber. It is used here in soups and casseroles.dscn1581

dscn1580Petchoy (Bachoy):  I know of it as Bachoy. They have the large and the baby sizes, a Chinese celery type of vegetable. Here is is used similar to the Chinese cooking. Steamed, sautéed, or cooked in a soup.



Batong: This I call a Long Bean. It taste very similar to a string bean. It is cut up and boiled, steamed or in soups.


dscn1587Puso (banana heart): A large purple vegetable, looks like a large blossom still closed. I  have never tried it. I am told the meat inside is used in soups or can be boiled or steamed and eaten with a dipping sauce.



Talong (asian  eggplant): It can be breaded and fried, cooked in foods. Even smaller it can be used like the large American variety.dscn1588

Also here as you can see, potatoes, broccoli,  asparagus,cauliflower, cucumbers, bell peppers, onions, shallots, garlic, ginger and so many more. One item difficult to find is large tomatoes.

At Agdao, there are many vendors that sell these items, if one is out or low stock, turn around and there is another stall selling.

Please comment and send additions, questions any additional information I might have missed.

24 Responses to “Fresh Produce in Davao”

  1. johnray says:

    let me be the first to comment….why is it that I miss Mindanao…seeing those vegetables makes me remember my lola when she was still alive.. I always enjoy the fruits that she gives me..I think ceblogger will remember those days..hehehe..

    • Bruce says:

      I knew you were originally fro Cebu, but not that you came to Mindanao. Where did your Lola live?
      I have heard Mindanao is a major produce growing area for export and local consumption. Unfortunately the best of the crops are exported and we get the leftovers. I guess it is like the “brain drain” The best educated work abroad.

  2. twopenneth says:

    these are some of the reasons why i miss the philippines, variety of fresh produce at an affordable price.

  3. maria says:

    hi bruce
    ive forgotten about the puso. its been years that ive eaten puso i dont remember the taste.

    thank you


  4. ceblogger says:

    Hey bruce! Our (johnray and I) grandparents lived in the western part of Mindanao. Davao is in the eastern side. We used to go there for our summer vacations when we were kids. they were tenants of a large hacienda. We had bananas, corn, avocado, camote, peanuts, coconut, pineapple, breadfruit, jackfruit, and many other fruits.

    By the way, have you tried durian and mangosteen? Davao is a major source of these fruits. Perhaps, that would be another post of yours in the future.

    • Bruce says:

      Where in Western Mindanao?
      I like the taste of Mangosteen, and rumbatan but hard to scrape off the meat with upper false teeth. Durian I tried once and once is enough. Jackfruit and marang I would not touch with a 10 foot pole.

  5. Vicki says:

    Hi Bruce,

    For your readers in the US who may be interested, some of the produce you mentioned are available in American supermarkets and are listed as follows:
    Ampalaya – Bittermelon
    Sayote – Chayote Squash
    Pechay – Bok Choy
    Batong – since you call this “Long Bean,” I presume it’s the same as the Chinese Long Bean that are sold in supermarkets.
    Talong – they’re known as Chinese Eggplant – different from the small, Japanese eggplants.

    What I miss are the fruits!!! My late grandparents’ old farm had such a variety – mango, guava, duhat, siniguelas, atis, rambutan, santol, lanzones, kayumito (not sure of the Tagalog spellings nor the English names of these fruits), coconut, etc.

    Geez, my mouth is watering just thinking back to when I was a kid! When the fruits are in season, do you think you could post pictures of those 🙂


    • Bruce says:

      OK, next week I bring camra and do a fruit listing. I think I will do a fish article. From the BIG tuna, to the little “Guppy” size fish they eat here.

  6. zelot66 says:


    They all sound familiar to us here in Malaysia. I didn’t know philippines eat Puso (banana heart). We call it ‘Jantung Pisang’ here literally means banana heart. Maybe you find it strange eating this stuff.

    I think you should update us on local recipes soon. I want really like to know how they cook their food there.

    Thanks bro.
    P/s: I see your sitemeter shows 2,083 visitors. Congrats!

    • Bruce says:

      If puso is anything like some of the fruit i.e. durian, I might not try it.
      I have talked to Elena about receipes, and if not I will try to steal some online.
      Anyone how has receipes, please submit or email me and I might start a Filipino receipe page.
      PPS, thanks and I am now over 1000 unique visitors. Too bad your link has not given me any referals, but thanks for including me.

  7. rick b says:

    Hey Bruce, good article here, yes me too am very happy with the vegetables here, i like them a lot, i have found a good local diet here than when living in the uk, more fresh veggies and fruit and not too much meat, yes there are no shortages of fresh fruit and vegetables here

  8. johnray says:

    Bruce the fruits mentioned by ceblogger are our favorites..I remember how our Lolo and Lola used to bring us those fruits from Mindanao to Cebu when we were still young. I also miss those times when we had our summer vacation there. Lolo and Lola had lots of fruit bearing trees.. Sometimes Lolo would plant banana and tell us that this particular banana tree is named after us. We would get very excited about it and brag about it to our other cousins back in Cebu… .. Such times…

    I think the it’s in Unidos, Plaridel. A days journey from Davao.

    • Bruce says:

      Your story about your childhood is so nice. It remind me of my childhood when I would spend Christmas Vacation at my Lolo and Lola who linved in New York City. My Lolo was a diamond cutter and one day my Lola would take us into Manhattan Island and we would visit Lolo and I would watch him cut the facets on a diamond. Then we would go to lunch at a special type of resturant and then to a TV station where we would watch a game show as it was recorded.
      Childhood memories are something to cherish forever.

  9. roland says:

    Hi Bruce,

    I stumbled upon your blog and didn’t realize i’ve been reading your posts for hours now. I enjoyed reading your stories and insights on living in Davao.

    you just got another fan of your blogsite..keep it up!

    • Bruce says:

      I am glad you found American in Davao and enjoying my Blog.
      Keep visiting and commenting. I am hoping this will grow to eventually all the visitors will react to there visitors. If that happens I might make a forum for all to get to know each other.

  10. Ray says:

    Bruce you said “Durain smells like unwashed sweaty man and tastes like rotting garlic”

    I read somewhere that is tastes like heaven but smells like hell.

    Can’t say I agree it smells bad and tastes worse

  11. Expat 21 says:

    It all looks so delicious!

    Thanks for visiting my site and leaving your nice comments.

    Expat 21, at Expat Abroad

  12. Nene says:

    hi Bruce, i am happy for you and Elena..i’ve been reading your posts even before you had this site and btw, congrats..i also read Bob Martin’s LIP, enjoy it immensely..reading posts in both sites always make me see i am from Mangagoy, Bislig, Surigao del Sur not very far from based in Alabama since Oct. ’08 after living in Seattle for more than 10 years..anyways, looking forward for those promised pix of Philippine fruits..thanks so much.

    p.s. this is for Rick Bowden..i haven’t seen new pix of your daughter and wife, updates,pls? thanks!

    • Bruce says:

      Welcome to my humble site. It is nice to know another reader.
      It has been a busy week but I will work on the article.
      I have read Bobs site for years. When I found it about 2 years ago, I spent 2 weekends reading every one of his articles.
      I do not know about Rick, I do not see him anymore. I guess he is just busy with family.

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