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Vegetable Porters La Trinidad Benguet & Baguio City

Monday, July 17, 2017
Porter Old Dangwa Bus Terminal Rajah Soliman Street Baguio City Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines

Cabbage Sorter Trading Post La Trinidad Benguet Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines

On an everyday basis, human interest as a subject matter in the realms of photography is not that hard to find however, executing a candid photo-documentation is a challenge especially when you are in the thick of farm-to-market activities which constantly happens in the vegetable trading post & public markets in La Trinidad, Benguet.


La Trinidad Vegetable Trading Post is a "green grocers produce hub" which is located at Km 5, Pico La Trinidad, Benguet. La Trinidad's 16 barangays, the largest in the province, namely: Alapang, Alno, Ambiong, Bahong, Balili, Beckel, Betag, Bineng, Cruz, Lubas, Pico, Poblacion, Puguis, Shilan, Tawang, Wangal  and encompasses the totality of the acronym BLISTT which stands for Baguio - La Trinidad - Itogon - Sablan - Tuba - Tublay regularly conducts its daily veggie/fruits farm-to-market confluence.





Parking Area La Trinidad Public Market Benguet Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines
I begin my photo-documenting activity at the front area (loading/unloading area) of La Trinidad Public Market beside the Puguis Wangal Motorpool Buyagan Jeep Terminal and make it a point to arrive early 7 to 8 am in the morning and catch the action. Otherwise, if you start at around 10 am-11 pm then you won't get much of the trading post main activities and that the weather changes quickly from fair to fog banks/rain situations which usually starts around 12 noon and up in the afternoon. 
Hardworking Porter Trading Post La Trinidad Benguet Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines
There are different forms of local, homegrown livelihood that exists and aside from vegetable sellers and vegetable haulers/porters who make their daily rounds unloading/loading produce coming from farm-market deliveries. It's a backbreaking job especially for porters however, most Cordillerans have been trained since young age to do this kind of manual labor.
Woven Produce Tiklis Basket Trading Post La Trinidad Benguet Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines
The signs of active farm to market activities prevalent in the area are represented by a woven basket in Ilokano vernacular called "Tiklis" where vegetable/fruits are efficiently stored/contained.
One Selling Morning Trading Post La Trinidad Benguet Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines
At the La Trinidad Public Market just in front of the main service road going towards the Provincial Benguet Capitol are where vendors who display/sell fresh fruits/vegetables.
Trading Post Vegetable Depot at La Trinidad Benguet Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines
La Trinidad Vegetable Trading Post workers conduct vegetable loading/unloading from farm-to-market delivery transports, cleaning, sorting, bagging, labeling, weighting and orderly stacking at the back of the transportation's (trucks, jeepneys, vans, etc,) container/storage.  
Cabbage Loaders La Trinidad Vegetable Trading Post Benguet Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines


Vegetable Haulers Trading Post La Trinidad Benguet Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines

Vegetable Produce Pick-Up Trading Post La Trinidad Benguet Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines

VEGETABLE BAGGERS

Starting Young Bagger Helping the Family Business Baguio City Public Market Hanger Section Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines
Family owned/operated vegetable produce business involves both young and old. Here a bagger trained at a young age, volunteerism and cooperation is imbued as important trait regarding the importance/value of work/livelihood.
Vegetable Baggers Hard Working Hands Potatoes Trading Post La Trinidad Benguet Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines
From plastic woven sacks,  legumes e.g., potatoes are placed by hand in plastic wraps and weighted by vegetable baggers.
Vegetable Produce Bagger Baguio City Public Market Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines
A vegetable sorter cum bagger pick from (pre-sorted sizes e.g., sxl/xxl/xl) and wraps them into plastic clear bags which are picked up later by vegetable porters.
Vegetable baggers make sure that the produce is well "bagged" in plastic and properly marked/labeled. The baggers kinda act as last quality control point persons.
Vegetable Dealers Trading Post La Trinidad Benguet Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines
Vendors at the La Trinidad Vegetable Trading Post sell at retail price monitored veggies which are composed of the following: Cabbages, Wombok, Broccoli, Potatoes, Carrots, Chayote, Celery, Leeks, Radish, Ginger, Cucumber, Zucchini, Beans, Lettuce, Garden peas, California/Chinese Bell Pepper, Sugar beets. 

L
a Trinidad Vegetable Trading Post is a central hub where the commercial selling/buying transactions in wholesale (bulk orders) to vegetable dealers are conducted. There are no public biddings. I hope someday a well-trained journalist will be able to conduct a proper due diligence the beginning-middle-end of how vegetable commercial transactions are performed. 

VEGETABLE CLEANERS


Vegetable Worker Trading Post La Trinidad Benguet Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines
Vegetables like e.g., fresh Wombok are manually cleaned by hand by removing dried up/excess/loose leaves.
Cleaning of Cabbages La Trinidad Vegetable Trading Post Benguet Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines


Vegetable Cleaners at Vegetable Trading Post la Trinidad Benguet Cordillera Administrative Region Philipines


Cleaned Stacks of Fresh Brocolli Inside La Trinidad Vegetable Trading Post Benguet Cordillera Administrative Region

Cabbage Lettuce Chayote Depot Trading Post La Trinidad Benguet Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines
Well bagged in plastic and weighted chayotes awaiting to be loaded into delivery trucks and a woman carefully dumps cabbages at a cleaning area for processing.
Fresh Vegetable Cleaner Trading Post La Trinidad Benguet Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines
A woman cleans vegetables removing dried up/damaged vegetable parts which are later bagged and others wrapped with newspaper and re-packed using big plastic wraps.
Vegetable Cleaners Trading Post La Trinidad Benguet Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines

Lettuce Cleaner Baguio City Public Market Hangar Section Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines

Vegetable Workers at Trading Post La Trinidad Benguet Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines
Haulers, porters below and sorters/stackers/loaders above.
Vegetable Produce Workers Benguet Trading Post La Trinidad Benguet Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines
Some workers noticed my presence as the flurry of fast paced vegetable trading post activities continue in the early morning. Fresh cabbages are stacked evenly at the back of trucks for delivery to the different points of destination. 
Vegetable Produce being Stacked Trading Post La Trinidad Benguet Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines
It's a given to most photographers (enthusiasts/professionals) know that quality of light is best early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Use it to your advantage.
Vegetable Workers Lettuce Sorters Loaders Trading Post La Trinidad Benguet Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines
Women stackers arrange fresh Wombok for delivery. When done this truck will be wrapped and secured by waterproof cover/material.
Vegetable Workers Trading Post La Trinidad Benguet Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines
Fresh cabbages being covered with a waterproof material and bound with a rope which is top loaded on the delivery jeepneys by vegetable stackers.
Plastic wrapped and properly weighted vegetables are carefully loaded on trucks with closed/open containers. 
Vegetable Produce For Delivery by Jeepney Trading Post La Trinidad Benguet Cordillera Administrative Region Philippine
Philippine jeepneys usually modified ones like these ones share commonalities in design.  Pictured above is a La Trinidad jeepney and below is a Baguio jeepney.
Vegetable Produce For Delivery by Jeepney Baguio City Public Market Hangar Section Cordillera Administrative Region Philippine
Jeepney drivers/operators subcontract their jeepneys to vegetable dealers depending on agreed transhipment points/destination.
Baguio City Market Hanger Vegetable Produce Section Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines

LA TRINIDAD/BAGUIO CITY PORTERS

One of the secrets of effectively/efficiently moving vegetable produce, market delivery orders is the use of handmade wooden/modified carts by local porters in Ilocano vernacular called "Comboys". In my own words, i dub Baguio/La Trinidad porters as "hidden dragons, crouching tigers". What they do is likened to martial arts which is dependent on the heavy rigors of physical discipline/exercises. Comboys or local porters are composed of men (young and old) who are into the livelihood of delivering farm-to-market goods, vegetable produce, items, etc., from one transhipment point to another.  
Vegetable Produce Porter Trading Post La Trinidad Benguet Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines
Vegetable porters do heavy manual labor of carrying/hauling vegetables. They get paid on the spot contract (verbal) basis to whoever seeks their services
Fully Loaded Vegetable Produce Porter Carts Trading Post La Trinidad Benguet Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines
Vegetable porters wait their turn to load into delivery trucks.
Porter Old Dangwa Bus Terminal Rajah Soliman Street Baguio City Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines
Porters "comboys" are also usually seen at bus terminals unloading various deliveries from passengers who contracted out their services. Pictured above and below are porters busy transporting at the old Dangwa bus terminal (now GL Trans) in Rajah Soliman Street, Baguio City.
A Porter Old Dangwa Bus Terminal now GL Trans Raja Soliman Street Baguio City Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines

Porter Trading Post La Trinidad Benguet Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines
You won't miss local porters/comboys esp. in front of the La Trinidad Public Market loading "tiklis" wooven handmade baskets filled with vegetable produce.
Porter Cart Chayote Vegetable Produce Parking Area Trading Post La Trinidad Benguet Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines
A vegetable porter immediately heads towards his cart loaded with plastic bagged fresh chayote vegetables for delivery inside the La Trinidad public market. 
Porter Vegetable Produce Baguio City Public Market Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines
Porter's carts are designed to carry heavy loads of farm produce.
Porter Fresh Carrot Produce Trading Baguio City Market Hanger Section  Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines
A time tested traditional designed porter's cart all handmade with wooden frame, wooden wheels coated with rubber. Most Baguio City porter carts remain unchanged in design.
Baguio City Porter Cart Official Cargo Plate Baguio City Public Market Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines
Baguio City porter's cart is registered and receives "duly accredited transport plates" mounted at the back-end of the carts. The wear and tear marks of the porter's transport plate is a sign of fast paced activities related to the public market.
Delivery Porters Session Road Baguio City Cordillera Administrative Region
Porter carts not only move about in the market alleys, vegetable trading post areas but also they regularly ply major streets/roads. 
Porter Carts Abanao Baguio City Public Market Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines
During a porter's day off, you can see their cars parked somewhere, usually chained or have it watched by neighbors/locals in the public market area.
A porter taking a break early in the morning
A porter's cart can also be used as a make shift bed during breaks when esp. when porters are waiting for deliveries/customers to avail of their services.
Stacked Porter Carts Baguio City Public Market Hanger Section Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines
When awaiting for deliveries, porter carts can be stacked vertically.
A Modern Porter's Cart Lemon Produce Trading Post La Trinidad Benguet Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines
La Trinidad porter carts have evolved and transformed in time. I am surprised of the ingenuity of hardworking porters who even have cart versions which sport steel frames/"chassis" and car wheels and have higher carrying/load capacities. 
Porter Mordernized Improvised Cart Trading Post La Trinidad Benguet Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines

One Morning at Trading Post Porter La Trinidad Benguet Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines
La Trinidad porter as seen above with a modified cart with the same wooden frame but now equipped with car wheels.
Porter Hauling Recycled Cartons La Trinidad Public Market Benguet Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines

Baguio City Market Porter Carts and Children Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines

Scott Kelby World Wide Photo Shoot Abanao Steet Baguio City Public Market Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines
In one of photography sessions which I humbly lead/participate with my photography Mukha ng Baguio colleagues/friends on an annual basis is the Scott Kelby Annual Worldwide Photo Walks ... and I once highlighted Baguio City porter's carts as backdrop with a model.
Fully Loaded Porter and His Cart Baguio City Streets Cordillera Administrative Region Philippines
Baguio City porters deliver from the Baguio City Market to the nearest bus stations. Porter's carts have brakes located near the back of the wheels. When the cart is released at an angle, a rubber brake hits the ground and slows down a cart. This porter cart braking technique is usually employed when going downhill. The weight of the cart together with the rubber padding located at the back will slow and put the cart to a halt. The direct relationship of farm to market produce (vegetables/fruits) and the different forms of exsting local livelihood (porters, haulers, sorters, baggers, etc.,) is a sign of the vitality and changing dynamics of trading posts and public markets of La Trinidad, Benguet/Baguio City and the Cordillera Administrative Region. If you happen to be in Baguio City/La Trinidad and you have market goods, vegetable produce to be delivered say, to the nearest bus terminal, always consult/hire the services of a local porter "comboy" and at the fastest time everything gets delivered without a scratch.   

Vogue Italia Market Shadows by Avianquest a.k.a. Peter C. Florendo
Humbly, images of local porters and their carts can even land you in an international photography portfolio.

Thanks for visiting. Have a great day! 😎
Till next blog. 








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