Add to Cart, Never

by Vergielyn Cubol

Wet markets in the Philippines wake from their slumber as early as 3 in the morning. Wet market as it is called, for at all times, its floors are dampened from the drippings of water from stalls selling meats and fishes. The dim lights from those hanging bulbs and the stench aroma of the fresh morning catch and produce never fail to attract mosquitoes and flies.

Somehow, wet markets in the Philippines are where “Add to Cart” is still an untouched jargon. It is an odd phrase behind those screens that would never understand an ecosystem that is built on hard work and aspirations.

It is where commerce is done with smiles and negotiation. It is where you have to squeeze yourself into tiny spaces to get your spices. It is where 20% OFF has to be exchanged through conversations and not with coupons.

In a wet market in the Philippines, the early morning is also a sight of people savoring delicacies paired with hot cocoa drink fresh from the pot and of course, all those small town he said, she said.

As the last light bulb goes off for the night, the lively chaotic stalls may have thanked the heavens that Add to Cart is a phrase only to just belong in another futurist book.