Monday, April 23, 2007

A store that has (almost) everything in it...


I found this sari-sari store (an all kind, small food store) along a private subdivision. It caught my interest because the structure of the store is very unlikely of the usual one (at least from the one I usually see). This store is square and made of hollow blocks with a very little window for display. One needs to poke his/her head inside to see the goods. Sari-sari store is perhaps one of the most ubiquitous establishments here in the Philippines. It's a good way to start a small business. It's also considered a good business because a sari-sari store usually have everything and one can buy it by pieces unlike in the grocery stores where one has to buy it by packs. And since these little stores are almost everywhere, housewives need not to go back to the grocery stores in case they forgot to buy the soy sauce or some salt. Nowadays, sari-sari stores are not limited to selling foods, most often they'll have everything, from medicine to needles, from a stick of cigarettes to a pack of coal (for the barbecue). From batteries to a plastic cover for your book. Even 7-11 couldn't beat that.

No wonder Sidney used the name for his blog. Awesome choice.


Last night was perhaps the busiest sky I've seen. Such an immense gathering of stars, and the moon, god, have you seen the moon lately?


Sidney said...

Thanks for the plug! :-)

There is an interesting article on's website which explains the sari-sari store phenomena very well.

rayts said...

a plug? are u kidding me? i am a walking endorser of your sari-sari blog. not to mention, Oki, my housemate, who has been more keen on endorsing your blog than me. in fact, she has made it into a habit to mention your blog whenever she meets someone. crazy girl. needless to say, you owe us some bucks, for the ads Sidney. hehe. just kidding! we really dn't endorse something unless, it's really worth the time.

thanks for the links by the way, i've read it. some say that we can actually save more if we do away with the "tingi-tingi" system (retail instead of wholesale, buying in pieces instead of a whole pack)...but i can always debate on that. the premise is simple, the D, E classes, which comprise the majority of the poor Filipinos, cannot do away with this 'tingi-tingi' store system simply because most of them can't afford to buy goods in wholesale. an average laborer can only buy a kilo of rice, some kilo of fish, enough for a few days' survival. can't aford to hoard much, anyhow.

in Mike Dougan's photography today, he talks about how we Filipinos buy cigarettes in piece and not one whole pack. that is precisely the culture behind it.

tony said...

Very interesting concept of "sari-sari", i've never heard of this kind of "stores".

pieterbie said...

I love those blue and red checquered shorts on the left girl. They look like they are a size or 3 too big for her. Maybe she borrowed them from her mother.
The pink ones on the right girl are of course very girlish.
Ah, I should be commenting on the sari-sari store. Well: it is a wall with an opening in it. Fascinating. Thank God for these 3 girls.
Cool that you will try your hand at badminton. We want a photo, or course, haha, Rayts missing the shuttle.
Our sports park is indeed dedicated to sport. It has a cycling rink, 24 soccer pitches, an artificially made mountain bike route, a small athletics pitch with running track, a tennis court, a jogging course, an assault course to train dogs, an indoor basket ball and volley ball hall, an indoor gymnastics hall, two squash courts, petanque, I think archery as well, an outdoors table tennis table and I'm sure I've forgotten someting. It is indeed not a small sports park.
Nancy was indeed not looking at me, but at the author of the poem who was explaining about his work, he also read the poem to us.
Nancy did not write the poem on the wall, Rik Wouters is the author. Don't know who made the statue, I should check. I don't know if Nancy is very poetic, she is the member of our town council responsible for sports and culture. She is a member of the socialist party. She is a very nice and warm person, I am a member of the sports advisory board in my hometown of Oostende. We advise the town council on sports matters and intervene in conflicts beteen sports clubs or a sports club and the authorities.
But that is enough about some of my other passtimes.
I really like this sari-sari store with the 3 girls at the window.

iskoo said...

ano kaya ang binibili ng tatlong magagandang dilag? uling kaya? mas mura kasi sa mga sari-sari store at sari-sari ang mabibili.

Chris Vallancourt said...

So, that's what a sari-sari store is. In my American ignorance, I always assumed it had something to do with an Indian sari.

ndiginiz said...

Tena koe ehoa
I now know what sari-sari means in filipino but what does "uling" mean?
I reckon GOD would see the moon more than anyone else Rayts! 8)

my gulch said...

that short you mentioned, i love wearing that kind of shorts...shorts that seem to be 3 size bigger than me. and no, i didn't borrow it from my mum.

hindi ata uling, mukhang merienda.

Indian sari? ah right. confusion is always understandable.

uling means "charcoal" which is mostly use for grilling, barbecuing food.
the word, god in that statement, i wasn't referring to god really. it's an expression, like "god, you're good!" or "god, have you seen the moon?" something to that context. :-)

ndiginiz said...

Thanks fpr the translation
Yeah I know Rayts about God....
I was just making some fun. 8)

darrix said...

Oh god, I miss those sari sari stores a lot ;) nice capture

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