Vendors hopeful despite low sales

By Albert-Anthony Abando

December 31, 2017, 11:09 am

MANILA – As preparations for New Year are already in full swing, business remains slow for some vendors in Commonwealth, Quezon City.

“Media Noche” dinner is a big thing for typical Filipino families, often going through the trouble of borrowing money if only to complete the twelve round fruits symbolizing prosperity for the coming year in addition to the fruit salad, ham and “queso de bola” which many could only feast on during the Yuletide season.

With less than 24 hours before 2017 finally ends, Susan Adolfo, 63, is tending her stall near the Quezon Memorial Circle with a cup of coffee in her hand while a customer examines some apples.

A fruitstand in Commonwealth, Quezon City remains open despite late hours to accomodate last-minute shoppers.

“Medyo mahina lang ngayon isipin mo na lang anong petsa na?” (It’s quite slow tonight considering that it’s almost New Year’s Eve.), Adolfo lamented.

The old vendor set up her shop on Dec. 15 and she expects to be on the same spot until the stroke of midnight on the first day of the year, quite a long haul for someone at her age.

Although the area was bustling with activities even past 11 p.m., there were only a handful of customers who actually bought from Adolfo’s store.

At Adolfo’s stall, “kiat-kiat” (Mandarin oranges) sells for PHP50 per bundle; grapes at PHP200 per kilo; pineapples at PHP50 per piece; “chiko” at PHP60 per kilo; lemon at PHP20 per piece; lanzones at PHP150 per kilo; melon at PHP80 per kilo; suha at P50 per kilo; watermelon at P100 per piece; persimmon at “40 per piece; dalandan at P40 per kilo; pear, depending on size costs PHP10-20 per piece; apples at PHP10-20 per piece; green apples at PHP25 per piece and mangoes at PHP200 per kilo.

Because of the prices, some customers could not afford getting fruits by the kilo. Adolfo said that prices at the “bagsakan” cost a lot less.

A "torotot" (horn) vendor in Commonwealth, Quezon City sees brisk sales amid the enforcement of a nationwide firecracker ban. 

And since a firecracker ban is now in place, vendors now offer a variety of horns and other party noisemakers ranging from PHP20-60 per piece.

“Hindi kasinlakas ang benta ngayon7 kumpara noong 2015. Siguro naman lalakas din ang benta habang papalapit na ang bagong taon,” (We had better sales in 2015. Maybe sales will pick up as the New Year approaches.), Adolfo said while sipping her coffee. (PNA)