Street Hawkers in the Philippines: A Photo Gallery

If you travel along city streets here in the Philippines, chances are you have encountered colorful and enterprising street hawkers along the way. They have such an interesting array of goods for sale and they bring these goods right to your car or wherever you are along the street.

You can think of almost anything that you might need while on the road and chances are there is a street hawker that is around to sell that item.

newspaper man
newspaper man

Street Hawkers Galore

Do you need a newspaper? There is a newspaper vendor who will appear in front of your car the moment the traffic stops. Observe how this newspaper man to the right is able to display at the same time all the major papers for the day.

If you are feeling thirsty or hungry, then these street hawkers below will have the exact goods for you. You can even have different brands of bottled water and junk food.

drinks and chips anyone?
drinks and chips anyone?
It just rained and this street hawker braved the drizzle just to offer his wares
It just rained and this street hawker braved the drizzle just to offer his wares

Then there is a candy/gum as well as cigarette vendor you can call anytime you feel like having something to chew or to puff on. Not only that, you can buy your cigarette per stick (not by pack) and the vendor will even produce a lighter if you want it lit right away. How is that for service?

notice the different candy and cigarette brands carried by this man
notice the different candy and cigarette brands carried by this man
candy, cigarette and flower lady
candy, cigarette and flower lady

This lady vendor aside from candies and cigarettes even has an additional item - a flower garland made of sampaguita.

Sampaguita is the national flower of the Philippines. It has a very sweet smell and people love to hang this on their car rear view mirror. This gives a clean, sweet smell to the car, better than any car freshener.

Do you need fresh fruits of the season? These two street hawkers below sell guavas and strawberries!

strawberries sir/ma'am?
strawberries sir/ma'am?
would you like some guavas?
would you like some guavas?

This young coconut or fresh "buco" juice vendor either waits on a street corner or brings his goods to wherever people need him. You can drink the coconut juice fresh from the fruit. The vendor has a way of preparing the coconut for you so that you can just insert a straw on the fruit and drink away. Then you can ask him to take out the flesh of the coconut for you so you can eat it after you finish the juice.

vendor pushing his cart with fresh buco juice
vendor pushing his cart with fresh buco juice
corn vendor texting somebody on his cell phone while waiting for buyers of his goods. Notice the boiled corn is kept hot by a portable stove underneath the big kettle
corn vendor texting somebody on his cell phone while waiting for buyers of his goods. Notice the boiled corn is kept hot by a portable stove underneath the big kettle

Other street hawkers sell cooked food like this corn vendor below. Other common cooked foods that are peddled on the streets are boiled peanuts and boiled bananas.

This vendor below stays along the side of the street as he prepares to cook the favorite street food of many people - fish balls, squid balls and kwek kwek (boiled eggs wrapped in flour and fried). You have to dip these foods into a specially prepared sauce. People swear that it's the specially prepared sauce that makes the difference among various vendors of these foods.

fish ball vendor preparing to cook his goods
fish ball vendor preparing to cook his goods

The hawker below on the other hand, walks along both major and minor streets hoping to catch somebody wanting to buy his product - "taho". You can hear him calling "tahooooo" along the streets!

Taho is a drink made from gel-like soya sweetened with molasses and coupled with tapioca balls.

Taho vendor plying the streets
Taho vendor plying the streets

Street hawkers are exposed to all elements as they go on about their business. Thus, to protect themselves from dust and from the heat of the sun, they sometimes have to wear some protective gear as the hawker below.

masked man?
masked man?

Or if the vendors can no longer bear the heat, they take a rest under the shade as these two below.

street hawkers taking a rest, unmindful of the danger sign behind them
street hawkers taking a rest, unmindful of the danger sign behind them

Some hawkers frequent streets near parks and churches hoping to entice kids to buy their goods.

toy vendor
toy vendor
Balloon vendors trying to untangle their wares
Balloon vendors trying to untangle their wares

In the Philippines, we don't have an ice cream man driving a truck. However, we have an ice cream man pushing an ice cream cart.

ice cream vendor filling up several cones at a time while children wait behind him
ice cream vendor filling up several cones at a time while children wait behind him

Or would you believe that inside the styro box of this vendor below, you will find frozen delights like: popsicles or pinipig crunch?

You name it, and there surely is a street hawker who has the goods you want while on the street.

variety is the name of the game for this hawker. He carries frozen goodies inside his styro box
variety is the name of the game for this hawker. He carries frozen goodies inside his styro box

Some street hawkers are so persistent, you want to shoo them away. However, this hawker below has such a charming smile; I just smiled back at him as he offered his goods. He is really so funny, first he offered the feather duster which he carried in his right hand. When he saw I was not interested, he lifted his left hand and showed these crunchy rolled "barquillos" or wafers. If that is not persistence, I don't know what is!

would you like a feather duster ma'am?
would you like a feather duster ma'am?
what about some crunchy wafers?
what about some crunchy wafers?

There are more street hawkers that I have not yet taken photos of. Some of them peddle things you can use in cars like: rags, mat, screen, backrest, and the like. Others peddle goods that are in season. For example, during the month of February, street hawkers sell flowers and heart-shaped things while Christmas decors are sold during Christmas time of course.

Not That Kind of Street Hawker

"Street hawker" may have a negative connotation to some, but this kind is not the focus of this hub. Rather, the street hawkers here are really the ones that I shared with you through this photo gallery.

I hope you enjoyed getting acquainted with them!

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Comments 21 comments

raakachi profile image

raakachi 4 years ago from Madurai / Tamilnadu / India

A different style and different subject congrats! carry on!


tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 4 years ago from California

Feel like I have just toured Manila, The Hawker I admire the most is the coconut hawker. I once tried to open a coconut. I never did succeed. Kept the darn thing for nearly 30 years before I just threw it out.


Green Lotus profile image

Green Lotus 4 years ago from Atlanta, GA

Hi Jill- What a great way to learn about life in the Philippines. Loved it.


masmasika 4 years ago

It is always great to read and see pictures about Filipinos. Good job jill of alltrades


dinkan53 profile image

dinkan53 4 years ago from India

Lack of official jobs and the economic downturn of many global cities have driven residents to legitimately earn a living on urban streets. The most sad thing is that they have to pay a sizeable part of their income as bribes in order to keep playing their trade. Good work jill of alltrades for making a hub like this. Voting it ^^^


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 4 years ago from Philippines Author

Hello raakachi,

Thanks for dropping by and leaving a beautiful comment.

Thanks especially for being the first to visit. I really appreciate it.

God bless!


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 4 years ago from Philippines Author

Hi Tirelesstraveler,

Thanks very much for your wonderful comment.

Hahaha, I enjoyed your story about the coconut. Where did yo buy it? Maybe you could have asked them (the vendor) how to open it.

Thanks for dropping by!

God bless!


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 4 years ago from Philippines Author

Hello Green Lotus,

I'm very happy you learned something here and loved it too!

It's so nice to see you again!

Thanks very much!

God bless!


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

I l,oved this very original hub.

The photos and text brilliant.

Thank you for sharing this gem on here.

Take care and I hope you have wonderful weekend.

Eiddwen.


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 4 years ago from Philippines Author

Hello Masmasika,

Thanks very much for your visit and wonderful comment!

God bless!


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 4 years ago from Philippines Author

Hello dinkan,

Yes, that's so true about the economic difficulties. At least these people try to make the best of their situation.

Thanks very much for your visit and wonderful comment.

God bless!


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago

I love this beautiful collection of street scenes--reminds me of home. These street hawkers are really ingenious in the way they hawk their food. Rated up.


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 4 years ago from Philippines Author

Hi Angeline,

It's great to see you!

This is only my 2nd hub since May. So I'm excited to get back on track and discover that I still have old friends around and now new friends too!

You are right, they are really so ingenious. Just yesterday, I was with some friends and we saw a different batch of street hawkers. Some were peddling Christmas ornaments and cell phone chargers! Unfortunately, I couldn't take a photo as we were so cramped in the car I could hardly move much less take out my camera.

Anyway, I'm so happy to see you! Thanks very much for the rate up.

God bless!


talitz2550 profile image

talitz2550 4 years ago from Thailand

Fantastic photo story Baby... I enjoyed it. Well done! I must get back to hubpages. it has been quite a long time.


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 4 years ago from Philippines Author

Hi Talitz,

Great to see you! Thank you very much! I'm happy that you enjoyed this!

Yes, write some hubs again!

See you around!


Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 4 years ago from San Francisco

How incredible! It would be so strange for me to navigate through a world where miniature 'stores' flow through and surround traffic like water. The photos are very cool, and I enjoyed getting a hint of what it would be like to navigate a busy street in the Philippines!


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 4 years ago from Philippines Author

Hello Simone,

It's so nice to see you here!

That's a very colorful way of describing how street hawkers move around "flow through and surround traffic like water"! They really do that literally and figuratively!

Just yesterday, I myself was surprised when an enterprising hawker was able to sell to a motorist a pair of aluminum trash cans while we were waiting for the traffic light to change! I had my camera with me but I was not ready to take a picture before the traffic light changed! Ah, missed opportunity! They really sell all kinds of goods especially now that it's Christmas season!

Thanks for your visit and beautiful comment!

God bless!


freelanceauthor profile image

freelanceauthor 4 years ago

You've done a great job on taking all those photos. Keep it up


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 4 years ago from Philippines Author

Hello freelanceauthor,

Thank you very much for dropping by and leaving a wonderful comment!

God bless!


sameer.anand profile image

sameer.anand 4 years ago from Pilani (India)

Lovely pictures Jill!

Philippines is a country of lovely and hard working people. Thanks for sharing.


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 4 years ago from Philippines Author

Hello Sameer,

Thank you very much for r inspiring comment! It's really my pleasure to share what I enjoy doing.

God bless!

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