When vacationing on Boracay, finding the best food and shopping are two things that are on most people’s checklist. It is possible to accomplish both by spending some time at D* Talipapa for a unique food and shopping experience, one of the best that Boracay has to offer!
What is a D* Talipapa? No, wait, what is a wet market?
The Tagalog word for market is palengke. The palengke is a public market that has fresh meat and seafood on site. The term “wet market” implies that there is meat and produce as opposed to a market which has dry goods such as fabric, electronics, and housewares, etc.
The term talipapa applies to a smaller, (sometimes) temporary wet market, but one that specializes in seafood in particular.
The name D*Talipapa is a play on slang where the letter D, replaces “the”.
It almost seems silly to type that explanation out because to many, it is so very obvious; but after years of reading, typing out, and visiting DTalipapa, you can tend to forget the playful origin of its name. Over time, Dtalipapa simply just becomes the name of ‘that place’ to everyone.
For many that are still learning Tagalog (like the author of this article) the word talipapa has been used incorrectly, in exchange of the word palengke. Filipinos always tend to know what you mean in that context, so you will rarely be corrected.
But for first timers, or people that have never been there and are researching what goes on at D*Talipapa, the complete explanation of there DTalipapa comes from is usually welcomed.
You can also check out a more complete article on what you can do at dtalipapa written earlier.
Please Help Me Find D*Talipapa!
Unlike DMall, DTalipapa can be a bit harder to find. It has a very secluded feel and is very nicely tucked away in between the national road and the beach walk, so it can be very difficult to find.
The simplest way to get here is to hop on an electric or standard trike along the main road and tell the driver that you want to go to Dtalipapa.
This can get expensive if you plan on frequenting the market because land transportation on Boracay is far pricier than elsewhere in the Philippines. You can expect to pay between 100-150 pesos (2-3 USD) for short rides that typically cost only 15 pesos per kilometer in other provinces. In fact, you can expect to pay at least 100 pesos for any private hire in boracay. The exception is the back seat of a motorbike, but that ride comes with many limitations. Hopping on a tricycle for 10 pesos per kilo is possible along the main road, and perhaps the most economical way to get around Boracay, except for walking of course. Just make sure to tell the driver where you are going so that they remember to tell you when to get off!
Getting to DTalipapa on foot is not too difficult, tho it can be a bit confusing at times because the landscape of Boracay is forever changing. It never looks the same, even if visiting just a few months later. New shops open, creating new landmarks, the appearance of store fronts can change, hotels sometimes change owners, there is a never ending list of reasons on why Boracay always looks different. This constantly changing landscape with seemingly no permanent landmarks is the largest barrier to easily finding Boracay’s largest wet market.
These two important facts will help you easily pinpoint the talipapa:
Located on border between Station One and Station Two
Located in between national road and the beach
Of course you can always stop and ask someone, but the ratio of tourists to locals in Boracay is not helpful. Most people will just point you in the right direction but are unable to give clear instructions.
Being Prepared for the Talipapa Experience
What a wonderful and freeing experience it is to be able to go through an entire vacation without the need to wear shoes. This can be specially tempting in beautiful and warm places like Boracay, but shoes are definitely helpful when visiting a wet market. Please remember to consider that the ground is often wet here. While it doesn’t really create much of a slip hazard, it can be extremely unpleasant to get your feet and chinellas/ flip-flops wet while walking around.
It’s not uncommon to find these narrow walkways uneven, and abundant with trip hazards from exposed roots or power chords, to stray cats and large potholes. Just be extremely careful and mind where you are walking. These broken walkways also house standing puddles of water at times, and that goes for any talipapa. Being well protected and applying bug spray before arriving here is a very good idea.
If you like using hand sanitizer, you will probably already have some with you, but the lack of places to wash up before eating here catches people by surprize. Many of the shops in this area have some for sale, so no huge need to panic when looking for some.
Remember, just because you bought your food here doesn’t mean that you have to eat here if you don’t want to. Many guests opt to bring their purchases back to their hotel. Be sure to ask first, but many accommodations will be glad to prepare your food for a small cooking fee.
Just here for shopping? Bring a backpack if you plan on buying lots of souvenirs. So many shops and stalls sell the exact same product that many people prefer putting their purchases away to avoid confusion with other vendors they visit.
It can be crowded here at the market so be sure to be on high alert with your valuables, just as you would in any crowded public place. This place is indeed very safe, just be sure to take care!
Have fun and enjoy your visit to Boracay!