Last year, Vancouver had its first ever Filipino market, Magkasama. Magkasama means ‘together’ in Tagalog, and it is a free festival that spotlights Filipino culture, including food, handcrafted goods, and music. And it was one of the best markets I’ve attended. Though COVID-19 happened, nothing can stop them from hosting this year’s Magkasama. Instead, it becomes a virtual Filipino market, which you can purchase your favourite products and discover new ones online.
This year’s Magkasama features 15 market vendors. And you can check out the details of the virtual market at the bottom of this post. While the virtual market won’t be live until June 15, feel free to check out each vendors below.
Bukobaba features a Philippine essential, coconuts into the products. They recently launch new condiments, such as the Coco Black Vinegar, a healthy coconut alternative to balsamic vinegar. All products use simple and natural ingredients, with no preservatives. Coco Jam is also another popular product in store.
Coco Cakes is a new vendor this year, and it features Filipino Mochi Cakes. They are rich, chewy, and gluten free. I tried the Halo Halo Box, which includes 3 unique flavors that best represent Filipino desserts – Ube, Mango, and Buko Pandan (Coconut Pandan). And I think I am getting addicted to the strong flavors and its chewiness. All orders also come with their signature Honey Pandan Coconut Gata (cream).
Ensaimada Moments is an expert making Ensaimada, a Filipino pastry of Spanish origin. It is a soft, sweet bread topped with butter and sugar. In the Philippines, this pastry is topped with cheese instead. They are also offered in many flavors, such as salted egg and oreo, to suit customers’ palette. I tried the Gouda Ensaimada, and I am attracted by its unique sweet and savory combination.
Gigil Clothing is a new vendor this year that showcases face masks and t-shirts. This is also one of my favourite vendors this year – why? The Gigil Gang Face Mask is comfortable, high-quality, and super cute. It has drawings of Filipino foods, such as halo halo and egg tarts. If you have been always wanted a cool mask, this is THE ONE that you should keep an eye out.
To be honest, I didn’t even know about Hapag Restaurant until this event, and I really wish to know about it earlier. It locates on Victoria Drive, featuring authentic Filipino food. I tried the Chicken BBQ Meal, which comes with annatto-garlic rice, steamed vegetables, pickled cucumbers, and of course grilled chicken thighs. I truly think this restaurant deserves your attention if it has not. Its dishes are great in portion, inexpensive, and delicious. The chicken thighs remain juicy and tender even after heating up, and it is not too saucy or salty, which makes a great option for lunch or dinner.
Kapé Philippine Coffee sources their coffee beans directly from Filipino farmers – indigenous-grown, and sustainably sourced. I personally love the Auntie Florencia and Uncle Florencio’s Coffee, which is a honey processed coffee. It is smooth, with a peach, tamarind candy, and maple syrup note to it. They also sell packs of hanging drip coffee bags, which is perfect for travel!
My first encounter with Kasama Chocolate was at another market last year, and I tried a sample that they offered me. I instantly fell in love with their chocolates. It is smooth, with a hint of bitterness, but not overpowering. Their award-winning chocolate is handmade from scratch, directly from the bean. Compared to other chocolate bars, they are slightly pricey, but it is totally worth every buck. Here is the Earl Grey Tea 57% Dark Milk Chocolate.
For authentic Filipino sweet treats, I suggest Kayebakes. All cakes are handmade, and the most popular flavor is ube (Yammymon)! Last year, they were sold out in less than 2 hours. It is a pillowy-soft chiffon cake base, with different toppings. I tried both the Mochamon and Yemamon, and I am loving the Mochamon a lot!
Kiligraphy Co. showcases handwritten cards, signage, prints, and pins, and it focuses on two things: mental health and being unapologetically Filipino. Its Vaporub Pin is super cute and stylish. You can even email them if you would prefer other special designs. It is an amazing gift option to share love with your friends and family.
La Meryenda introduced me to a whole new level of bread – Pandesal, a common bread roll in Philippines. In this year’s Magkasama, they offer two products – Ube Cheese Pandesal and Ube Puto Flan. I warmed up the pandesal for breakfast, and it is soft, airy, and filled with purple yam paste and gooey cheese. It is also a good tea-time snack.
Panaderia Corner features authentic Filipino breads and baked goods. You can order the breads individually or simply try all assorted flavors in the Panaderia Pack. It comes with Ube Roll, Cheese Bread, Spanish Bread, and Kalihim. And my personal favourite is of course the Ube Roll.
I was sad that I didn’t visit Sago Togo last year because their Filipino inspired bubble tea is top notch. After trying the Cold Taho this year, I can assure you that this should be on your must-buy item. It is a sweet treat made with silken tofu, arnibal, and sago pearls. It is not overly sweet and definitely addicting.
Last year, Shameless Buns decided to sell their house made sauces to the public, and it was a great success. My all-time favourite is the Banana Ketchup, pairing with the Adobo Fries. It adds a hint of sweetness to balance the acidity from the ketchup. This year, they added Shameless Atchara (pickled papaya) and Mango Tamarind Hot Sauce to the sauce family. These sauces entirely enhance the eating-fries experience for me!
The Sweet Alley
If you are looking for a shop to make amazing, customized wedding cakes, then you should go check out the Sweet Alley. Not only wedding cakes, they also specialize in artisan confections, such as these mini cupcakes for different occasions, including baby showers, birthdays, etc – delicate and delicious.
Vancity Cookies is another new vendor this year, which specializes in a variety of thick, gooey-center, fresh-baked cookies. I tried the Discovery Pack, which includes Ube White Chocolate Coconut Crinkles, Matcha White Chocolate, Oreo Chocolate Chip, and Nutella Hazelnut. Though they are slightly too sweet for us, they are soft with a beautiful gooey center. It would be perfect for you, if you have a sweet tooth.
Details of the Magkasama, Virtual Filipino Market
Please note that the market won’t be live until June 15. And you can simply purchase everything you want all in one stop. Then, simply pick a preferred time and date to pick up.
- Store Site: https://magkasama604.com/
- Store Dates: June 15, 2020 – July 5, 2020
- Pick-up Dates: July 10, 2020 – July 12, 2020
- Pick-up Time: 11 am – 6 pm
- Location: 302 Industrial Avenue, Vancouver, BC V6A 2P3
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