Almost every Sunday we are visiting Legaspi Flea Market (Legaspi village, Salcedo street, Makati). One of the vendors are Shumei.
I do feel bad now. In the beginning we thought there’s something mentally wrong with them. Always smiling, acting slow, being shy, selling only rice, few vegetables and fruits. Measuring everything with a jewelry scale. Like they are selling diamonds not cucumbers. Being too kind for the flea market competitive values. I could not understand how they are earning money. I did not see the purpose. I was wrong.
They are part of a spiritual organization Shumei – committed to furthering an ideal state of health, happiness and harmony for all mankind. They cherishes happiness as primal hope for all humankind. WHAT?
Not only that, they believe that art and beauty have the power to nourish and refine the soul. “Art and beauty bring pleasure and profoundly move the heart and mind. Beauty fosters a deeper appreciation of life and all creation. Throughout history, art has touched the part of the human spirit that exists above the struggle for survival and beyond the sphere of reason. It can put humankind in touch with the best qualities of human nature. It is for this reason that Shumei encourages the integration of art and beauty into daily life. When touched by beauty we place a higher value on life and on all creation.”
In addition to above, one strong part of Shumei is link between mankind and nature. They said: “The greatest expression of Shumei’s deep concern for the health of our Earth is its commitment to the practice of the Natural Agriculture method of growing food, a method that emphasizes the integrity of nature and the purity of soil, water, and air.”
I said what? What kind of church is that? Is it possible that I agree with them? I’m more of a sceptic then a believer. I’m not going to join, it’s not in my nature to be a follower. And anyhow I’m going straight to hell because I believe that My God isn’t short of cash. And that today’s priests are way to rich for my image of a holly man. So it’s to late for my “official” salvation.
Nevertheless, I feel close to Shumei, like they are mine humane brothers of a same tribe. We are sharing the same views and I’m happy they exist.
Shumei’s rice is fantastic, and tomatoes smells and taste like the ones my mother in law grows in her garden.
What else is organic on Legaspi Market?
There are around 100 vendors. Maybe five to ten of them are selling food that is homegrown/homemade. Everything else is resell. Other markets in Manila are overcrowded and dirty and smelly, and very loud. Legaspi is a polished version to be more appealing for foreigners and Filipino wannabe foreigners. Snobbish. Me among them.
I like that other markets and we are going there from curiosity, but I feel like an alien there. There are some basic hygienic lapses, and I have problem eating food from there. Cultural differences. And I just can’t overcome them.
Our pick for buying food on Legaspi are: