Do you know what a “Suki” is? How about a “Suki Relationship”? It is something that is very important and beneficial if you plan to live in the Philippines.
A Suki Relationship is the relationship between a customer and a trusted supplier. It is a relationship of mutual respect between these two people. If you develop a suki relationship with some vendors, you will get the best prices, the best quality, and a true friend who will look out for you.
I enjoy shopping at the public markets in the Philippines. In Tagalog speaking areas, the market is also known as the “Palengke”. In the Bisaya speaking areas of the Philippines, the market is called the “Merkado”. In Davao, where I live, both “Palengke” and “Merkado” are used frequently. I like to go there and the number of unique items I find there seems almost limitless.
I have a lot of Sukis at the Merkado too. I have a preferred vendor for fish, for meat, for vegetables. For each type of product that I buy regularly, I have a suki that I go to. These vendors know me, because they see me regularly.
For example, as I said, I have a suki for fish. Now, if my trusted vendor knows that I like a certain type of fish, he might hold it for me when he gets something really special that matches my favorite. He won’t sell it to others that he does not know and deal with regularly. But, if I show up, he will pull that out from the back and show it to me, because I am a regular customer, and he wants to take good care of me.
A lot of foreigners complain that vendors here do not treat them well. Vendors overcharge them, because they are a foreigner.. or so these foreigners say. I don’t find that to be the case! Because I have suki relationships with the vendors that I use, they look out for me. They would not want to risk our relationship of trust and respect by charging me an extra P20 or whatever. They can make more money from me by treating me right, and ensuring that I will be back time and again!
Shop around, find your sukis and stick with them!