Merry Magkasama! Vancouver Filipino market now available for online Christmas shopping

·2 min read

Vancouver fans of Filipino sweets should have no trouble putting some treats under the tree this Christmas now that the city's popular Magkasama market has moved online.

Magkasama means together in Tagalog and market organizers Matt Brennan and Corvette Romero have been doing their best to unite people over Filipino food and culture since they launched in 2019.

This winter, the duo have created a virtual store where people can shop more than 20 of their favourite Vancouver Filipino vendors — including Shameless Buns, Kapé Coffee and Kasama Chocolate — until Nov. 29.

Upon checkout, shoppers are asked to select the date and time they wish to pick up their "Magaksama Christmas Market Haul" from Dec. 4 to Dec. 12 at 302 Industrial Ave.

Tiffany Loo/@tiffanylloo
Tiffany Loo/@tiffanylloo

"Filipinos love Christmas ... and we've carefully curated it to make sure that there's a huge assortment of stuff for everyone to try a lot of Christmas traditions," said Romero during an interview on CBC's The Early Edition.

Romero spoke with guest host Michelle Eliot, who left the Philippines to live in Canada when she was 12, and after all the talk of sweet and savoury snacks Eliot was craving a taste of home.

"You're making me hungry!" she exclaimed with a laugh.

This is not Brennan and Romero's first rodeo. The market also held an online sales event this summer.

"We really wanted to create something accessible and something fun," said Brennan, who is not from a Filipino background and praised Romero for introducing him to the food and culture.

"This is the best kept secret in the world," said Brennan. "This is such a great cuisine and the world needs to know about it."

Corvette Romero
Corvette Romero

The market is also a way to help give back this holiday season.

The Philippines was recently slammed with one of the strongest typhoons in the world this year, with winds peaking at over 300 kilometres an hour.

Typhoon Goni left more than 30 people dead or missing and damaged or destroyed more than 270,000 houses, many in coastal villages. Tens of thousands of people remain displaced.

Magkasama market shoppers can donate to the cause during checkout.

To hear Corvette Romero and Matt Brennan chat with The Early Edition's guest host Michelle Eliot on Nov. 20, tap the audio link below: