Dampa is basically going to a fish market, picking out your fish, and then taking it to a nearby restaurant where they cook it however you like. But - it's so much more than that.
There's a very large dampa area in Manila - right next to Manila Bay. There are about three long warehouse type blocks that are filled with individual fish shops. Strolling through in the evening to pick out your dinner is an incredible experience.
The vendors call out to you promoting their various fresh fish and shellfish.
There are fish you've seen before, and then fish you've only read about or seen in pictures, and then fish you've never seen before.
There are beautiful scallops still in the shell.
And different types of clams.
Odd looking fish in tanks.
We picked out some clams and a big lobster.
We also picked out a Stone Fish to try.
The guy pulled it out of the tank and proceeded to butcher it for us.
And then we went across the way to the rows of restaurants. We found one that prepared the fish Chinese style and had a great feast!