Cebu is home to the Sinulog, which is considered among the grandest festivals in the whole archipelago. But, Cebu has more festivals to offer to visitors looking for something less grand yet still as fun. A good number of the towns in Cebu have their own festivals celebrating something significant in the town. For the City of Bogo, their festival celebrates the delicacy known as the pintos.
The pintos is a local delicacy that is made of ground corn, margarine or butter and milk. This popular delicacy is wrapped inside corn husk. The delicacy is cooked by soaking it in boiling water for around an hour. The delicacy was also used as the inspiration for the Pintos Festival in Bogo City. The Pintos Festival served as the replacement of another festival known as the Kuyayang Festival. The older festival is based on a traditional courtship dance.
The Pintos Festival is celebrated on the later part of May and coincides with the fiesta of the city that celebrates the patron saint of the city, St. Vincent Ferrer. The festival also reflects the main product of the city, which is corn. Due to this, it is rational for the city to promote this product during its annual festival.
The City of Bogo typically has a number of activities lined up for the annual Pintos Festival, including the Ms. Bogo Festival Queen competition. These activities culminate with street dancing where different contingents depict the sangi or planting and giving thanks for an abundant harvest. The different barangays in Bogo City form five different cluster tribes during the celebration of the festival. The Pintos Festival in Bogo City also features beauty contests and racing competitions. While corn of Bogo is the main focus of the festival, the city is also home to a thriving fishing industry. This is the reason why the city has three wharves that can accommodate a good number of boats.
The Pintos Festival of Bogo City reflects the fun-loving nature of the residents of the city and Cebuanos as a whole. Aside from being fun-loving, the festival also shows that the people of Bogo are appreciative and grateful for all the blessings they receive each year.
Have you witnessed the Pintos Festival of Bogo City already? Tell us about your experience on the comments section below.
Pochero is just one of the dishes brought by the Spaniards to the Philippines. It is a type of beef stew that has satisfied the discriminating taste of the residents of the Queen City of the South. Aside from the Philippines and Spain, the dish is also prepared in a number of other countries, including Uruguay, Paraguay, Argentina, Mexico, and Colombia. The name of the dish is derived from “puchero,” which is the Spanish word for stewpot.
While a number of restaurants have the dish on their menu, there are some places where one can get a taste of this delightfully delectable dish at a reasonable price. One of these places is Ekit’s Foodhaus. Located at the corner of Pres Magsaysay Street and Tandang Sora Street, Ekit’s Foodhaus is one of the more popular destinations for people looking for piping-hot pochero.
A typical day at Ekit’s will have a number of cars parked outside the place. People from nearly all walks of life go to the place to have a taste of their pochero, which is priced at PHP 60 per serving. The serving is quite generous and is good for two people. The dish consists of beef, vegetables and a corn cob. The tenderness of the beef shows how long it was cooked while the broth has a rich and velvety feel to it. The aroma of the dish comes mainly from the spices added to it, which includes a healthy dose of unpeeled ginger. Aside from its famous pochero, Ekit’s Foodhaus also offers other dishes, including grilled meat, chicken adobo, sizzling squid and lechon kawali, among others.
The façade may not be as appealing as other restaurants in the city, the food Ekit’s Foodhaus offers will more than make up for this. The dining area is essentially the backyard of a house with umbrellas offering shelter from the heat of the sun, but diners will still sweat from sipping the piping hot pochero.
To get to Ekit’s Foodhaus, you can ride a jeepneys marked 03A and get off in front of the Sarrosa Hotel. Just follow the street on the left side of the hotel and turn right along Pres Magsaysay Street. You will be able to see the sign of the store on the left side of the road. If you are taking a taxi, just tell the driver to bring you to the “pocherohan sa Mabolo” at the back of Sarrosa Hotel.
Despite its modest appearance, Ekt’s Foodhaus is definitely one place you should not miss if you get to visit the Queen City of the South. Have you tasted the mouth-watering pochero of Ekit’s Foodhaus already? Tell us about it on the comments section below.
The island of Cebu was named as the sixth best island on the “World’s Best Islands” list of Travel + Leisure magazine. One reader of the international travel magazine said that Cebu is ideal for travelers hoping to save on recreational activities. While there are a number of well-known tourist spots on the island, Cebu is also home to several undiscovered paradises. One of these yet-to-be-discovered areas is Carnaza Island.
Located off the northern coast of Cebu, Carnaza Island is a part of the municipality of Daanbantayan. The island is around two hours away from mainland Cebu. It can be reached through an outrigger boat from Tapilon port in Daanbantayan. It hosts a small community of residents and is home to a number of white sand beaches that are untouched by commercial development. While the island has a resort owned by a well-known political family in Cebu, it does not accept walk-ins. The resort is also open to the friends and family of the family.
Due to this, visitors may have to bring their own tents and food if they want to stay a night or two on the island. They can also get in touch with one of the barangay councilors who provide lodgings for a fee. While there are some small stores on the island, it is advisable for visitors to bring their own provisions since the goods may be rather expensive as compared to buying them from the mainland.
Things to do
Aside from lazing around on the beach the whole day, visitors can also try their hand on cliff jumping from a small hill close to the residential area of the island. Hiring a boat will allow visitors to go to beaches located in the other parts of the island. They can also go snorkeling close to the shore of the island. In fact, Carnaza Island is one of the stopover points of tourists staying in Malapascua Island. Visitors can also hire a boat for a side trip to La Manok Island, which is around thirty minutes away from Carnaza Island. The island is essentially a pair of islands connected through a sand bar.
Getting to Carnaza Island
It is necessary to take a bus or van ride from the Cebu North Bus Terminal in Subangdaku, Mandaue to Tapilon port in Daanbantayan to get to Carnaza Island. If taking a bus, visitors should hop on a bus marked Maya-Kawit or Maya-Bagay and they should tell the driver or the conductor to drop them off at the Tapilon port. If they fail to do so, they may be dropped off at the Maya Port, which is the jump off point to Malapascua Island. After reaching the Tapilon port, travelers can ride an outrigger boat headed for Carnaza Island. The first trip to the island leaves the port at 7:00 AM while the last trip leaves at 4:00 AM.
Once visitors reach the island, it is necessary for them to drop by the barangay hall to register. They will be asked to provide their names, purpose of the visit, length of their stay on the island and where they will stay. While at the barangay hall, visitors can also ask for the barangay councilor who offers lodgings to visitors for a fee.
Carnaza Island is just one of the many undiscovered paradises in the Island of Cebu. While the island has a small community of residents, it has remained relatively untouched by commercial development. Have you visited Carnaza Island already? Tell us about it on the comments section below.
“Barbecue may not be the road to world peace, but it's a start.” - Anthony Bourdain
Anthony Bourdain may have something here especially when it involves the food-loving residents of the city of Cebu. Barbecue is one of the best-loved cooking methods of Cebuanos with all the barbecue stands sprouting all over the city. In fact, one can find a barbecue stand in just about every neighborhood in the city. The most famous barbecue place in the Queen City of the South is Larsian’s, but there is another barbecue place that has started to tickle the taste buds of Cebuanos of all walks of life.
Yakski Barbecue started when the late Flaviano “Boyaks” Roxas used a special sauce on the barbecue he cooked for his friends. The special sauce piqued the interest of Cebuanos and the place soon became a favorite hangout of locals and visitors alike. The legacy of Boy was continued by his children as they expanded the food offerings of the place as well as enhancing the service it provided to its customers.
The place sources its ingredients from trusted suppliers, such as Magnolia and Virginia. The servers of the place also wear sanitary masks. Since barbecue is typically associated with a lot of smoke, Yakski Barbecue has suitable ventilation to ensure its guests can dine in comfort.
Similar to any place selling barbecue, Yakski offers pork, chicken, chorizo, hotdog, and tuna belly, among others. What sets the place apart from your usual barbecue place is its special sauce, which has stimulated the palate of its guests. A good number of the guests of the place are return customers who cannot get enough of the secret sauce of Yakski barbecue.
The prices of the menu items are also reasonable as it ranges from PHP 20 for the pork barbecue to PHP 75 for the chicken breast. Yakski Barbecue has three branches in Metro Cebu with the first branch located along Don Mariano Cui Street. It also has another location at the Cebu IT Park and in Mactan Island at Gaisano Saver’s Mart.
Yakski Barbecue may not be as old as Larsian’s in Fuente Osmeña but it has definitely piqued the interest of all food-loving Cebuanos through the special sauce it offers. And yes, Mr. Bourdain, barbecue may not be the road to world peace it is definitely a good way to start especially when one has a hungry stomach.
The restaurant industry in Cebu is quite competitive as it is not easy to whet the appetite of Cebuanos for good food at reasonable prices. While number of establishments have come and gone, some have continued to satisfy the inimitable taste of the residents of the Queen City of the South.
One restaurant that has continued to serve good food in the Queen City of the South is the Beehive Restaurant. The restaurant first opened its doors to the Cebuano market over fifty years ago. Despite being over half a century old, the place continues to satisfy the discriminating palate of locals and visitors alike.
The Beehive Restaurant offers a good combination of dishes from different countries. For appetizers, diners can opt to have fried squid, fried lumpia or beef tapa. Soup choices include fresh tomato soup, fresh spinach soup and cream of asparagus soup, among others. The main dish offers a good selection of seafood dishes and steaks. Guests may also opt to dine on a number of short orders that are served with bread and a salad. These short orders include lengua estofada, roast pork, Vienna schnitzel, and chicken pork adobo.
For dessert, guests can opt to have a banana split, mango mousse, or an ice cream sundae to cap off a sumptuous meal. Among the best-sellers on the menu of the restaurant are the Angus Rib Eye Steak and the Beef Tenderloin Steak. In addition, the place also has a number of specialties, including their French bread, Steak ala Mari and the Beehive Roll.
The place evokes memories of the past and offers a homey ambience to its guests. The overall design of the restaurant contributes much to the unique feel of the place. From the rattan furniture to the wooden bar, the Beehive Restaurant definitely creates an impression of dining in style. In addition, the members of the staff of the restaurant are quite friendly and accommodating. The Beehive Restaurant is located along F. Ramos Street right beside the Bigfoot Center. The restaurant is open from 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM.
The Beehive Restaurant has become one of the institutions in the culinary landscape of Cebu. It has provided great-tasting food to the residents and visitors of the Queen City of the South for the past fifty years and is expected to continue offering its sumptuous dishes for another fifty years.
The Queen City of the South is home to a number of restaurants that have become institutions in the culinary landscape of Cebu. Some of these establishments had humble beginnings and gradually built up their reputation through the food they offer in the market.
One of these restaurants is Café Laguna. Café Laguna started out a small carenderia or eatery located close to a military camp in 1979. During this time, the place was called Mother’s Best and was owned and managed by Mrs. Julita Urbina. She ventured into the catering business and was able to work with some of the top companies in Cebu.
In 1991, Mrs. Urbina decided to renovate the apartment where the eatery was located and expanded it. When the place reopened, it already carried the name Café Laguna. The restaurant offered authentic Filipino dishes with a distinctive taste. The best-sellers of the restaurant were the puto bumbong, dinuguan and fresh lumpia. Word of the good food offered at Café Laguna spread like wildfire and people started to flock into the place.
Café Laguna was the first food category locator at Ayala Center Cebu when it opened in 1994 and by 1999 the company opened the Laguna Garden Café. Aside from the puto bumbong, dinuguan and fresh lumpia, Café Laguna also offers bibingka, chicharon bulaklak, and kare-kare. The restaurant also offers a number of other Filipino dishes such as the pinakbet, bistek, bulalo soup, rellenong manok, and sinigang na baboy, among others.
The distinctive taste of the food offered at Café Laguna is what brings customers back as it evokes a feeling of eating at home with the family. The name of the restaurant has become synonymous to great-tasting food. Café Laguna is the flagship store of the Laguna Group of companies. Aside from the branch in Ayala Center Cebu, Café Laguna also has another branch located at the SM City Cebu and SM Seaside Cebu. Café Laguna also has branches in Dumaguete, Iloilo, Cagayan de Oro and Davao.
From a small ten-table eatery located in a rented apartment, Café Laguna has definitely become one of the best-loved restaurants in the Queen City of the South.
The pochero of Cebu can be considered as one of the best-loved dishes in the Queen City of the South. The title for the best pochero, or bulalo for our kababayans up north, in town has been the bone of contention among fans of the dish. One of the contenders for this title is Marjo’s Pochero.
Marjo’s had a rather humble beginning in 1969 when Lita Raffiñan opened a restaurant and named it after her sons Marlo and Joseph. A part of the house of the Raffiñan household was used for the restaurant, which only had two tables when it started. It gradually gained popularity among the food-loving residents of the city through the years. But, it closed down in 2008 when the family relocated outside of the Queen City of the South.
While a new restaurant opened in the same location under a different name, people still associated the place with Marjo’s. In 2012, one of the sons of Lita Raffiñan and some friends decided to bring back the glory of the restaurant. The first few months of operation of the restaurant was monitored by the members of the family to ensure the quality of the dish is maintained, if not enhanced.
The pochero of Marjo’s is considered as one of the best offered in the Queen City of the South. In fact, it was recognized as the Best Pochero in the Best of Cebu list of Sun Star for 2015. It described this appetizing dish offered by Marjo’s as a “no-nonsense pochero” where the beef shank is “boiled to tenderness” and is served in a bowl smaller than the dish itself. The succulent marrow appears to entice the diner as it sticks out of the bone while a corn cob fights for space in the bowl.
The pochero of Marjo’s stirs up a nostalgic feeling among long-time residents of Cebu. Diners at Marjo’s will get the opportunity to savor authentic, home-cooked Cebuano food. The meat, soup and, of course, the marrow all contribute to this unique culinary experience offered by the pochero at Marjo’s.
Marjo’s Pochero is located along Gorordo Avenue right beside QC Pavilion. Aside from pochero, the other best-sellers of the restaurant are the lechon kawali, chicken liver and crab relleno, among others.
When was the last time you had pochero at Marjo’s? Tell us about your experience.
“Stew's so comforting on a rainy day.” ― Dodie Smith, I Capture the Castle
Well, in this case it’s a dish made of beef chunks stewed in bananas, potatoes and other ingredients or the renowned pochero of Cebu. Since rainy days are here again, or so the song goes, a good number of Cebuanos are looking for the best comfort food they can find in the Queen City of the South. And most of them would agree that the most suitable choice is the pochero.
The word pochero is based on the Spanish word “puchero,” which means a stewpot. It is also known as bulalo among the Tagalogs. While this comfort food for a rainy day is already appetizing in itself, the ingenuity of Cebuanos spawned a version of the pochero that gained popularity among the food-loving denizens of the city, the sizzling pochero.
Abuhan Restaurant was among the first to offer this own version of the pochero. The sizzling pochero is one of the must-try dishes for any visitor to the Queen City of the South. The dish is basically the pochero of Cebu with thick gravy instead of the usual clear broth, and is served on a hotplate. The sizzling pochero is definitely one for the books as it is one of the most popular dishes of the Abuhan restaurant.
Aside from the different branches of the Abuhan Restaurant, a number of other restaurants are already offering their own version of the sizzling pochero. These restaurants include Kusina Uno and Hikay, among others.
Which version of the sizzling pochero is your favorite? Tell us about it on the comments section below.
The past few years saw a number of new players in the culinary landscape of the Queen City of the South. These new entries have taken the market by storm and have gained a good following despite being new in the market. Even with the entry of new players in the market, some well-established restaurants continue to reign supreme in the culinary scene of Cebu. One of these restaurants is Casa Verde.
Casa Verde initially started off as a small canteen for the residents of a dormitory located on the second floor of the building of the restaurant close to Ramos Street. The same canteen also catered to students studying in nearby colleges and universities. In fact the location of the first outlet was the ancestral home of the owners of the establishment. But, the good food offered at the restaurant was too much to resist that people started to flock to the place and it eventually became one of the most popular dining places in the Queen City of the South.
Home-Style Food With A Twist
Casa Verde offers home-style comfort food with a twist. It is known for its large serving sizes. In fact, it offers one of the biggest burgers and milkshakes in this part of the archipelago. It also offers value for money and prides itself of being the best casual dining restaurant in the city. The restaurant has a homey ambiance as it is decorated with a number of items coming from the personal collection of the owners.
Among the best-sellers of Casa Verde are Brian’s Ribs and its Tenderloin Tips and Eggs, which are priced at PHP 245 and PHP 198, respectively. The restaurant also offers a number of mouth-watering steaks, including the Surf & Turf Steak priced at PHP 338, the David Dean’s Tenderloin Steak priced at PHP 255 and The Dax steak priced at PHP 338. The place also has luscious burgers, including the Bacon, Mushroom & Cheeseburger at PHP 198, the Casa Verde Burger at PHP 195 and The Mighty Ton burger, which measures twelve inches and is priced at PHP 865.
For dessert, customers can try Victor’s Peak, which is priced at PHP 240, the Bliss O’ Berry at PHP 228 and its Death by Chocolate at PHP 168. Customers can also wash down their meal with its juices, iced teas, and shakes, which include the Milky Way.
If you want the best bang for your buck, Casa Verde is the place to be. It currently has four locations in the Queen City of the South and two locations in the nation’s capital. When Casa Verde was established in August 2002, it was still a small restaurant offering food for the residents of its dormitory. Today, it has become one of the must-go places for any food-loving visitor to the Queen City of the South. When was the last time you visited Casa Verde? Tell us about it on the comments section below.
When the Spaniards came to the Philippines, the archipelago was plagued by Moro slave traders who would raid seaside villages every so often. To protect the townspeople from these raiders, the Spaniards built stone watchtowers to give locals a heads up against marauders roaming the coastal area.
Aside from watching out for pirates, these structures were built as watchtowers for the voyages of galleons travelling from Mexico to the Philippines and back. These structures guided galleons away from pirates. They were called “Bantayan sa Hari” by the locals. The term Bantayan sa Hari means Watchtower of the King, with the king apparently referring to the King of Spain. These watchtowers were on a constant lookout for raiders in the area. Once these marauders are spotted, a warning was sent out to the locals who would seek refuge from the raiders.
These watchtowers lined the coast of Cebu and serve as one of the links to the interesting history of the island. There are only a few of these structures surviving today. While some of these watchtowers are well-preserved, such as the one found in Liloan, some of them are in a sorry state.
The National Commission on Culture and the Arts or the NCCA has been working on restoring them. The Bantayan sa Hari in Mandaue City was among the structures that received attention from the NCCA. In 2010, Fr. Harold Rentoria called for the restoration of the watchtower located in Looc, Mandaue following his visit to the site as part of the "Dia del Galeon" or the "Day of the Galleon" celebration. Fr. Rentoria said the NCCA is willing to provide assistance to the local government in an effort to restore the historic landmark.
The Bantayan sa Hari in Mandaue City was one of the stops during the annual Gabii sa Kabilin organized by the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. Have you visited one of these historical structures recently? Tell us about the experience on the comments section below.
Lola Pureza's Peanut Browas, a taste of old Cebu.
Available in leading supermarkets and pasalubong shops.