Manang Lisa or Criza Liza Gonzales Mendez is considered as an institution by the students and alumni of the University of the Philippines Cebu having been selling banana cue, camote cue, pinaypay and other snack items for the past three decades. The 58-year-old mother of four is also a mother figure for all students and faculty of one of the oldest campuses of UP Cebu.
She recounts that there are a number of instances when a car would pull up and the passenger or driver would ask if she still has some banana cue left. Whenever an alumnus drops by, she asks how they are and their batch mates. She said one alumnus once dropped by because she missed her banana cue. The alumnus went home with eight pieces of banana cue, one for each year she spent in UP from high school to college.
Manang Lisa has been selling snack items together with her husband, Anicito, in front of UP Cebu since 1986. Her husband, fondly called Mendez by UP Cebu students, faculty and alumni, has been with the university since 1979, working as a janitor. She normally opens her small stall at around 9:00 AM and closes at around 7:00PM. Her modest income of around P 1,000 to P3,000 per day allowed the couple to send four children to college.
The eldest, Marchel, finished with a commerce degree from the University of Cebu. Jomie, their second child, earned a social work degree from the South Western University. The third child, Asia May, is currently working at a call center while the youngest, Cris Ian, is working on his education degree.
Aside from pouring love into her cooking, Manang Lisa is also friendly and approachable. She treats her customers like her children. Due to this, students still come back for her banana cue long after they graduate from the state university.
Lola Pureza's Peanut Browas, a taste of old Cebu.
Available in leading supermarkets and pasalubong shops.