I did not know
that it was love
until I knew.
There was never
another to compare
But every time I travel,
each new city I visit,
will always have you
Cebu is <3.
Reading Love’s Inception on Lang Leav’s latest book Lullabies reminded me of how I feel every time I leave Cebu and travel a new city or country. I started this blog with an excerpt from the book and tweaked the first two lines of the third verse just to perfectly fit my feeling about my most favorite place in the world, my home Cebu.
Reminiscing and a bit sentimental, I decided to go on a road trip the next morning to the South and get reacquainted with the simple things why I fell in love with Cebu. The food, the people, the culture.
The next morning.
Pardo –> Naga —> San Fernando —> Carcar —-> Sibonga —> Argao . Estimating my driving speed and my planned stops, I tabbed Argao to be my concluding municipality for this trip before I drive back to the city of Cebu. I am quite familiar with the roads in southeast Cebu for I have drove to this part plenty of times already. Though I have a clear Southeast Cebu mental map, I still would glance at stores and establishments, trying to read the addresses on signboards, just to make sure am on the right direction.
Three of my favorite Food Stops:
Driving to the South of Cebu is never complete without pigging out. My first favorite food stop serves a dessert that is a constant craving specially on a hot humid day – Melton’s Halo-halo in Pardo Cebu. Made with simple ingredients, this would remind you of hearty desserts made by your lolos and lolas. Nangka (jackfruit), coconut , peanut, banana and the coconut milk are my favorite hints on Melton’s halo-halo. They also have a newly opened branch in Talisay but I still prefer getting a bowl of Melton’s Special Halo-halo from the original branch, where it’s a bit more relaxed and folksy.
Carcar City is 40 kilometers from the city of Cebu and is home of one of the best lechon recipes in the region. Carcar is one of the cities in Cebu that has a unique lechon recipe that has been loved by many Cebuanos and tourists – roasted pig made more flavorful with pig broth and roasted pig drippings. (Read more about Carcar Lechon here: https://www.iluvcebu.com/carcar-cebu-lechon/)
Undoubtedly the title holder for the best chicharon (pig crackling) in Cebu, Carcar Chicharon starts with a crunchy bite then finishes with a soft gradual melt of fat and rind. Best paired with native vinegar! Yum!
Chitang’s Torta Argao. So what makes Chitang’s Torta the best in Argao? It’s these two ingredients and the way they bake it! Early morning tuba or locally called lina and lard from the preparation of the humba are mixed into the batter. It is then cooked in an improvised oven, called hudno, using coconut husks as charcoal. Torta de Argao is best paired with a hot chocolate cup made from 100% Argao Tablea .
1. Churches . From Naga’s St. Francis of Assisi Church to Sibonga’s Castle Church – Simala Shrine to St. Michael The Archangel Parish in Argao, churches in the south are stunning. Look for candle vendors and buy a few for lighting and offering a prayer. Don’t forget to smile and say thank you as most candle vendors are the sweetest. Also, most of them had been around long enough and know many things about the church they are stationed at, so don’t miss the chance to ask them information about the church. Start by asking “Kanus-a ang pista sa patron?” trans. “When is the Patron Saint’s fiesta?”
2. Town Centers, Municipal Parks and Museums. Municipal parks are really serene and calm. I can imagine myself setting up a picnic mat under a tree, enjoying a good book while sipping on fresh coconut. Municipal town centers and museums give you a glimpse of the old Cebu.
3. Hispanic houses and more vintage stuff. You’ll see lots of ’em on the trip. :). If you love hispanic houses and vintage stuff, you’d find oodles of them along the road, museums, churches and even on sari-sari stores.
4. Acacia Coves. One of the best parts of road trips to the south is passing through coves of century old Acacia trees. But the current road widening projects in the south may have these trees be cut down. 🙁 I guess we will soon be saying goodbye to these Acacia coves?
This spontaneous road trip – food trip was a relighting adventure, creating an even more appreciation for Cebu. And these on the list are personal favorites and I would love to read about yours! Let us know, we’d love to check them out soon. 🙂 So what food spots and places would you recommend when on a road trip – food trip to Cebu South? Do tell us!