Tag Archives: Cebu City

“Fresh” Danggit at Taboan Dried Fish Market, Cebu: Photo of the Day

What’s the breakfast of champions? Yes, we know, we can have a debate based on science and nutritionists will most likely win. In our book, however, it’s danggit. Yes, that deboned and sliced little dried fish that is popular at the Taboan Dried Fish Maket in Cebu City. If you put it side by side with bacon, spam and all the works on a buffet table, we’ll still pick danggit. Every. Single. Time. Just dip in suka (vinegar), lump it with a little rice, and you’re good to go. It’s so popular in this side of the world that it’s usually bought as pasalubong (then again, this kind of gift-giving is probably unique to Filipinos, right?). The concept of pasalubong is a bit hard to explain, but suffice it to say that it’s bought in the place you’ve visited and you won’t get one if you’re not close enough or special to the one giving the gift (it’s like saying, “hey, I’m thinking of you even if I’m far away”). It’s also hard to explain why your Filipino neighbor, especially abroad, is cooking something with that weird smell. That’s danggit. Want to see danggit? Here, have a basketful, photo courtesy of Rubi Santos (check her Instagram account, @rubirubiroo, for more photos). Click the photo to enlarge. Continue reading “Fresh” Danggit at Taboan Dried Fish Market, Cebu: Photo of the Day

Get into the Spirit of Ati-Atihan, Aklan: Photo of the Day

There are at least two well-known, and well-loved, annual festivals in the Philippines to honor the Santo Niño (Infant Jesus) — the Sinulog of Cebu and the Ati-Atihan of Kalibo, Aklan. The name of the latter festival means “to be like the Atis or Aetas,” a group of Filipinos who were the primary settlers of the islands. Atis or Aetas have black skin, so it’s common for Ati-Atihan participants and performers to color their skin black and wear tribal costumes, as shown in this photo by Atch (check his Instagram acount, @atch.dreams, for more awesome photos). Aklan’s Ati-Atihan, of course, is the festival that inspired other mardi gras, including the Sinulog. Tourists / visitors must wait for at least one year to watch both festivals, as they are simultaneously scheduled every third Sunday of January. Which festival to watch first? That’s a good problem to have. Click the photo to enlarge. Continue reading Get into the Spirit of Ati-Atihan, Aklan: Photo of the Day

Tribu Sinanduloy Reyna Juana, Sinulog 2017: Photo of the Day

There’s no Sinulog celebration without a lovely woman carrying the Sto. Niño, gracefully dancing to the beat of the drums. We’ve explained the significance of this festival character in a previous post, but we’ll summarize it again here. She is Reyna Juana or Queen Juana, the wife of Raja Humabon. They were the first Catholic converts when Ferdinand Magellan came to these islands, later named the Philippines. The story goes that Queen Juana was overwhelmed when presented with the Sto. Niño and she began dancing carrying the image. Her subjects followed suit, a practice we now still commemorate in the annual Sinulog festival. Here’s a lovely photo of the Reyna Juana of Tribu Sinanduloy-Tangub City (photo courtesy of Roel Clenuar, a traveler and wedding / portrait photographer; check his Instagram acount, @welics, for more awesome photos). Click the photo to enlarge. Continue reading Tribu Sinanduloy Reyna Juana, Sinulog 2017: Photo of the Day

Chasing the Kawasan Waterfalls (Badian, Cebu): Photo of the Day

Don’t go chasing waterfalls, goes a popular song. But you really don’t have to chase waterfalls — you simply jump from one. Around three hours south of Cebu City is the three-tiered Kawasan Falls, with its clear spring water forming part of the Matutinao River System. It’s found in Barangay Matutinao, municipality of Badian. Foreign and Filipino tourists love this ecotourism destination. One recent guest of the Philippines, the British visitor Lydia Garner (check her Instagram acount, @lydiagxx), lost no time testing her nerves by jumping off Kawasan Falls. See her photo below. By the way, expect a full trip when visiting Kawasan Falls. Beyond enjoying the waterfalls, another popular activity in this area is canyoneering upstream of the Kawasan Falls. The Osmeña Peak in the Badian Mountain Range, a popular trekking destination, is located nearby. Pescador Island, with its corals and marine life for divers, is found in the nearby town of Moalboal. Click the photo to enlarge. Continue reading Chasing the Kawasan Waterfalls (Badian, Cebu): Photo of the Day

5 Things to Remember About the Sinulog Festival (Cebu City)

We’ve had our fair share of Sinulog celebrations in Cebu City, but now our participation is limited to watching this annual festival on tv or reading about it in write-ups. We can’t join them all. Still, we intend to immerse our children in the Sinulog. Here are 5 things that, in our opinion, we must imprint in their young minds as they begin their Sinulog journey (we were actually thinking of 15 things to remember, but that’s too much even for us). Continue reading 5 Things to Remember About the Sinulog Festival (Cebu City)

Photo of the Day: Juana of Sinulog (Cebu City)

One prominent feature in any Sinulog celebration is a beautiful woman carrying the Sto. Nino. She is Queen Juana. Immediately after Fernando Magallanes, better known as Ferdinand Magellan, claimed the islands later known as the Philippines, he presented an image of the child Jesus (Sto. Nino) to the chieftain of the islands, Raja Humabon. He baptized the chieftain, and his queen (Humamay or Amihan), and gave her the name Queen Juana. The Philippines was named after Philipp II, son of Carlos I of Spain (also called Charles V) and Queen Isabella. The mother of Carlos I is Queen Juana, after which the wife of Rajah Humabon was named. This history refresher explains a lot about what guests see during the Sinulog Festival of Cebu. The story goes that Queen Juana was overwhelmed, she began dancing carrying the Sto. Nino. Her subjects followed suit. This is said to be the very first celebration of the Sinulog. This wonderful image, courtesy of Vin (follow his Instagram account, @vin_aranas87), shows a Queen Juana during the Sinulog Festival 2016 (Cebu City). She must have faith. She must be beautiful. She must know how to dance. And she must have the stamina to dance during the whole-day festivity, throughout the city streets, under the scorching rays of the sun. Respect. Click the photo to enlarge: Continue reading Photo of the Day: Juana of Sinulog (Cebu City)

Photo of the Day: Osmena Peak

One thing that constantly amazes us, which also happens to be one of the things that keep us going with this advocacy, is the chance to discover awesome nooks and crannies of the Philippines on a daily basis. Take, for instance, this pop quiz: what’s the highest peak in the island of Cebu? Well, we didn’t know until we stumbled on the awesome photo (click to enlarge) posted by Jillien Lacerna, showing her beautiful smile while perched on top of Osmena Peak, with one outstretched arm similar to the pose of beauty queens when they introduce the country of their origin. “Ladies and gentlemen, representing the lovely Osmena Peak, Cebu!” Here’s the photo: Continue reading Photo of the Day: Osmena Peak

Must-Visit Philippine Festivals in 2014

We came across a list of top 5 restaurants in the Philippines, compiled by the It’s More Fun in the Philippines website — KaLui (Puerto Princesa, Palawan), Abe, Chocolate de Batirol (Baguio City), La Preciosa (Laoag, Ilocos Norte), Cafe Juanita (Pasig). We’ve visited all these restaurants (and then some) and we can humbly say that other restaurants should be in that list (Lantaw of Cebu, for instance). So why don’t we have our own list? We can start with the Top 5 Festivals that everyone must visit, see and experience this year, 2014. Continue reading Must-Visit Philippine Festivals in 2014

The Art of Eating Otap

It’s extremely easy to feel at home at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino. The expansive lobby. The quiet ride up the elevator. The long, peaceful walk to the room. The reassuring beep of the electronic room key. The nicely decorated rooms. And as you go through your day in Cebu, whether for business or pleasure, there’s a little  surprise waiting for you upon coming back to your room — little food items that makes you feel that the Hotel thinks of you. One day, it was a pack of OTAP, with a little note on its side.

The note, captioned The Art of Eating Otap, reads in full:

“An original Cebu pastry, the “OTAP” is the celebrated oval biscuit made of flour, sugar, shortening and coconut sprinkled with sugar. This tasty, fragile biscuit would send delicious fragments of it flying to the floor, which is why one has to admit that eating otap is an art by itself. THis is also probably the reason why only a few can resist its sweet flakiness and why many reach for the sugar encrusted pastry for comfort.”

Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino

The first time I saw the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino years back, I looked closely at the opal-green rooftops, or domes. The architecture and design are impressive, yes, but these were not the reasons why my eyes were attracted to those domes. I was more interested, and imagined, that I’d see Quasimodo, the hunchback of Notre Dame, bouncing back and forth, sliding down the domes, looking for his Esmeralda. Continue reading Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino