Saturday, March 14, 2009

Cebu: Lechon, chicharon and more from Carcar

Carcar is the pork capital of Cebu if I may say so. The town is ever so popular for its lechon and chicharon. And I found myself on my way there again.

From the North Bus Terminal in Mandaue, me and my tokayo, Ivan Man Dy of Old Manila Walks, took a cab to the South Bus Terminal to catch a bus to Carcar where we were going to stay for the night. We were lucky since Jerry Alfafara, president of the Carcar Heritage Conservation Society, invited us to stay at his ancestral house. It was a two hour bus ride to Carcar. And as soon as we arrived, I noticed immediately one of the products which Carcar is famous for, chicharon!

We walked over to the Noel Ancestral House where Jerry was waiting for us. After a short tour of the house (which I visited in 2006) and settling down in our room for the night, we had dinner. Lights out was early and we stayed in the room the whole night, scared that we might meet the other inhabitants of the house which have become part of the house's story. We survived the night without seeing or hearing any of them.

The next morning, we took a walk around Carcar on the way to the Carcar Public Market where we planned to have breakfast. I didn't realize that there were more old houses further down the streets.

At the market, we were greeted by the many lechon stalls which have made Carcar so prominent in the "heirarchy of pork" as Anthony Bourdain puts it. Yes, you could have lechon for breakfast! But we didn't. Instead we had hot chocolate and suman. But I'd like to thank Kagawad Bebie for giving us some lechon. Daghang salamat!

We also visited a place where they make chicharon. They showed us the tub of lard they use to fry the pig skin in. Now talk about first class cholesterol!

Carcar is indeed at town with so much character. I hope the local government of Carcar realizes that and does not bastardize Carcar beyond recognition.

Part 1: Bantayan Island, Cebu is rich in heritage and great beaches!
Part 2: Visita iglesia in Northern Cebu
Part 4: Visita iglesia in Southern Cebu
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