Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Cebu: Visita iglesia along the Southern Cebu heritage trail

Visita iglesia is a popular activity in Southern Cebu where most of the centuries-old churches are very much intact. As part of our trip to Sumilon Island, we stopped by seven churches along the way

Although there are several more churches worth stopping by close to Cebu City like Pardo Church and Naga Church, our first stop for the morning was the San Fernando Church.

I've been to Carcar many times. So due to fatigue and lack of sleep, I slept in the van when we stopped in Carcar Church. But Carcar is one of the better churches along the Southern Cebu heritage trail. The town is very much intact and undoubtedly, it's the best preserved colonial town of Cebu. I hope it remains that way. Hopefully, the City Government of Carcar realizes the economic potential of protecting its historic streetscape and promoting the town as a cultural tourism destination.

Sibonga Church is the next church on the route. Again, having visited this church previously, I continued sleeping on the van.

For some reason, I decided to get up at Argao Church. The historic core of the town, including the church, plaza and government buildings, could have been a candidate for inscription in the UNESCO World Heritage List. But due to the misinformed, and at times, hard-headed local and church officials, the historic core is no longer as intact as before.

Argao has one of the last tile-roofed municipal buildings. And what is sad is that the municipal government literally sandwiched the historic casa municipal between two modern buildings. They even added a balcony to the entrance which is really horrible. And who could forget the horrible Midas touch of the previous parish priest who painted the colorful main altar retablo in irreparable latex gold and silver paint creating the biggest trophy case in the country!

Anyway, while in Argao, try out their torta which is a pound cake. A lot of locals are very gung-ho when they talk about the torta.

Dalaguete Church was our next stop. The sun was really heating up and I could feel my head ache. So after taking photos of the facade, I went back in the van. Dalaguete Church is another heritage disaster since the priest replaced the wooden altar floor with ugly marble with triangular-shaped designs, obviously an eyesore amidst this Philippine Baroque work of art.

Boljoon Church is one of the highlights of any Southern Cebu church tour. The town really knows how to value its heritage and has done everything to raise funds for the church's upkeep and restoration. It is a National Cultural Treasure in fact, a declaration which is very well-deserved.

Oslob Church burned down several years back because of the negligence of the priest who left his computer turned-on while he was out of the church. It's not a good idea to do that in an old structure especially if there is no one else there to notice when a short circuit starts a fire. At least they did not demolish the church and instead reconstructed it around the ruins. What is sad though is the centuries-old wooden convento with tile roofing which had survived several fires in the past did not survive the most recent one despite advances in technology. I wonder if they will reconstruct that.

While in Oslob, check out the ruins of the Daanlungsod Fort which is said to be larger than Fort San Pedro in Cebu City. You'll get to pass by all of this on the way to Sumilon Island.

For more visita iglesia routes, check out Visita iglesia and more Holy Week practices in the Philippine

Monday, March 29, 2010

April 3, 2010 (Black Saturday) declared special non-working day

April 3, 2010 (Black Saturday) is a nationwide special non-working day. Proclamation No. 2029 signed on March 24, 2010 declared Saturday, April 3, 2010, which falls between Good Friday and Easter Sunday, as a special (non-working) day throughout the country, citing that, “our people must be given the full and uninterrupted opportunity to ponder on the significance of the Holy Week and to properly observe its traditions... without prejudice to public interest.”

For other holidays check out Philippine holidays and long-weekend schedule for 2010.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Batanes: Coconut crab is a threatened species in the Philippines

It was brought to my attention that the coconut crab (Birgus latro), also known as tatus in Batanes, is a threatened species. According to the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, "Buying, using, gathering, possessing and/or transporting [this] species are prohibited under Philippine laws (Republic Act No. 8550, Sec. 91, 92 and 97; Fisheries Administrative Order 202 and 208) and international treaty (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, CITES)."

The coconut crab is a very popular delicacy in Batanes. And many tour operators, caterers and restaurants still serve it to visitors. I wonder if they know that it is a threatened species. Anyway, for those heading over to Batanes, take note of that. Let's tell our suppliers not to serve coconut crab as part of our efforts to help in the conservation of this threatened species.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Batanes: Batanes heritage in danger!

Batanes is no longer in the running for inscription in the UNESCO World Heritage List. That's unless the Provincial Government of Batanes shows even the slightest interest to have their beautiful province inscribed. Unfortunately, the local government failed to submit the requirements before the February 2010 deadline. So everything is back to square one!

But more urgent is the fact that as I write this entry, there are close to seven new concrete structures being built in the village of Savidug on Sabtang Island. I was shocked to see the construction frenzy during my trip early this month!

For those who are not familiar with Batanes heritage, the villages of Savidug and Chavayan on Sabtang Island are the two most intact villages of vernacular Ivatan architecture. They are showcases of the Sinadumparan and Maytuab styles of houses. These new hollow block houses being constructed will most definitely destroy the unique architectural fabric of Savidug. The mayor of Sabtang and the governor of Batanes should start moving and do something to preserve the distinct streetscape of Savidug.

According to Architect Joy Mananghaya of the UNESCO National Commission (UNACOM), "There are ordinances protecting the heritage of Batanes. Almost all municipalities have their own ordinance. There is a main ordinance which we had crafted while working on the nomination of the property in 2003. This is Ordinance No. 41 (Series 2002) which is An Ordinance Enacting the Conservation, Development and Management of the Natural and Cultural Heritage Sites in Batanes and Providing Funds Thereof.

"And there are local ordinances in Sabtang such as Ordinance No. 95-05 which is An Ordinance Providing for the Maintenance, Protection and Conservation of a Protected Area along the National Road in Sabtang and Ordinance No. 97-002 which is An Ordinance Establishing the Municipality of Sabtang as a Heritage Island/Village and Creating for this Purpose a Sabtang Municipal Eco-Tourism and Heritage Council. Another local legislation is Resolution 2001-033 which is A Resolution Designating the Cultural and Natural Heritage of the Municipality of Sabtang."

If the local governments of Sabtang and Batanes even care about the inscription in the UNESCO World Heritage List, or at the very least, are interested in preserving the local heritage of Batanes, they better do something to halt these new constructions and make sure they conform with the architectural styles prescribed in the said ordinances.

In fact, UNACOM had already called the attention of Batanes last year regarding another important site, the Racuaydi Nakavajayan (Fountain of Youth) in Mahatao, where the municipal government undertook some new constructions (think cheap looking pools). A letter was sent to Batanes sometime August or September 2009 but the governor did not respond to the said communication.

The nomination of Batanes to the UNESCO World Heritage List started in 2003. In 2005, it was put on deferred status. By 2007, it was on referred status. There had already been a lot of resources poured into the nomination. So far, all the needed information had already been generated and was at hand as early as 2008. All the province had to do was to come up with the dossier. Since the deadline date for submitting the requirements of ICOMOS and the Committee had lapsed, the process of nomination will have to start all over again. However, a new nomination will only happen if the province, particularly its governor and congressman, are receptive to the preparation of a new dossier.

So in the meantime, let's keep our eye on the Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary in Davao Oriental which is up for nomination this year to the UNESCO World Heritge List with Batanes now sidetracked as a result of the inaction of their local officials.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Destinations this Holy Week and colorful Philippine Semana Santa practices

Thank you to all those who will watch or are watching my guesting on ANC Shop Talk from 3:30 to 4 p.m. this afternoon. If you missed it, replays are at 6:30 to 7 p.m. tonight and 2:30 to 3 a.m. tomorrow. Anyway, the topic for today was Holy Week destinations or areas in the country which people could visit to witness our country's colorful Holy Week or Semana Santa practices.

To begin with, here is a summary of interesting places to visit during Holy Week in Holy Week practices in the Philippines.

Every Holy Thursday, it is also practice for us to do a visita iglesia or a visit to seven churches. For route ideas, check out Visita iglesia to our heritage churches and Visita iglesia and more Holy Week practices in the Philippines.

No doubt, one of the most interesting places to witness Holy Week practices, in particular on Good Friday, is the City of San Fernando, Pampanga. Check out Good Friday in San Fernando, Pampanga and Crucifixion rites held in San Pedro Cutud every Good Friday.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Iloilo: Barkada burger at Perri Todd's

Now how big can a burger get? Well, I found that out when I tried out the barkada burger at Perri Todd's in Iloilo City. Their Premium Burger, made of pure beef and good for 4 persons, is Php220. They also have a Premium Burger with Cheesy Mushroom Dressing at Php250.

There are over a dozen other barkada burgers in their menu (with bacon, caramelized onions, blue cheese, grilled pineapple or buttered mushrooms). Plus the Todd's Potato, their version of mojos with a pomodoro and carbonara dip, is really good!

Perri Todd's
8 Cuartero Street, Jaro, Iloilo City
(033) 5082598 / (0920) 8925504

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Iloilo: Carlitos Restaurant and the Original Biscocho Haus

I was in Iloilo City recently to speak at the Tourism and Hospitality Students' Congress Nationwide Caravan - Iloilo Leg. As always, food tripping was also on the agenda! It was recommended that I try out Carlitos Restaurant which comes from the owners of the Original Biscocho Haus.

The restaurant is named after Dr. Carlos Guadarrama whose food mantra was a balanced diet, way before the advent of the food pyramid. The bestseller is Steak ala Teresa, the matriarach’s version of luscious, moist and sizzling choice beef tenderloin. The original branch of Carlitos Restaurant is along the National Highway in Pavia. But they opened a new branch beside the Biscocho Haus in Jaro.

They serve some local Iloilo favorites. But the menu choices are plentiful since they also serve pizza, pasta, meats and seafood, burgers, sandwiches, breakfast and dessert among others. Perennial family favorites like Ox Tongue and Callos are made available.

I tried out their pizza best-sellers: Carlitos Overload Pizza with everything on it, and Teresa's Spanish Pizza, with Spanish chorizo on mozarella cheese. Both were really good!

For the local food, we had Teresa's Special Efuven (egg noodles with pork and vegetables), and their Dinuguan which is served with Puto Manapla. The Pancit Efuven, cooked light and delicately herbed, is an heirloom recipe of the Guadarramas of Fajardo Street. I also tried out the Carlitos' Steak (beef tenderloin served with a special steak sauce) and the Fillet Steak (which is seasoned with herbs and spices and covered with a creamy crabmeat sauce).

For dessert, I highly-recommend the Butterscotch a la Mode (which is the famous Biscocho Haus butterscotch topped with vanilla ice cream and their homemade custard sauce) and the Banana Fritters (their version of turon but served with their really rich homemade custard sauce).

You also might want to know that Carlitos’ Jaro branch has live music on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays with pica-pica to match light drinks on its alfresco T-Grillhouse.

After dinner, I walked over to the Original Biscocho Haus store to buy goodies to take home. On top of the list was butterscotch. I got introduced to this really yummy butterscotch way back in high school and I've been a fan ever since. Aside from the original flavor, they've innovated and created some with dried fruits such as prunes and mangoes.

Biscocho is another main product. That's why they're called the Biscocho Haus! They also have the Ilonggo favorites which include barquillos and piaya. I was actually amazed at the variety of products the Biscocho Haus now produces.

Carlitos Restaurant & Original Biscocho Haus
Airport Highway, Pavia, Iloilo
(033) 3293252

8 Lopez Jaena Street, Jaro, Iloilo City
(033) 3290862 / 3290864 / 5085909

Monday, March 22, 2010

Cebu: Larsian, sutukil (STK) and more Cebu street food

If Malaysia has its mamaks, Cebu City has Larsian sa Fuente or simply Larsian, a street food arcade open from 2 p.m. until the wee hours of the morning. Larsian is a collection of stalls which virtually serve the same thing, grilled meats and seafood. I was able to try out the great grilled meats and seafood they serve at the older location just a few meters away from where the current Larsian stands.

Just to give you an idea of what's available and how much things cost, here a list of what I saw there:
Chicken breast Php40
Chicken butt/pwet/isol Php30
Chicken gizzard/balun-balunan Php13
Chicken intestine/isaw
Chicken leg/paa Php45
Chicken liver/atay Php13
Chicken skin/balat Php12
Chicken wing/pakpak Php30
Hotdog Php10
Longganisa/chorizo Php15
Longganisa/skinless Php15
Pork backbone Php12
Pork barbecue Php5
Pork belly Php12
Pork liver/atay Php13
Squid/pusit Php60
White marlin Php60
Anduhaw Php60
Rice/puso Php2.50

Since we're on the topic of street food in Cebu, another thing you shouldn't miss is STK or sutukil, a short-cut for three ways of preparing food: sugba (grill), tuwa (boil), and kilaw (raw). While Mactan is said to be where sutukil started, I was told it's safer getting sutukil in Cebu City since the stalls in Mactan aren't exactly what they used to be as they charge too much (because they're so used foreigners and their budgets) and are said to switch your chosen seafoods with older supplies inside the kitchen. Is this true?

Anyway, if the photos of celebrities, politicians and other famous personalities on the wall of STK ta Bay! is not enough testament to the great sutukil they serve, I don't know what is!

STK ta Bay!
6 Orchid St. Capitol Site, Cebu City
(032) 2562700 / 2564732 / (0918) 2647209

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Cebu: Handuraw Pizza, the best tasting thin crust in Cebu!

Those who've been reading my blog should have noticed pizza is one of my favorite foods. So while in Cebu, I made sure to try out some of the pizza favorites. And among the top choices is Handuraw Pizza!

Handuraw Pizza serves 12-inch pizzas on a really thin crunchy crust which I really liked. The best seller is the Handuraw Special (Php298) which has almost everything on it including Italian sausage, ham, bacon, pepperoni, onions, green bell pepper, tomatoes, black olives, mushrooms and spices. Another best seller is Pizza Cebuana (Php298) which is chorizo de Cebu and kesong puti. Also try out Filipino Anchovy (Php288) which has dilis or ginamos (Philippine anchovy) and pesto sauce. Last on my picks would be the American Roast (Php288) which has roast beef, honey mustard, fresh lettuce, mushrooms and onions.

Every Sunday, they have a pizza, pasta and pica-pica buffet from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 6 to 10 p.m. At Php238 per person, how could you go wrong?! Plus the restaurant is a fine example of adaptive reuse of old architecture since it is situated in an old house which of course adds to the ambiance of the place.

And the good news is they have a branch in Metro Manila. It's hidden in an Internet cafe in Katipunan. Well at least now it's no longer a secret!

Handuraw Pizza
460 Gorordo Avenue, Lahug, Cebu City
(032) 2326401

One Mango, Gen. Maxilom (Mango) Avenue, Cebu City
(032) 4163200

XBX Interactive, 2F Burgundy Place, Katipunan Avenue, Loyola Heights, Quezon City
(02) 4354361

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Cebu: Maribago Bluewater Beach Resort in Mactan Island and Amuma Spa

Maribago Bluewater Beach Resort is a seven-hectare beach resort in Buyong Maribago, Mactan Island, Cebu. I was looking forward to my stay after a relaxing visit to the Sumilon Bluewater Island Resort. It was another long drive from Oslob to Lapu-Lapu City. We arrived at Maribago just in time for dinner.

They have themed dinners every night. And on Sundays, they serve the five-course Chef's Special. For my visit, it was a kebab theme which included Trio of Maki Kebab (Dragon Roll, Dynamite Roll, California Maki) for the appetizer, a choice of chicken, pork tenderloin or seafood kebab for the main course, and fruit kebab with dark chocolate sauce for dessert.

The highlight of my stay was getting pampered for close to four hours at Amuma Spa. Amuma is Cebuano for pamper. And indeed, that's what I got with their Lapu-Lapu Package. The treatment is a combination of the skin pampering Makisig Treatment (I got scrubbed with barako coffee and painted with chocolate tableas, virgin coconut oil and cream before relaxing in a jacuzzi), and a two-hour deep-tissue body massage called duot (which I can't remember since I was so relaxed and slept through it).

Their signature treatment is the Amuma Hilot which combines massage techniques from around the Philippines including the use of warm banana leaves to soothe your muscles. It even comes complete with native rituals such as pausok (space cleansing through medicinal herbs and mineral smoke), dasal (prayer), and orasyon (blessings, chants and spiritual invocations).

Before calling it a night after four hours in Amuma Spa, I took a stroll around the resort. It was nice walking around in the evening since the mellow lighting around the resort, the many pools and fountains and its thatch-roofed buildings give the resort an enchanting feel.

Before trying out their sumptuous breakfast buffet spread in the morning, I walked towards the beach area to enjoy the morning sun. Unfortunately, I had to rush to the Mactan Airport in a while. Too think there was so much to do at the Maribago Bluewater Beach Resort.

If you're a chess fan, there's a life-sized chessboard in the beach you can play around with if you want to get more than your mind moving. Then there's the in-house Aquamania Water Sports which offers wake boards, wave riders with banana boat, isotope catamarans, wind surfs, ocean kayaks, masks and snorkels, fishing lines, scuba diving and banca tours to other islands.

There's also a calendar in your rooms which outline the various educational activities (they teach you how to dance the tinikling or play native games), entertainment and shows and other things to see, taste and experience. That being said, I hope I get a chance to stay longer because that last stay was bitin!

How to get to Maribago
A stay in Maribago includes free airport transfers. The Mactan Airport is just 15 to 20 minutes from Maribago Bluewater Beach Resort.

Maribago Bluewater Beach Resort
(032) 4920100 /
(02) 8175751 / 8871348

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Cebu: Sumilon Island's Sumilon Bluewater Island Resort

Sumilon Island is a 24-hectare coral island off the coast of Bancogon, Oslob, Cebu. The island hosts the Sumilon Bluewater Island Resort which developed the island into an eco-friendly haven for those who want to get away from the stress of city living.

Previously, this marine sanctuary had been accessible to just anyone. Unfortunately, just like in many places around the country, locals and visitors alike left their garbage on Sumilon's beautiful shifting sandbar, which is known for changing shape and shifting locations around the island depending on the season. With the Sumilon Bluewater Island Resort there, the island is well-maintained and protected from this utter disregard for the environment.

I got the chance to visit Sumilon Island over the weekend. I took the first flight to Cebu. One thing I noticed about NAIA Terminal 2 was that the lines were much longer than NAIA Terminal 3 and 4. I usually ask for front row or exit row seats. But effective March 1, 2010, PAL now charges Php224 for the seats! So I thought, since it was a full flight and I wanted convenience having had no sleep, I'd get a front row seat. Unfortunately the next step was to pay at the cashier. And the lines were even longer! So there goes Philippine Airlines' paying for convenience... FAIL!

As soon as I arrived, I was brought to the Maribago Bluewater Beach Resort where the rest of the group was billeted. For the morning, we were going to make our way through various centuries-old churches of Southern Cebu (I'll talk about that in another entry), as we drove down to Oslob.

Without the stopovers, the trip from Mactan to Oslob is about three hours. But with all the stopovers and annotations, we arrived in Bancogon in six hours. The resort has its own port facilities in Bancogon. If you arrive in the evening, there are rooms available in the mainland if you're not comfortable making that boat ride to Sumilon Island in the dark. The boat ride is about 15 to 30 minutes depending on the water condition.

Sumilon Island was made a fish sanctuary in 1974 under the care of the Silliman University Marine Reserve. Which is why the island offers really great diving opportunities. There are a lot of activities available to everyone such as kayaking, snorkeling, trekking, birdwatching, windsurfing, etc. And for those who simply want to relax, they have lounge chairs by the beach, an infinity pool, and benches conveniently located all over the island for those who want to find a quiet spot for themselves to sit back, relax and enjoy the view.

As soon as we arrived, we were served a sumptuous lunch which was soon followed by cocktails by the beach and a barrio fiesta dinner. Sumilon Island is a perfect honeymoon destination. And the resort can arrange romantic beach dinners or sunset picnics on the water just for you.

The daily breakfast buffet is served by the beach which is an experience in itself. I wish I could have stayed longer on the island to enjoy it even more.

How to get to Sumilon Island
From Dumaguete City, the resort can arrange pumpboats to bring guests directly to Sumilon Island. Travel time is between 30 minutes to an hour depending on the sea conditions.

Or you can take the ferry from Dumaguete to Bato Port, Oslob where the resort can pick-you up and ferry you to the island. The earliest ferry leaves Tampi Port, Dumaguete City at 5 a.m. while the last one leaves at 6:30 p.m.

From Cebu City, you can either take a bus, van, or hire a private vehicle to take you to Bancogon, Oslob. Private cars take about 3 hours while buses could take you up to four hours. Car rentals are Php3,000 while vans cost about Php5,000. The public vans charge Php200 per head, while buses cost about Php90 for air-con and Php45 for ordinary buses. Both buses and public vans depart from the Cebu South Bus Terminal.

Sumilon Bluewater Island Resort
(032) 4810801 /
(02) 8175751 / 8871348

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Cebu: Sumilon Bluewater Island Resort and Maribago Bluewater Beach Resort

I just uploaded photos of the Sumilon Bluewater Island Resort and Maribago Bluewater Beach Resort plus our visita iglesia in Southern Cebu in the Ivan About Town page on Facebook. Check it out!

Sumilon Bluewater Island Resort
(032) 4810801 /

Maribago Bluewater Beach Resort
(032) 4920100 /

Manila Office
(02) 8175751 / 8871348

SEAIR is giving away discounts for its 15th anniversary!

SEAIR is offering special anniversary promos in celebration of its 15th anniversary on March 25, 2010. Check out the special morning rates of as low as Php1,999.20 per way all-in for flights to and from Boracay before 7 a.m. Selling and travel period is from February 1, 2010 onwards.

There's also a Php1,500.00 discount per way for all seats, flights and routes if you book via from March 14 to 25, 2010 for travel from for travel on June 15 to October 15, 2010. Just type iloveseair15 in the promo code field when booking. Find out the latest promos by joining the SEAIR Fan Page on Facebook.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Arnel Pineda disrespects Philippine National Anthem!

Minsan lang ako magsulat sa pambansang wika. Nakakairita na kasi! Di pa ba sila nagsawa?! Dahil nasa Sumilon Island ako noong Linggo, ngayon ko lang napanood itong video ni Arnel Pineda na kumanta ng Pambansang Awit sa laban ni Pacquiao at Clottey.

Sana may makulong na para matauhan na sila lahat. Arnel Pineda, kahit isa kang international celebrity, wala kang karapatan bastusin ang Pambansang Awit ng Pilipinas. No one is above the law!

Nasabi ko na lahat ng kailangan kong sabihin dito: The Philippine National Anthem is not a pop song! Ito ang video kung hindi pa ninyo napapanood: Arnel Pineda’s version of RP anthem criticized

Friday, March 12, 2010

How to get to Clark Airport from Dau Bus Station

Good news to Clark Airport travelers! An air-conditioned shuttle service has started operations at the Clark Airport or Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA). The DMIA shuttle service utilizes new and fully air-conditioned jeepneys of the Clark Special Economic Zone Transport Federation (CSEZTF).

The service plies the route from the DMIA to the Dau Bus Terminal in Mabalacat and vice versa with stops at the Clark Main Gate and SM City Clark. The fare is Php30 from the Clark Airport/DMIA to the Clark Main Gate and SM City Clark, and Php45 from the airport to the Dau Bus Terminal.

To get to other destinations around Clark, directions to/from Clark Airport to Metro Manila and North Philippines, and the bus schedules, read How to get to and from the Clark Airport which gives the complete details of transportation to Clark Airport.

Update: There is now a free shuttle bus service for AirAisa guests from Clark Airport to Marquee Mall and vice versa. Buses leave Marquee Mall at 09:00, 10:20, 13:00, 15:00, 16:30 and 19:00 arriving in Clark Airport after 20 to 30 minutes. Buses leave Clark Airport for Marquee Mall at 10:00, 11:00, 14:30, 16:00 and 17:40. Another free shuttle is for Dau Bus Station, leaving Clark Airport at 21:20. For more information, contact Victory Liner at +63(2) 5597735 or

Monday, March 08, 2010

Batanes: Batanes food adventure!

Batanes food is quite unique, it would be a shame if you did not try out the local cuisine. At every Ultimate Philippines tour to Batanes, we make sure everyone gets immersed in the local flavors of Batanes.

For starters, there's (1) humet or seaweed soup, (2) supas or turmeric rice, (3) chipuhu or breadfruit, (4) tamiduk or Ivatan salad which includes steamed pako or fiddlehead fern, eggplant, string beans, chopped tomatoes, and minced onions, (5) pinasu wakay or roasted kamote, (6) vunes or dried gabi, (7) wakay or boiled yam and (8) amay or mashed kamote and taro.

Then for the main course, there's (9) payi or lobster, (10) arayu, dorado or mahi-mahi, (11) tatus or coconut crab, (12) lataven a among or kinilaw na isda, (13) lunies or Ivatan adobo made with liempo, and (14) uvud balls made with pork, flying fish and banana trunk.

For dessert, there's (15) bukayo, (16) ducay salad, (17) glorified gabi and (18) rawut or millet.

As part of the tour, we arrange buffet lunches and picnics by the beach, and cocktails and sunset dinners at picturesque attractions Batanes.

Of course we have some Filipino comfort food too. But rest assured, you'll be getting an authentic Ivatan food experience on every Ultimate Philippine food tour. Our first tour to Batanes for the year ended today. We're all flying back to Manila tomorrow. There are five more tours for this year. So book now!

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Cebu: Zubuchon lechon is Anthony Bourdain's best roasted pig in the world!

The best lechon in the Philippines may be found in Cebu. And Cebu as the producer of the best whole roasted pig in the world has found an endorser in Anthony Bourdain who had ranked the Philippines as his top pick in the hierarchy of pork, dislodging Bali and Puerto Rico from the top slots!

So what lechon did Anthony Bourdain get to taste when he was in Cebu which made him declare such? Well, we found out during our trip that Market Manila served his own Zubuchon lechon. And the great thing about Zubuchon lechon is that it's available for sale to the public (while supplies last).

A kilo sells for Php450. They serve it fresh, or if you plan to bring it to Manila, frozen and properly boxed up, very convenient to bring as carry-on luggage.

There are two branches. One is in the Banilad Town Center. And the other is at the Mactan Airport Pre-Departure Area. But they only sell it at the Mactan Airport beginning at 4 p.m. until supplies last.

I got to taste the Zubuchon lechon while in Cebu. The skin itself is crispy and packed with so much flavor. Even the meat of the Zubuchon lechon is so rich in flavor, there's no need for the usual sarsa.

Related article
Lechon, chicharon and more from Carcar
Related Posts with Thumbnails