10 July 2007

I smell something fishy...

When you think of Cebu, what comes in mind?


Not necessarily in that order. Although, when you're the one going to Cebu and delighted friends know it, for sure you can't bring the first three back as pasalubong.

"I want Magellan's cross!"
"Eh? Gusto mong masaktan?" hehe

They will surely want danggit, pusit, otap, lechon, or all of them.

We were recently in Cebu for a business trip. The last day was our free time, and our host advised us to be really early and take a bath only after going to Taboan.

Taboan is a very famous place in Cebu where you get your fill of dried fish and squid. While it is indeed a delightful place, the dried fishy smell permeates the area and it sticks to you. You will get quite accustomed to the odors though as you become busy choosing and haggling. And then, you end up smelling like your purchase! But hey, that's part of the adventure.

Danggit is the most popular item here, closely followed by pusit.

Oh wow. I can smell the dried fish even just by looking at these photos. Overpowering me... gotta buy more... and deep fry it... and soak it in vinegar....
After our purchases here, we decided to go directly to the place where necklaces and bracelets can be bought. Perhaps if we linger in a stall with our collective smell, the vendors will give in to our haggling just to get us away from their place! How's that for a strategy?

So right after Taboan, we headed for Carbon. We were so early that only a couple of stalls were just open. We were quite engrossed with the variety of goodies and pretty soon the other stalls were opened too. The girls were absolutely delighted at the variety (my wife loved my pasalubong as well).

This nice, huge half-shell as prominently displayed and when I pointed them to it, Dessagirl began singing a haunting song from Disney's the Little Mermaid. hehe. I was tempted to buy it but it was quite pricey at around 220 pesos. I won't say how much the other necklaces in the other stalls are but you will indeed be surprised, and will result in spurgling. Warning: make sure you have your fare back to the hotel and the airport in a safe place. Never mind lunch. Haha
The photo below was prompted by Dessagirl, my first commenter. We were told to wear things we would usually wear at home. I took it to heart and wore shorts and a shirt. I really looked like I just came from the house. haha

So many beads, so little time!
Did our smelly strategy work? Nah. Although we were able to haggle, their noses did not tremble at our new-found scent and did not shoo us from their stalls.

Actually, the people of Cebu are very friendly and hospitable! I truly enjoyed my stay there. Even in our work where we were required to do customer survey... you can see the difference in attitude between people in Manila and in Cebu. Really nice bunch, the Cebu people. I find the atmosphere relaxed and somewhat informal. Thanks for making our stay sooo nice!
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