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!


  1. i like to sing the little mermaid song again! heehee! i loved our cebu trip!

    the pic with iris is funny with her bagong gising look! hehe~! naalala ko tuloy yung shorts mo that morning! talk about pangbahay!!! heehee!!!! i'll never forget the cebu adventures that will make ma laugh so hard until my sides hurt:

    chika an: blahblahblahblah!
    cebu doc's univ: the tree that blocked my view
    pal f.a. wanabe: (watson bumping his elbow real hard)
    doni: i think they're from maneeeeeelllllaaaaaaaaa

    little inside joke for you there..

  2. Yeah... looking back, we really did have fun, inspite of the fact that we went back to the hotel late in the evenings na... Hmmm... I'd like to include my photo where I was in my pambahay!

  3. Anonymous1:12 am

    i remember back in 1991 when i went to cebu, choriso ang binili ko para kay ermat.

  4. Pepe: wow that was a long time ago... choriso... specialty rin pala yun ng cebu.

  5. Different attitude b/w Manila and Cebu folk? So if the Cebu folk are nice, are you saying the Manila folk are...... hehehe. I'd like to visit Cebu one day. I never thought of buying dried fish though if I'm there. I'd probably check out the beach first and also see where Magellan ate it. :D

  6. Wil: Let's just say that we were apprehensive about doing the interviews considering that we do not speak the local language. So their warm reception and hospitality is really overwhelming. You do not get that in other places. Hahaba ang kwento but let me just say that people in Cebu are really friendly and hospitable.

  7. Anonymous7:40 am

    Just wondering, could I carry 50 pounds of daing aboard the airline? It will be a surprise pasalubong to my friends in La Union.

  8. Anonymous5:38 pm

    Naku naamoy ko rin dito yun mga isda. Yummy, sarap yan pag naiprito tapos sawsaw sa kalamansi at bagoong. Ay, nagutom tuloy ako.

    Ganda ng mga beads. Oo nga, medyo mhal.

  9. Anonymous: Hello po. I consulted my wife, who worked in La Union for 10 years and she said that daing is in abundance in La Union, especially in Damortis, so you might want to bring something else instead.

    Leah: Waaahhh gutom na rin ako

  10. 1) ang daming tuyot na isda!
    2) sarap talaga ng "perks of the job" mo!

  11. Anonymous11:18 am

    Thank you Mr Watson.Adu gayam iti pusit ken dangit diay Damortis.

  12. sayang di kami nakarating sa taboan. buti nakapasyal pa kayo kahit business ang sadya niyo.

  13. We will be going to Cebu as well either late this year or early next year for a conference. I now have two spots etched in my itinerary for pasalubong shopping thanks to you... hehehe...

    I loooooove danggit. I am so addicted to it, I could order it for breakfast from Chowking all week long! hehe.

    The advantage of being a tourist, you can get away with wearing clothes you were at home. Disadvantage.. you are charged the tourist price! hehehe

    Glad to hear you had a fun time there. :)

  14. When I hear Cebu, it's always dried lapu-lapu as pasalubong for me.

  15. Anonymous: Wen! Lechon laengen ti gatangem! Naimas!

  16. the first thing that comes to mind about Cebu is not danggit, but lechon!

    and tops, and the dimsum place in ayala center and the cr of cebu marriot hehehe.

  17. Donna: sayang naman kung hindi makapasyal... kaht na half day lang. By lunchtime papunta na kami ng airport.

    Alternati: I always enjoy going to places in our country... local tourist!

    Abaniko: Hmmm... nobody has ever asked me for dried lapu-lapu... we must be missing something good...

    Zherwin: Ano meron sa CR ng Marriott Cebu? Yeah we also went to tops. Nice place rin! Guess what... di kami nakatikim ng lechon, kahit na day 1 pa lang eh sabi namin we will eat lechon, and we were there for 4 days! Waaah

  18. CR ng marriot: ewan ko ba pero masyado akong na-amaze, parang pwede ka kasing matulog sa CR ng marriott sa ganda! hehe

  19. zherwin: haha tourist attraction rin pala yun. Sana makabalik ako ng Cebu para makita CR ng Mariott

  20. Anonymous7:10 pm

    When i heard about cebu the only thing that comes in my mind was lechon. Lechoncebu is very delicious. The taste of the meat which absorbs the aromatic fragrance of herbs and spices and the skin is so crunchy. :) its so yummmy. i love dried pusit too. :)

  21. Grace: ah oo! Talagang sikat ang lechon ng Cebu. There was even a time when our company had a business partner from Singapore who orders Lechon from Cebu whenever he's in Manila.

  22. I miss cebu so much. I miss the place were we buy danggit and dried pusit at taboan. Dried pusit is one of my favorite. Its yummmy. I miss lechon cebu too. The tasty meat and crunchy skin was great. Its deliciously. The meat was tender and juicy. Yummmmy.

  23. Anonymous1:44 pm

    The lechon is delicious, It’s the best lechon I had tasted so far. The skin was very crispy while the meat is very tender & tasty. Oh i love lechon cebu.

  24. Anonymous9:30 pm

    Ang gaganda talaga ng mga beads. Pili ka lang may necklace na beads meron ding bracelets. At saka mura lang ang beads dun. Sa carbon lang talaga mahahanap ang murahing beads at dami pang desinyo na mapipilian.

    Lechon cebu. I agree. Masarap talaga ang lechon cebu. Walang katulad sa lasa at sa crispy ng balat ng lechon cebu. Napaka juicy pa.

  25. Kyra: dried pusit at danggit ang favorite namin :-)

    Patricia: I wish I had more lechon when we were there...

    Jessel: a couple of my officemates were there last summer... lumipat na raw ng location yung mga nagtitinda ng necklaces and bracelets sa carbon? Di tuloy sila nakapag major shopping. hehe


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