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5 Best Tasting Lechon Places in the Queen City of the South

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Lechon Places_5 Best Tasting Lechon Places in the Queen City of the South

When it comes to lechon in the Philippines, there’s only one place that comes to everyone’s mind: The Queen City of the South, Cebu. Just a plain visit in this archipelago will not be complete without trying the crunchy, succulent, roasted suckling pig. If you want to satisfy your gastronomic cravings, make sure to drop by any of these best tasting lechon places.

  1. Alejo’s lechon

Considered as one of the tastiest and crunchiest lechon in the island, Alejo’s lechon is stuffed with lemongrass with the perfect amount of salt and seasoning–just enough to make your mouth water. Its key ingredients are the classic salt, pepper, onions, and garlic. Alejo’s lechon is located in El Salvador Extension, Labangon Cebu City.

Lechon Places_5 Best Tasting Lechon Places in the Queen City of the South

Jed Galang

  1. CNT Lechon

This lechon store has a unique taste that has customers coming back for more. Aside from their crispy and perfectly salted skin, the meat is flavorful, well-seasoned, and is packed with herbs and spices which you can taste even to the bones – no need to dip it in sauce or gravy to make it appetizing. Their main branch is located along V. Rama Avenue, and has outlets spread across Cebu.

Lechon Places_5 Best Tasting Lechon Places in the Queen City of the South

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  1. Rico’s lechon

Rico’s lechon is probably the first restaurant to pioneer the spicy flavored lechon throughout Cebu. Their lechon options include classic ingredients like garlic, leeks, and other spices to make sure the pig is properly roasted and succulent. Rico’s lechon has consistently made it into the list of top lechons in Cebu. Currently, their stores are located in Unit 3 & 4 Mactan Promenade, Airport Road, Ibo, Lapu-Lapu City, as well as in Mantawe Ave, Mandaue City Cebu.

Lechon Places_5 Best Tasting Lechon Places in the Queen City of the South

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  1. Chona’s Lechon

Talisay City, home to numerous lechon stores, and is considered as one of the producers of best tasting lechon in all of Cebu, is also home of the famous Chona’s lechon. Aside from being crunchy and tasty, according to customers, their version of the roasted pig is different from the other varieties, which satisfies the cravings of not only locals, but tourists and foreigners alike.

  1. Tatang’s extra crispy boneless lechon

If you’re looking for authentic boneless lechon belly in the Queen City, then Tatang’s Extra Crispy Boneless Lechon is for you. It started off as a small stall at a parking lot in Mandaue City, and what makes this boneless lechon different from other brands is its extra crispy skin. The belly is slowly roasted and cooked over charcoal heat. The meat itself is flavorful and aromatic, as well as taste the combination of herbs and spices stuffed in the roasted pig’s belly. Tatang’s is located in Wilson St, Apas, Cebu City.

Lechon Places_5 Best Tasting Lechon Places in the Queen City of the South

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Experience

Perfect Spots Based On Your Personality

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Are you the type of person who desires a quiet space to unwind and enjoy some “alone time”?  Or the type who chases new experiences, interactions and have been called the life of the party? If you find yourself being in the middle of the personalities mentioned above, don’t worry. Whatever your preference is, you’ll find the perfect place for you in Cebu!

INTROVERTS

1. INAMBAKAN FALLS

If you crave for an escape from the bustle of city life and crowded tourist spots but still wants a fun adventure alone, introverts like you would appreciate Inambakan Falls in the town of Samboan. Immerse yourself with nature by listening to the calming sound of the waterfall and taking a cold dip into the crystal-clear waters. You can go bungee jumping or just enjoy taking in the lush wilderness and tranquility while letting your mind wander. Inambakan falls is sparsely populated but its best to visit during weekdays.

Inambakan Falls_Perfect spots based on your personality

2. YOLK COFFEE AND BREAKFAST

If you’re in the city but looking for a place to enjoy peace with some good coffee, quickly head to Yolk Coffee and Breakfast Café at IT Park. The relaxing ambiance and serenity it gives off makes you want to stay the entire morning, reading your favorite book or browsing the internet. Dive deep into reading with all the books displayed! The café, which doesn’t use processed food, delights its customers with sumptuous healthy breakfast dishes and its instagram-worthy interior.

Yolk Coffee&Breakfast_Perfect Spots Based On Your Personality

Image Source: @maealon28

EXTROVERTS

1. OQTAGON

People know you as someone who’s outgoing and full of energy. Gregarious individuals like you should have a taste of Cebu’s nightlife and leave no dull moment behind at Oqtagon. Strike a conversation with the locals or fellow travelers while enjoying tasty drinks or liquor. Oqtagon, being in the list of top bars in Cebu, will surely keep you stimulated and pull you to the dance floor through the DJ’s beat drops.

Oqtagon_Perfect Spots Based On Your Personality

Image Source: Oqtagon

2. SUGBO MERKADO

Sugbo Merkado not only offers an array of delectable dishes but it’s also a place for extroverts who loves being in a crowd. Bring your friends or fellow travelers and have a good time while checking out a number of food stalls and listening to great acoustic covers by local singers. Your “sociable” skills will be quite useful since most of the time you’d have to share tables with strangers.

Sugbo Merkado_Perfect spots based on your personality

Image Source: Sugbo Merkado

AMBIVERTS

1. DANASAN ECO-ADVENTURE PARK

Ambiverts fall somewhere in between introvert and extrovert, depending on situations. Whether you love meeting new people or prefer doing something alone, you will never go wrong with Danasan Eco-Adventure Park in Danao City. Kick off an unforgettable Cebu adventure with the eco park’s thrilling outdoor activities, such as ATV, sky bike, kayaking and more, which you can fully enjoy alone or with a companion. Getaway from the stress of reality and scream your lungs out!

Danasan Eco-Adventure Park_Perfect spots based on your personality

Image Source: Danasan Eco-Adventure Park

2. MANGGAHAN

Looking for a quiet and less crowded restaurant that offers delectable authentic Filipino food? Add Manggahan to your list of “must visit” restaurants and head to Apas, Cebu City during the day. Manggahan delights your senses with its aromatic and mouthwatering dishes which will leave you craving for more. If you’re in the mood for a lively yet chill vibe, don’t worry, a band plays at night so the restaurant gets more crowded and alive!

 

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Bites

Bantayan: A Pilgrim’s Paradise

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Vacationers are drawn to Bantayan like pilgrims to a holy land – a blessed island actually, with blinding white beaches and sparkling aquamarine waters that beckon. Indeed, pilgrims do come for its time-honored observance of semana santa or Holy Week. The Maundy Thursday and Good Friday processions draw thousands of pious devotees as grandiose family-owned carrozas (carriages) bearing life-size religious statues, some handed down the generations, make their annual appearance around town. 

Bantayan’s Holy Week is like no other in the country, an almost festive atmosphere pervades across the island. While faithful Catholics abstain from eating meat, expect lechon as part of the feasting among families and friends who made it to the island bearing the 3-hour long drive from Cebu City to San Remigio town up north, then an hour’s ferry ride to the Santa Fe port in Bantayan. 

It is told that when their fishermen refused to launch out to sea and toil during the most religious time of the year, their families had nothing to eat. An indulto was then issued to Bantayan’s parish priest in 1840 allowing the townspeople to eat meat on Good Friday, and they have been doing so ever since. Whether this applied to Bantayan visitors is unclear but the special dispensation has most likely long expired. If you’re interested in seeing one of the oldest churches in the Philippines, the 15th century Saints Peter and Paul Church was built with walls of coral stone.

Saints Peter and Paul Church

Jutting out to the sea, Kota Park’s footbridge allows an expansive view of the surrounding waters and offers an ideal spot to watch Bantayan’s magnificent sunsets. The ruins of the old fort (kota in Spanish) built in 1790 to protect the townspeople from pirates are now part of Kota Park. 

Kota Park Footbridge

During this peak season, inter-island ferries are busy shuttling the overwhelming number of visitors who show up at San Remigio’s Hagnaya Wharf, all of them in a mad rush to make the crossing and start their long Easter weekend on the tropical isle. Accommodations in Bantayan are unpretentious and pitching a tent on the beach is an option when rooms are hard to come by. 

Hidden Paradise Beach

The laid-back lifestyle resumes once the Holy Week frenzy dies down as islanders around the 3 main towns return to their fishing nets and poultry farms. Bantayan, also the name of the biggest town, is where 80% of the eggs in the province come from, while Madridejos is Cebu’s main supplier of dried fish. The friendly resort town of Santa Fe is the perfect island getaway that tourists dream about. Its endless white-sand beaches remain nothing short of spectacular, and the best spot to bask in the sun, or watch it retreat gloriously beyond the horizon.

Scooping out scallop meat

Bountiful harvests from the sea around Bantayan Island find their way to the local town market; seafood couldn’t be any fresher than here.

Ruins

Originally published in Postcards from CebuMotorbikes can be rented to check out some of the island’s interesting sites like the Ogtong Cave. There’s also the little known Virgin Island for those who just can’t get enough of the beach. After super-storm Yolanda (internationally named Haiyan) brutally lashed across the island – and other parts of northern Cebu – in 2013 and rendered people homeless, Bantayan has pretty much well recovered. With generous humanitarian and financial aid from around the world, and the commendable hard work, resourcefulness and community spirit of the local population, the islanders are back on their feet again with rebuilt homes, revived livelihoods and renewed energy.

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Cities and Municipalities

Mandaue City: An Urban Oasis

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There’s little evidence of stagnation in the bustling city of Mandaue. Its location is strategic as it connects two other key cities, Cebu and Lapu-Lapu – the three highly urbanized centers make up the core of Metropolitan Cebu.

Mandaue City marker

Linked to Mactan Island and Cebu’s international airport by two modern bridges, Mandaue also sits close to the Cebu International Port, among the country’s busiest. Since Mandaue became a chartered city in 1969, the city government has nurtured the spirit of entrepreneurship, putting forth sound local fiscal policies and attractive tax incentives which make it a preferred investment destination. This business-friendly environment has enticed not only the homegrown brands but also major industrial and commercial companies to operate in the city as well. Large manufacturing plants such as the San Miguel Corporation Brewery have long found a home here, as have the majority of the furniture makers and exporters.

Sotero Cabahug statue

Cebu has been the envy of many provinces across the country for its vibrant economy which has grown at an average of 9% over the past 5 years, faster than the entire country’s. Mandaue City has contributed hugely to Cebu’s being a top performer. These days, real estate developers are busy breaking ground in a scramble to meet the rising demand for residential and commercial spaces in Cebu’s second biggest city. Over 180 hectares of land has been reclaimed, the North Reclamation Area, in the city’s southernmost area that faces the Mactan Channel. Mandani Bay, a master-planned waterfront project along the famed channel, is a 20-hectare mixed-use development that promises to transform Mandaue into a premier lifestyle destination. Mandaue is also poised to be the next hotspot for BPO (business process outsourcing) firms. When Magellan sailed into Cebu in 1521, he sighted a beautiful cove there. Almost five decades later, Miguel Lopez de Legazpi built the country’s first dry docking facility to service galleon ships on that very cove – that place today is Tipolo, Mandaue. The facility can be seen as a precursor to Mandaue’s emergence as a manufacturing hub.

Bantayan sa Hari

An acknowledged industrial powerhouse known largely for its investor welcoming culture, accessibility to both air and sea ports, and an economy that is constantly throbbing, Mandaue also has a softer and more festive side. The energetic business center winds down for its biggest citywide party on May 8th – the Mandaue Fiesta – when most homes are open for a time of great feasting. The city also celebrates the Panagtagbo Festival, a salute to the history, culture and positive values of the Mandauehanons. 

Mercado sa Mandaue

Visitors shouldn’t miss the National Shrine of St. Joseph where a main attraction are the life-size statues of the Last Supper of Christ with the 12 apostles, carved during the Spanish times. Stalls across the street sell the city’s delicacies such as the sweet treat of finely-ground peanuts called masareal and the Mandaue specialty rice cake, bibingkaBantayan sa Hari (watchtower of the king), like other Spanish-era watchtowers, was built on the coast to alert the townspeople of impending attacks by marauding Moro pirates. Located below the Mandaue-Mactan Bridge, the cylindrical tower still stands today. However, expert advice on heritage conservation was painfully absent when extreme but well-intentioned measures were undertaken in the past to safeguard the endangered structure. The City of Mandaue bears this significant landmark on its official seal as a symbol of its heritage and its vital role in the city’s history.

Check out the other things you can do or visit in Mandaue City:

CITY MARKER. The Mandaue City marker welcomes visitors to the plaza of the progressive industrial city.

SOTERO CABAHUG STATUE. A statue of Sotero Cabahug, considered Mandaue’s greatest son, stands prominently near the Mandaue Presidencia. Cabahug was governor of Cebu from 1934-1937, and later served as Secretary of Public Works and Communications, Secretary of National Defense and Associate Justice of Court of Appeals.

BANTAYAN SA HARI. Bantayan sa Hari is a Spanish-period look-out tower that was used to warn the villagers of incoming pirates. The historic structure is located under the Mandaue-Mactan Bridge in Barangay Looc.

TRANSLACION. Translacion is a religious procession held a day before the Sinulog fluvial parade where the images of Sto. Niño and Our Lady of Guadalupe are transferred to the National Shrine of St. Joseph for a symbolic gathering of the Holy Family: a tableau with life-size statues depicting the Last Supper continues to be a church attraction.

MANDAUE MARKET. The market in Mandaue, or its mercado, has roadside stalls that sell the city’s popular delicacies which include tagaktak, a crunchy and crumbly rice fritter, Mandaue bibingka, a native glutinous rice cake baked in banana leaves, and masareal, a sweet treat made of finely ground peanuts.

INDUSTRIAL HUB. Large manufacturing plants such as the San Miguel Brewery have made a home in Mandaue City for decades; World-class furniture is manufactured in Mandaue and exported globally

URBAN RESORT. The Mandani Bay Show Gallery presents the premier mixed-use 20-hectare development that will rise along Mactan Channel. The master-planned waterfront project, the first of its kind in Cebu, will transform Mandaue’s skyline as it opens in phases in the next 15 years.

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