Since we have decided not to pursue Bantayan Island and concentrate on South Cebu we got ourselves almost 2 full days of free time in our itinerary.
The night before we met with Travel Bloggers from Cebu City and they highly recommended to try the lechon of Carcar City. We added this on our itinerary and a visit to Moalboal. We decided to do a late start (10AM) from Mandaue City for us to reach Carcar City at around 12 noon.
November 18, 2015 (Wednesday)
Travel to Carcar City from Mandaue City
10:32 AM From our stay at The Orchard Suites in Mandaue City, where we made the last minute major change in our itinerary, we rode a taxi to the South Bus Terminal of Cebu City. It was a smooth ride and we only experienced minimal traffic since we left after the rush hour.
It was uneventful ride except for the additional 10 Pesos/vehicle entrance fee going inside the South Bus Terminal.
10:58 AM (26 minutes travel time, 140 Pesos Taxi Ride) We arrived at South Bus Terminal and quickly went to the line of Ceres Bus and looked for either the bus going to Bato via Oslob or Bato via Barili. Both routes have the same travel up to Carcar City, from there they would be splitting directions before heading to Bato.
Since we were not a fan of waiting for an aircon bus and since the countryside has less pollution we decided to ride the earliest bus to depart and that was a bus headed to Bato via Oslob.
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11:11 AM The bus started to leave the South Bus Terminal. When we left, it was not a full bus, but once in a while the bus would pick-up passengers along the way which eventually made the bus full. But that was not my problem, my biggest problem was leg space. It was too small for me! Think positive… got to work with what I have.
An hour and 10 minutes into the bus ride we were seeing signs outside that we were already in Carcar City. It dawned on us that we know the existence of Carcar City Lechon but we did not know where exactly to find it in this city. We asked the bus conductor if he knew where we should go down, unfortunately he did not know. In desperation we were asking the passenger beside us, he also did not know. Fortunately, the lady on the other side of the seat heard our plight and told us that we would find the Lechon at the Public Market. She also told us the bus would be passing by there. Thank you stranger!
12:33 PM (1 hour & 22 minutes travel time, 40 Pesos/person) We got down the bus at Carcar City near the Public Market.
At least now we got the location down from one whole big city to one big public market. We asked one of the lady at the stalls where we could find the famous lechon of Carcar City, she told us that we just turn right on the roofed road and at the end of it we would find where we could buy lechon.
12:36 PM There it was at the end of the roofed road the lechon market.
Carcar City Lechon Experience
There are people who say that the authentic Cebu Lechon are the ones that you will find on small stalls outside of big malls and not those that are inside big restaurants. I’m not sure if what they say is correct or not, what I do know is that my taste buds does not discriminate whether a lechon is sold in a small stall in a public market or in restaurant inside a mall. If it tastes good then I love it, if it tastes bad then I would stay away from it.
Now that we know where to buy the lechon, the next problem we need to answer are the following.
- Where will we eat the lechon?
- Which stall to buy the lechon? Since there are many stalls and almost all of them are shouting at us to buy from them.
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Where will we eat the lechon?
We decided to solve this problem first as it is kind of weird to buy the lechon and end up eating on the gutter outside with plastics as our plate. Nevertheless, I think it would be cool to experience something like that. Luckily, the solution to the problem is located near.
At the back of the stalls at the left there’s a small cafeteria named Brenda’s Eatery. We asked if we by lechon from the outside can we eat it inside their cafeteria, and they said yes, as long as we buy rice from them and some viands.
I’m not sure if this is the only solution to the first problem that we had, but this was the fastest solution that came up to us since we were really hungry! I do believe there are other possible solutions to the problem.
Now we try to solve the second problem…
Which stall to buy lechon?
There were a lot of stalls to choose from. Most of them were too eager for us to buy from them. Some would even block other sellers from talking with us. Some would even say to other sellers that we already agreed to buy from them. In summary, it was really annoying. We had to keep calm and choose well on whom to buy despite of the noise.
There were some stalls that already do not have a display of lechon, which may mean that their lechon is really delicious that they sold out first. Of course, their lechon is no longer an option.
We asked around to know how much their prices were, most of them would sell their lechon for 250 Pesos/kilogram (kg). There’s this one stall who never approached us and were quietly doing business on the corner. We asked them their price and they told us that they are selling their lechon for 300 Pesos/kg. This piqued my interest, so we asked how many lechons have they sold already and they answered that they were serving their second one already.
Since they were bold enough not to drop their price we decided to buy from them a half-kilogram of lechon for 150 Pesos. We also ordered 2 Atsara for 10 Pesos/piece.
Then we went back to Brenda’s Eatery. We ordered Enseladang Talong (20 Pesos/order), 4 cups of rice (10 Pesos/cup) and a 1.5L Mountain Dew (75 Pesos/bottle) at Brenda’s Eatery. And after some photos we were ready to eat.
The Lechon was delicious. It was not too salty and it was really tasty. I was really glad we bought it from Bebie Special Lechon. But I wish we still had the financial and gastronomical capacity to buy from other stalls as I want to know which stall would really taste better for taste buds.
I was glad we bought Atsara and Enseladang Talong so as to balance the oiliness and fatness of the lechon. They were also delicious. The Mountain Dew also helped to quench our thirst and to wash some of the taste in my mouth only to be filled up by the same delicious taste of the Lechon, Atsara and Enseladang Talong.
All in all it was a good meal.
Moving on to our next stop
After a few minutes of resting after the meal, we decided to pack our stuff and leave. But first we had to pass by the Public Market’s Comfort Room to release some fluids.
Note: I feel awkward to share this information right after showing you the food that we ate but I have to.
1:21 PM We left the premises of the Lechon Section of the Public Market to get to somewhere we could ride a bus to Moalboal. We asked around and they told us to reach the rotonda of Carcar City, as this is where the buses that are heading to Oslob and Badian will part (We need to ride the bus heading to Bato via Barili), then wait for a bus to pass by in front of Mercury Drug.
1:29 PM We reached the front of Mercury Drug and waited for a bus to pass by. We also bought some bottled water from Mercury Drug for the road.
1:38 PM A bus stopped and we rode it to Moalboal for some beach adventure.
By the way, Carcar City is also famous for their Chicharon. You can buy them from the walking vendors when they ride the bus. The price on our visit was 100 Pesos per 3 bundles. Best eaten when you have a suka.
I am happy that our first stop for our South Cebu trip was Carcar City to try their delicious lechon.
I am still wondering though whether if the lechon from the other stalls were equally delicious. I’ll try another stall next time I am there.
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