Plaza Hamabar: Tribute To A Cebuano King

The first Filipino ruler to embrace Christianity was the ruler of Cebu when Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan and his crew first set foot on Cebu.

Rajah Humabon or Sri Hamabar was baptized on 7 April 1521 along with his chief consort, Hara Humamay. Also baptized were around 800 of his subjects. Humabon was christened Don Carlos in honor of Charles V, the King of Spain. Lady Humamay was christened Juana in honor of the mother of Charles V. In remembering the occasion and as baptismal gift, Magellan gave Queen Juana the image of the child Jesus (Santo Niño) through Antonio Pigafetta. To commemorate the baptism of the natives by Father Pedro Valderrama, Magellan erected a cross on the site where the Magellan's Cross now stand. The conversion of the natives to Christianity is also depicted on a painting at the ceiling of the chapel or kiosk where the Magellan's Cross is kept.

Rajah Humabon statue at Plaza Hamabar
Statue of Rajah Humabon

Tabo-an Dried Fish Market in Cebu City, Philippines

One of the more popular pasalubong items from Cebu is dried seafoods such as dried danggit in salted and unsalted versions, dried pusit, fish tocino, dried katambak fish, and dried fish bones. While most of these items are available in supermarkets, the best place to get them at budget-friendly prices is at the Tabo-an Dried Fish Market along Tres de Abril Street at the southern end of Sanciangko Street.

The dried fish market is right behind the Tabo-an Public Market. The dried fish supply at this market is sourced mostly from northern Cebu, barangays Pasil and Duljo Fatima in Cebu City, and Talisay City in southern Metro Cebu.

dried seafood at the Tabo-an Dried Fish Market
Dried seafood

PhP 99 Ribs and More at Surfin' Ribs

I have heard about Surfin' Ribs before from my cousins, my foodie buddies, and through the various food festivals that they join in. When I got a PhP 99 coupon from the Hyper Wonderland brochure, I made sure i will be using that coupon. The day after the Sinulog Festival 2016 grand parade, I went to their Escario branch to use the coupon. I learned that the PhP 99 ribs are on offer only on Tuesdays and Thursdays but luckily my coupon said "everyday" so I insisted to be served such on a Monday. Fortunately, the manager on duty agreed.

Rustic Feel at Surfin' Ribs

When I walked into their Escario branch, the dimly lit dining area with brown brick-inspired walls, varnished light wood furniture, and vinyl tiled floors creates a rustic homey feel for the guests. Offers are prominently displayed on the walls.

Surfin' Ribs
Surfin' Ribs

Kublai Khan Mongolian Restaurant: Fast Food Feels for an Eat All You Can Restaurant

Fans of Mongolian barbecue should look no further than Kublai Khans Mongolian Restaurant in Cebu. And the better news is they have eat all you can available in their stores. But if you are no big eater, there is nothing to worry as they have one time fills as well. Kublai Khan Mongolian Restaurant has a fast food ambiance while offering eat-all-you-can bowls.

Eat-All-You Can at Kublai Khan Restaurant

Eat-all-you-can at Kublai Khan Mongolian Restaurant costs PhP 269. You will given a large black bowl where you mix and match ingredients according to personal preference. You will have to buy drinks at additional costs. The regular ingredients available at Kublai Khan Mongolian Restaurant are leeks, onions, garlic, ginger, squid rings, chicken, pork, beef, noodles, rice, squid balls, fish balls, cabbage, carrots, squash, bell pepper, Chinese pechay, sayote, bean sprouts, chicken gizzard, and chicken liver.

Kublai Khan Mongolian Restaurant
Kublai Khan Mongolian Restaurant

Munch On Comfort Food at Isidra

I joined other volunteer organizers of the Cebu Blogging Summit 2015 for a post-event dinner at Isidra Comfort Cantina last 12 December 2015. They were one of our sponsors for the Cebu Blogging Summit 2.0 held at the Century Plaza Hotel. During dinner, we sampled the a la carte menu at the restaurant.

So what did we have for dinner? They served our favorite Filipino foods. And they have dishes with obvious Malaysian influences. 

Isidra Comfort Cantina in Cebu City
Isidra Comfort Cantina in Cebu City

Enjoy More With Combo Meals At Max's Fried Chicken Restaurant

Max's Fried Chicken is celebrating 70 years of sarap to the bones. Max's has come a long way from its humble beginnings in the post-war Philippines of 1945.

Magellan's Cross: Cebu City's Iconic Landmark

Perhaps the most recognizable landmark of Cebu City is the kiosk or chapel that houses the Magellan's Cross. This tourist attraction is located at Plaza Sugbu. It is right in between the old Cebu City Hall and the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño. A common site at the area are old ladies selling colored candles and offering to pray for passersby in exchange for a fee. The prayer is done through the original Sinulog ritual dance. You can do this for a cultural immersion.

Trivia: The candles' colors are actually specific to prayer requests. Some prayer categories include petitions relating to love life, career, and academics. 

A Cebu City Icon

The Magellan's Cross kiosk is immortalized as a symbol of Cebu City. It is the centerpiece of the Cebu City official seal.

Official Seal of Cebu City featuring Magellan's Cross
Official Seal of Cebu City

Crocolandia: Marvel at Crocodiles and More in Talisay City

I had nothing to do one lazy Sunday afternoon. So I invited my sister in law, her mom, and my nephew to take a stroll not far away from home.

My one-year old nephew enjoys being around animals. I suggested we bring him to Crocolandia Park at barangay Biasong in Talisay City.

Crocolandia Park
Crocolandia Park

Compañia Maritima: A Neglected Piece of History

There is this abandoned building at the north end of the Cebu South Coastal Road at the South Road Properties. It's an old structure. The building is more than a century old actually. It's abandoned. And for a building of such historical value, I should say neglected. I'm talking about the Compania Maritima Building. It is probably among the most prominent buildings at the Cebu City waterfront during the American colonial era.

History of Compañia Maritima Building 

Compañia Maritima was built on reclaimed land in 1910. Back then, it was known as the Fernandez Building. It was then owned by the company Fernandez Hermanos, Inc. And was originally built to house the offices of the Manila Steamship Company. The building was occupied by the Shamrock Hotel owned by Mike Ryan in the 1930's. It was also the location of the first store of the Shamrock Bakery and Restaurant Corporation in the pre-war era. Shamrock is now a household name in Cebu when it comes to pasalubong items. The building was destroyed by the bombing of World War II. After the war, it was repaired and occupied by one of the biggest shipping companies in Cebu, Compañia Maritima. The ground floor occupant since the 1930's, Compañia Maritima filed for bankruptcy in the late 1980's. And the building have been abandoned since.

Compania Maritima
Compañia Maritima Building

Kogi Q: Grill and Eat All You Want in Cebu, Philippines

I've been missing my buddies since I stopped playing basketball some months back. So we set a reunion of sorts. I've been wanting to try Kogi-Q's PhP 270 grill all you can offer at Parkmall in Mandaue City, Cebu, Philippines. So I suggested we had dinner at the place near the tail end of 2015.

There's 5 of us that used to play together before but due to some circumstances, only Peter and DJ showed up. JR was somewhere in Bantayan Island with his family and Mark had other things to do.

DJ and Pete at Kogi-Q Grill
DJ and Pete at Kogi-Q

Related Reading: Eat All You Can Buffet Resturants in Cebu

Tortilla Rolls in Cebu: Enjoy Them at Persian Avenue

Filipinos are known to prefer sweet blend food. We Cebuanos are no different in that regard. But for food to taste sweet, you don't necessarily have to load up on refined sugar, processed honey, or other sweeteners. I found out that when you use fresh ingredients, food is naturally sweet. This was my realization when I got to sample some of the food in the menu of Persian Avenue.

I was invited to the food tasting with some of my fellow bloggers last 27 December 2015 at the first branch of Persian Avenue outside Luzon and the National Capital Region. RJ and Paolo Lapid hosted us during the event. They are relatives of the owners of R. Lapid's Chicharon.

Persian Avenue Tortilla Rolls
Persian Avenue