In & Around Cebu

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The Island in a Bag: Top 8 Flavors to take home from Cebu

The mere mention of Cebu evokes images of mangoes, dried fish and the table constant, lechon. You can’t pass by the island without being bombarded with a selection of interesting native delicacies that are uniquely Cebu’s own. If you’re looking for a set of pasalubongs to take home, here is a list of must-buys to give to loved ones:

Dried Mangoes

Mangoes are abundant in the islands of Cebu and Negros so it’s really no surprise that a number of mango processing plants are located in Cebu like 7D, Profoods and RM. Dried mangoes are sweet, chewy thin slices of mango preserves. Most of these brands also have mango candies and mango puree which tourists can buy directly from the processor’s display centers, grocery stores and souvenir shops.


This flat, flaky and sugar-topped cookie has been enjoying fame as a must-buy when in Cebu. It’s ideally dipped in hot coffee or thick hot chocolate (local tablea). Shamrock, Titay’s and Conching are some of the popular brands.


Rosquillos is synonymous with Titay’s which started baking this delicacy in 1907. The thin crispy cookie now comes in two variants: Rosquillos Regular with round center hole and Rosquillos Corazon with a heart center. Titay’s also sells otap, galletas, hojaldres and other baked goodies.


Although there is lechon, whole roasted pig, all over the Philippines, Cebu’s lechon is still considered as the best. It boasts of a full-flavored, meaty taste even without the liver sauce, an enhancer in some other places, to go with it. Visitors to Cebu make sure they get to eat lechon and take home a kilo or two, perhaps even a whole one before going home. No wonder you’ll easily find Ayer’s Lechon and Zubuchon right at the airport.


This tasty crunchy deep-fried pork rind sometimes with a bit of meat attached is another popular Cebuano delicacy. Just like lechon, there are several versions of the chicharon throughout the Philippines, but again, Cebu chicharon particularly those from Carcar are highly sought-after.

Dried Pusit and Danggit

Hundreds of baskets of dried fish will greet you if you visit Taboan Market but the most popular with tourists is posit or squid and danggit or rabbit fish. Crispy fried and paired with spicy vinegar and hot rice, it makes one delicious breakfast. They can also be found at grocery stores and souvenir shops throughout Cebu.

Cebu Chorizo

If you are wondering what’s in the Cebu chorizo that’s not in the other chorizo variants in other parts of the country, it is its sweet spicy taste that makes it a good pair for puso (coconut-frond wrapped rice). It is sold by dozen or by kilo in.


Ampao are square bars of sweet popped rice made in Mandaue City and Carcar City in Cebu. Some are garnished with peanuts while the more premium ones have dried mango bits.

The best places to buy would be at the supplier outlets but all of these delicacies are now available at major supermarkets and pasalubong centers. If you are pressed for time, there are shops at the Mactan Cebu International Airport where you can find them as well.