This Week in Cebu (August 28 to September 3, 2017)

Locals and tourists can go on a food trip or travel over the long weekend.

By: Arrah Camillia Quistadio-Manticajon | August 28, 2017
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The week kicks off with National Heroes Day, followed by the Haladaya Festival in Daanbantayan on August 30. Despite current traffic woes, the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and motorcycles for hire offer long-term and short-term solutions for the riding public. Whether it’s a new twist on a local favorite like tablea, or a little-known island in the north, Cebu offers something exciting to be experienced.

BRT gets green light

long weekend Cebu

Architectural perspective of one of the BRT stations (Image: Cebu City BRT)

Despite the many controversies surrounding it, the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project is pushing through. The Cebu City Council passed a resolution approving the implementation of the project last August 15. The National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) has also given the green light in allotting PhP5.69 billion of additional funds for the project. The money will be used for right-of-way acquisition. This puts the budget of the BRT from PhP10.6 billion to PhP16.3 billion.

The BRT is one of the many public infrastructure projects planned by the Duterte administration as part of its “Build, Build, Build” program.

Buffet of Filipino and Cebuano dishes

long weekend Cebu

Sugbufe at the grand opening last September 2016 (Image: Sugbufe)

For a smorgasbord of Filipino and Cebuano dishes, diners can head to Sugbufé. This local restaurant serves Pinoy favorites like pork adobo (pork braised in vinegar and soy sauce), bam-i (stir-fried noodles), tinolang isda (fish soup), beef steak, caldereta (meat stew), and lechon (roast suckling pig). Aside from this, they offer popular Cebuano street food like chicharon bulaklak (fried pork intestines), pork barbeque, sinugbang nukos (grilled squid), and other dishes.

Sugbufé employs persons with disabilities, as well as sells hablon (hand-woven textile) from Argao in their restaurant.

Gato Island

long weekend Cebu

Gato Island resembles a sleeping cat from above, thus its name. (Image: Evolution Diving)

Gato Island in Daanbantayan, northern Cebu holds many wonders for divers and adventurous travelers. The small, rocky island is a fish and sea snake sanctuary where the balingkasaw (yellow-lipped sea krait) roams. Beneath its waters, one can see puffer fish, mantis shrimp, scorpion fish, and many other sea creatures. The island also has a cave where white-tip reef sharks rest.

To get to Gato Island, one can take a bus from the Cebu North Bus Terminal going to Maya Port. From there, one can take a boat to Malapascua Island, then take an outrigger boat to Gato Island.

Tablea treats

long weekend Cebu

Gato Island resembles a sleeping cat from above, thus its name. (Image: Evolution Diving)

Cebu, the town of Argao in particular, is known for its tablea (chocolate tablets). Home-grown business The Chocolate Chamber has given the humble tablea a luxurious spin by turning it into truffles. On top of selling tablea in rolls, buttons, and blocks, they also have tablea-based creations like roche, rice krispies, alfajores (shortbread cookies), chocolate pralines with cacao nib, chocolate bar, and tablea chocolate peanut butter. Tablea from The Chocolate Chamber was recently served to delegates of the 48th Association of Southeast Nations (ASEAN) Economic Ministers Meeting last July.

The Chocolate Chamber has outlets in Brgy. Kasambagan and Robinsons Galleria Cebu.

Haladaya Festival Queen

long weekend Cebu

Last year’s roster of Haladaya festival queens (Image: Reagan Lim Pillejera)

The municipality of Daanbantayan celebrates Haladaya Festival in August 30. The festival pays homage to St. Rose de Lima and Datu Daya, who ruled Daanbantayan under its old name Kandaya. The townspeople celebrate the occasion with street dancing and a dance showdown.

One of the major events of the festival is the selection of the Haladaya festival queen. The coronation night is set for Aug. 29, 8:00 PM to 11:00 PM at the Mayor Lamberto Te Sr. Cultural Center, Poblacion, Daanbantayan.

City to regulate motorcycles for hire

long weekend Cebu

Motorcycles are a fast way to get around.

With the suspension of Uber and growing traffic congestion, commuters turn to alternative modes of transportation like motorcycles for hire. However, operations like habal-habal (modified motorcycle) and motorcycle-hailing app Angkas are considered colorum by the Land Transportation Office in Central Visayas (LTO-7).

In a bid to make such operations legal, Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña has created the Two-wheeled Motorized Vehicle Monitoring, Coordination, and Assistance Unit (TWV-MCAU), a body which will regulate motorcycles-for-hire in the city. The body is tasked to create programs and projects to make habal-habal services better for the riding public.

Luzon poultry banned in Cebu

long weekend Cebu

Transporting live chickens and poultry products from Luzon to Cebu is now banned.

The Cebu City Department of Veterinary Medicine and Fisheries has reminded chicken meat suppliers from Luzon not to ship their products to Cebu. This is after the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) issued a memorandum banning the movement of such products to Visayas and Mindanao due to the bird flu outbreak in Pampanga. The restriction covers live domestic and wild birds, poultry meat, day-old chicks, eggs, semen, and manure from Luzon.

Though bird flu has not reached Cebu, the local government is pre-emptively monitoring high-risk areas such as Argao, Bantayan Island, and Olango Island to stop the virus from spreading.
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About Arrah Camillia Quistadio-Manticajon
Arrah Camillia Quistadio-Manticajon is the current content supervisor for the Visayas region of ShoppersGuide Marketing, Inc. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication degree from UP Cebu. She has previously worked for a business process outsourcing company, a community newspaper, and a global technology company. When not writing, she putters about in the kitchen, baking or testing new recipes.
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Disclaimer: All articles in the Consumers Magazine of Yoorekka are for general information and entertainment purposes only. Although careful research has been made in writing them, Yoorekka does not make any warranty about the completeness and accuracy of all information presented in our articles. Our content is not intended to be used in place of legal, medical, or any professional advice.
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