One of the famous places you shouldn’t want to miss when having a vacation in Cebu is the municipality-recently-turned-city of Carcar about 60 kilometers south of Cebu. The city is to be as an expansion of Metro Cebu in the southern part of the province of Cebu. This is a place where travelers and/or people wanted an out-of-town vacation somewhere in the south come to pass by this place. Carcar City is not only known as the “shoe capital of Cebu” but also with the famous delicacy industry wherein Cebuanos never forget to appreciate when talking about the place.
The small city is the home for several good shoemakers producing quality shoes and sandals, including leather shoes, sandals and other footwear. This locally made footwear is sold in small shops and booths set up along the roadside. Being regarded as the Cebu’s “Shoe Capital”, the people of Carcar, especially the local shoemakers, are on their way of producing world-class quality footwear that will compete the various and renowned brand s of shoes and sandals in the shoe markets. One of the remarkable things about the shoes made in Carcar is the quality and price that is very friendly to one’s pockets compared to the booming prices tagged in these stuffs in malls.
If you’ve already tasted one of the most mouth-watering crispy pork crackles, most commonly known to us Cebuanos as the “CHICHARON”, then most probably you already had your share of what Carcar is proudly to have and berenowned for. Indeed, Carcar is known for its sweets and very good-tasting delicacies like the “bucarillo”, “ampao” and the most common snack to be tasted by the travelers out there, the “chicharon” (shown at the left).
Imagine wonderfully colored coconut strips in crystallized white sugar.Carcar has lots of bucarillo makers but unfortunately, most of the packs being sold in the local market are on the tough side.
The best bucarillo can only be had by special order from the original bucarillo maker in the photocopy shop behind the Carcar City Hall. One piece is about P5 each, quite a sum versus the regular pack of six at P10 something sold publicly. But what aheady difference! Boasting of only the tenderest slivers of young coconut (butong in Cebuano) tinted in theslightest shade of pink or green,thisspecial bucarillo rolls and melts inyour mouth.
Typically, buses from Cebu City going south would take a short stop over in Carcar which gives the street vendors a few minutes of selling those delicacies and snacks insidethe vehicle. At the public market of Carcar, more of sweets, delicacies, snacks and other has-to-be-tasted foods can be found which includes several stalls with tasty “lechon” all for a price worth the stomach’s craving.
Culture and HeritageOne of thedifferent prominent traces of Spanish Colonizationstill visible in this city is the church of St. Catherine of Alexandria. The church rests at the elevated part of the city. The 124-year old stand asone of the great wonders of Carcar City since it is the second eldest church in the entire province of Cebu.
The orders of St. Augustine handled the church in Carcar. It took260 years before the new building was finally constructed. The architectural design of this church obviously represents a sketch of Hispanic design. Several structures were built during the Spanish period still exist.
During the Spanish era, Carcar is considered as one of the buy district of Cebu which explains why its streets are filled with Spanish Architecture.
Another thing that marks the uniqueness of Carcar City when wetalk about heritage is thefamous, Bahay na Tisa.
Balay na Tisa is situated along Sta. Catalina St. (the street right across St. Catherine of Alexandria, church of Carcar), where several other ancestral houses such as the Sanchez’ House and Noel’s Dakung Balay (or The Big House) can be found.
The Heritage Street in Carcar is lined with well-preserved colonial houses but we can only view them from the roadside and imagine what‘s beyond those firmly-shut wooden door and translucent capiz windows. But there is one ancestral house that took us by surprise. Like an onion, Bahay na Tisa, slowly revealed its different layers and open itself to us as we went to see what’s inside an 1859 ancestral house.
The house was given a name after the original brick-tile roofing locally called tisa when it was open to the public.
HOW TO GET THERE?
“CHICHARON Ta Bai!”
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