Sira-sira store: A taste of Cebu

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Friday, January 10, 2014

CEBU will be celebrating its grand feast, the Sinulog, on Jan. 19. As with other years, people are assured of getting a good dose of Cebuano hospitality and sense of fun.

Rain or shine, Cebu will go out to the streets to show its happy side. The streets will be lined with food stalls; the main park, Fuente Osmeña Oval, will bloom with nightly mini-concerts and shows and colorful kiosks selling food and drinks. It’s more fun in Cebu, really.

It’s an infectious atmosphere and you don’t wonder why people smile at each other. Hey, it’s Sinulog time, remember?


Although the Sinulog parade is deemed as a separate event from the religious activity, many people continually associate the procession of the Sto. Niño and the parade as one and the same. But there is no quarrel among the devotees. They are celebrating one event in different ways, that’s all.

This year promises to be another grand time for local and foreign visitors because no doubt, the street pageantry will be worth its tourism salt. Every year presents amazing creativity to the Sinulog dance, the props and even the storyline.

Aside from the grand show, the festival opens the door to the Cebuano kitchen.

Visitors and local residents alike will be treated to an array of delicious food, including those labeled as “street food” or as I call it, “street eats”: pork barbecue, puso, embotido and ngohiong. These are handy street fare; they can be eaten as people follow the Sinulog street dance or sit in one of the bleachers provided by the Cebu City Government.

Many restaurants and hotels will be part of the festivity. For sure they will come up with innovative ways to translate Cebuano cuisine. Lechon will be the star of the table and some restaurants may offer paksiw nga lechon as their way of acquainting visitors with this hearty and savory dish made from leftover roasted pig.

For those who plan to join in the street parade on Sunday, water would be the real elixir of life. Don’t go out without a bottle or two of good old H20. You would be wise if you bring a backpack and stuff it with water.

Other life essentials include hand towels, an umbrella, a bottle of alcohol and dry food like crackers, corn chips, fried chicken (although fast food restos are open on this day) and preserved fruits like dried mango.

It boils down to being prepared. When you go out, be sure to bring a festive hat that really provides sun protection. And keep your valuable items at home, which means just bringing just enough money and a functional camera. And your humor.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 11, 2014.


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