Can you blame us? Who goes to Cebu and not try its lechon and chicharon? If the best Cebu lechon comes from Talisay (I know, I know, I’d get lotsa flak writing this), then don’t argue with me when I say the best Chicharon hails from Carcar. Chicharon pa lang, ulam na!

 

 

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It’s more fun in the Philippines, indeed! But make sure you do Visita Iglesia in Saint Catherine of Alexandria Church to spare you from hypertension resulting from cholesterol overload. At the time we visited, the parish was closed. Thus, we appreciated its beauty — styled like most Greek Orthodox churches with onion-domed bell towers — from the outside where we also found many statues of saints adorning the fence around the church.

 

 

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Right beside the church is the Carcar Museum. Yes, a Museum! Well actually, an American-styled dispensary years before and now converted into a lovely Museum complete with various illustrations tracing its history in this heritage capital of the province of Cebu. The Carcar Rotunda is also as American as the Carcar Museum. This white gazebo stands right before the church and the museum, which together comprise a most charming plaza.

 

 

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There was a museum guide who showed us around. The American-era dispensary was actually built in 1929 during the term of Don Mariano Mercado as Mayor. Among other landmarks are the municipal pool behind the Dispensary building, the Carcar Rotunda and the Rizal Monument. If I had my way though, I would replace the statue of Don Mariano with something more “cheerful” or “leader-like”. Call me irreverent but I thought the statue displayed Don Mariano’s shy, even tentative side. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

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Where to buy Chicharon? No worries. They’re everywhere! Inside the malls, outside the malls, along the streets, inside your bus or cars! The prices are no different though from the crunchies you can buy back in the city just an hour’s ride away. It is not known though that Carcar was once what Liliw is to Laguna, or Marikina to Rizal (now Metro Manila). Somehow, this 17th century shoemaking industry faded from the scene as competition set in and other industries flourished.

 

 

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Just off the Plaza, and visible from the porch of the Carcar Museum is the town’s oldest house. Owned by Don Florencio Noel, the house is still lived in and is fondly called by Carcaranos as “Dakong Balay” which literally means “big house”. Now declared by the National Historical Institute as a heritage house, the house remains unaltered but lovingly restored and preserved by fourth generation descendants of the Noel family.

 

 

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