Taboan Market, Cebu’s dried fish heaven

Categories Food
Baskets full of different kinds of dried fish at the Taboan Market

A buyer sifting through danggit
Taboan Market bai, I said politely to the jeepney conductor while I handed my fare. I was enroute to Cebu’s famous dried fish market where almost every kind of species of fish that can be salted and dried are found.

Of course, one can readily go to the supermarket or grocery and buy dried fish that are already packed but where’s the fun in there? Being in Taboan is a different feeling. You get to see mounds and mounds, basketfulls, to be exact, of the items in different colors and forms and smells, freshly brought from Bantayan Island in the north or from other corners of the province.

There are dried squid, small, medium and large, shredded or whole. There are pieces of sweetened fishbones, yes, these can be eaten too. Medallions of fish tocino, translucent and pressed flat. Of course, the usual halved or uncut are there too.

Danggit, a popular dried fish that is best cooked fried to a crisp and eaten with strong vinegar with siling labuyo

Wider view of one of the shops selling dried fish
Its always a visual feast being there. Not too much on the smell though but tourists and visitors always gravitate to this market for their pasalubongs before going taking their flight back home.

The market is actually big selling all kinds of things that can be used in the house but the dried fish section is the largest in Cebu. It is possible to buy in kilos here, cheaper than in the groceries. However, to get a good deal, its better to check the shops inside than those found immediately at the roadside.

Other than dried fish, fermented fish products are also available.

Taboan Market is located in San Nicolas district and is accessible by jeepneys and taxis. Most drivers know its location.

Estan Cabigas is freelance photographer, blogger and writer based in Makati City, the Philippines. A true blue Cebuano, he makes stunning images and meaningful photo stories. His work has been published in local and international publications including National Geographic Magazine, Geo (Germany), Sunday Times Magazine (London).

He is also a peripatetic traveler and has traveled to all 81 Philippines provinces. Open for work, collaborations and inquiries for site features.

13 thoughts on “Taboan Market, Cebu’s dried fish heaven

  1. Hi Estan,
    Thanks again for sharing your great pics. Hope to visit the place soon…All the best in your next travel!

  2. i really miss cebu’s danggit. ibang iba ang danggit ng cebu, especially if you’re from manila hahanap hanapin mo ang danggit na galing cebu tlga, parang nkakaaddict sa breakfast.

  3. This is a new interesting destination for me. Thanks for sharing.

    Danggit dried after catch and not too salty is my “once ina a while” perfect meal with
    hot rice and fresh salad. I will not exchange this with T-Bone Steak. Ha! Ha!
    Here’s my salad which I recommended to Filipinas married to Foreigners.

    500 1/2 kg. fresh red semi ripe big Tomatoes
    500 1/2 kg Pipino or Sinkamas
    50 gms. Malunggay leaves (optional)
    ____________________
    7 pcs. Calamansi
    2 tbs. Coco Virgin Oil
    1 big Onion
    1 tsp. Sugar
    Salt to taste, if desired . However, if the Danggit is salty, no need

    Mix the sliced or cut (quarter) Tomatoes and Pipino (sliced or in cubes similar cut
    with Tomatoes. Mix the sauce. ( Juice of Calamansi, Coco Oil (any vegetable oil will
    do as substitute), Sugar and Onion Rings.)

    Leave the whole mixture in about 30 Minutes inside the Refrigerator before serving.

    Hmn n n .n . n .

    Note: This salad is also good with other kinds of Daing.
    ___________

    As to dried Pusit, somebody taught me from Guiuan, Eastern Samar, how to fry or
    grill. I eat this without any other Dish. A drink of Coca Cola mixed with
    “Bahalina” or Tuba from Guiuan is good during Picnics at any one of the satellite
    Islands.

    I hope that city folks like me and Foreiigners will learn to appreciate our
    ethnic food. Then the smell will be bearable similar to Durian and bad smelling
    Cheese.

    . . . . . .

  4. Correction to my measurement of Salad.
    It’s 500 grms. or 1/2 kg Tomatoes and
    500grms or 1/2 kg Pipino

    Sorry!!!

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