7 foodstops in Cebu: Catmon/Borbon & Argao | part 2

Categories Food, Places
Road seller in Catmon hawking "budbud kabog"
Road seller in Catmon hawking "budbud kabog"

Speak of Cebu and images of the Sto. Niño , the province’s patron, come to mind. And so does the valiant Lapu-Lapu, sweet mangoes, the famous lechon, guitars and beaches. But it is more than that. Cebu is a special and beautiful place. It is also my home.

Cebu foodstop series: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

3 Catmon

Along the road, freshly fired and delicious "bibingka" is sold
Along the road, freshly fired and delicious "bibingka" is sold
The traveler passing by the municipalities of Catmon and Borbon would get curious what budbud kabog is as kabog in Cebuano means a large fruit bat. For the uninitiated, it is a kind of suman, a type of elongated rice cake wrapped in banana leaves and steamed. The main ingredient is millet,  rather unusual as most budbud is made from either pilit (malagkit in Filipino and sticky rice in English) or ground cassava and to some extent, corn, in the case of pintos.

One note though, budbud kabog is known as from Catmon and they even have a festival celebrated for this one but when one gets to the town, finding this delicacy is hard and, as what I found out, most of the time unavailable. I asked around and was pointed to a store beside the municipal hall but I didn’t see any budbud there. This is also found rather common in Dumaguete where it is sold near the pier. One can also get these at the Salcedo Saturday market in Makati.

Other than the kabog, there is a stretch of stalls by the roadside that sells bibingka (round rice cakes) as shown at right. Really good when eaten fresh from the fire.

Argao's delicious "torta" with "tuba" as one of the main ingredients.
Argao's delicious "torta" with "tuba" as one of the main ingredients.
Other Chitang's products but I definitely would go for the "torta"
Other Chitang's products but I definitely would go for the "torta"

4 Argao
A road trip to the south especially after Carcar is a pleasant one and when one reaches Argao, one can see several stands of bahay-na-bato, Spanish era houses that attests to its position as a heritage town. When I think of Argao, its not only the baroque church that comes to mind but food stands out in the form of the Argao torta.

A must stop in Argao is Chitang's for its delicious "torta"
A must stop in Argao is Chitang's for its delicious "torta"

This town is famous for this one and whenever I’m visiting, I always drop by Chitang’s for this treat. Argao’s torta is a local cake. A rich one. Just sink your teeth to its smooth texture which is topped with sugar and bits of cheese and raisins and you can’t help but close your eyes and feel bliss. People attest to its secret ingredient: tuba, red fermented coconut milk that seems to bring out its character. There is also another ingredient: pork lard. There are also other bakers of torta in the town but I find this one to be the best.

Chitang’s also sell other delicacies like broas, soft and delicate pastries that can be eaten as is or added as decoration or one of the ingredients of pastries or cakes; this is also found in many places in the country. There’s also podreda, star or flower shaped biscuits that comes plain or special with an added fruit jam at the center. The town also boasts of it’s tableya, puck-like concentrated cocoa chocolate that is best consumed as a hot and thick choco beverage. But nothing beats the torta.

I'm a Travel and Architecture photographer, blogger and writer based in Cebu, the Philippines.

A true blue Cebuano, I make stunning images and meaningful stories. My work has been published in various coffee table books as well as local and international publications including Geo (Germany), Sunday Times Magazine (London), done photo assignments for Mabuhay and written posts in Smile.

My personal Photography work has been exhibited around Asia and Europe including Paris in France, Germany, The Netherlands, South Korea, China and around the ASEAN regional capitals.

I am a peripatetic traveler and have been to all 81 Philippine provinces and abroad.

Check out my portfolio site at StanCabigas.

12 thoughts on “7 foodstops in Cebu: Catmon/Borbon & Argao | part 2

  1. I love suman especially with a hot cup of binatil na tabliya. I’ve been to Cebu before but I don’t remember trying the Budbud Kabog. The Broa reminds me of neighboring Bohol where it’s also available.

  2. @nomadic pinoy, broas are indeed quite common around the country. saw loads of it in Lucena. you should try the budbud kabog. if you’re in manila, try visiting the salcedo or legaspi weekend markets

  3. queeniebee says:

    Hi Estan, I love bibingka, especially right off the smokey coals. Best to eat them while still hot, as they get a little rubbery later, but still delicious.

  4. thank you for dropping by chitang’s torta…

  5. Jc Colonia says:

    kaon ta bibingka sa catmon 🙂 hehe

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