Mention Cebu to me and I immediately think of food. I don’t know why, but food tastes better in Cebu–fruits are sweeter, seafood fresher, and dishes more savory and delicious. I always eat so well when I’m in Cebu and I always end up dreaming of some of the best dishes I’ve tried there (hello, Cebu lechon). Yes, its that good there, which is why when I get an invite to go for work or to visit my husband’s family, I immediately say YES.
That’s exactly what I did when my lifestyle/travel show, Trending Now got invited to do a story on the best of Cebu (shameless plug coming up: the show is on every Sunday at 9pm with replays on Saturdays at 1130am on ANC). I couldn’t wait to go because I knew the episode would be all about food! I was definitely one happy host. I got to discover three delightful restaurants, each one unique and so yummy! At one point I had to catch my breath and tell myself to eat slower/take smaller bites haha. The food was that good! Plus, I got to interview design genius Kenneth Cobonpue, who I was thrilled to meet. He gave me a personal tour of some of his iconic designs which was pretty amazing, especially since I am such a fan of his work.
Of course, this was all shown in Trending Now’s Cebu episode some weeks ago. If you weren’t able to catch it, watch out for it this Sunday, June 22. In the meantime, here are photos from my trip. Hope you like my little travel diary. Enjoy! 🙂
We stayed at Plantation Bay in Mactan Island–it was such a pleasant stay for us. The rooms were nice and spacious, and their amenities were complete. Here I am shooting my spiels at the lobby.
More spiels by the manmade beach. Plantation Bay is huge, with lots of activities happening every hour, every day. I love how you can choose to do pretty much anything you want, whether its water sports, relaxing or eating.
Kenneth was such a joy to interview. He is so candid and smart–I love how he is able to bring recognition to Filipinos through his work. Both international and local celebrities buy his furniture, as well as royalty!
I asked him if he feels the pressure more now that he’s so successful, and he answered, yes, more than ever. He makes sure to draw and come up with new designs everyday–it’s all about discipline, he said.
STK ta bai! at Paolito’s Seafood House Restaurant (yes that’s the name of the resto) with owners Ria Alcover and Karen Cabahug. The food is just amazing here. Seriously, I’ve never eaten in a restaurant where all the dishes were good. This was just incredible. It’s hard to believe their restaurant started from their garage. Now it has taken over the entire downstairs part of their ancestral home and they even rented the house across from theirs and turned it into an extension of their restaurant.
Another treat: I met with chocolatier Raquel Chua, owner of Ralfe Gourmet Chocolate Boutique and The Chocolate Chamber Restaurant. She toured me around Ralfe Gourmet and made me sample all her chocolate creations.
The cocoa beans used in her chocolates are all locally produced. It was a little hard to believe because the chocolates were excellent. Not that I am putting down our local products, its just that I didn’t know that our local chocolate could taste as good as Swiss or Belgian chocolate.
Raquel showed me how Ralfe Gourmet makes their chocolate, specifically their famous tablea: well-fermented and solar-dried beans are roasted and ground to perfection and molded with utmost care, preserving the precious antioxidants of cacao.
Raquel made me try it.
Then, Raquel showed me her factory. I love chocolates, so I was in heaven.
The entire room smelled like chocolate and this was partly why–they had paintings on the wall that were made of chocolate and they had a running a chocolate fountain.
Ralfe Gourmet’s bestselling chocolates: Chocolate Praline with Whole Cacao Nib, Alfajores and Chocolate Rice Crispies.
I got to try their Hibiscus Hot Chocolate Drink. It was soooo good. It was nothing like I’ve tasted before, yet the hibiscus flavour was so familiar.
This is one delicious drink.
And the best part: I got to try their chocolate pizza! Its still tastes like pizza but it has a strong chocolate flavour. It was so different but so incredibly good.
Chocolates you can bring home. These make perfect gifts.