Saturday, April 25, 2009

Food Fest at the Mactan Shrine

It’s the week leading to the Kadaugan sa Mactan or the Victory of Mactan and since 2001, the city government and the tourism council are sponsoring a weeklong food festival that would end on the eve of the reenactment of the April 27, 1521 battle between Lapu-Lapu and the explorer Ferdinand Magellan.

the obelisk at the Mactan Shrine
the limestone obelisk at the Mactan Shrine, Lapu-Laput City, Cebu, the Philippines


Expectations were high when we went there last Wed (April 23). While we don’t exactly do this annually, this was to be my third time to dine in this festival and I was looking forward on checking what food there are being offered by Mactan’s numerous resorts at amazingly democratized prizes. With cuisines from big names like Shangri-La, the Hilton, Plantation Bay, Maribago Bluewaters and Tambuli on display who would not be tempted?

We arrived at past 6:30PM. Parking always would be a pain in the shrine but we found a spot near the northern gate. We had initial trouble securing a table but the greater difficulty was choosing which stall to queue.

dining tables
a full crowd at the dining area set up near the beach


Eventually we picked the popular Shangri-La stall. Food was cheap! Large servings of the grilled chicken and beef with vegetables were at P60 each. The Plantation Bay’s noodles probably had the longest line though so we had to skip it. A Japanese restaurant had some appetizing offerings so we bought maki rolls and shrimp tempura, also at P60/serving. Ordinarily, they would be at more than 3x as expensive in but in the resorts and restaurants eschew revenues in favor of good PR and CSR (corporate social responsibility).

Mactan tidal flat
the tidal flat where the battle of Mactan occurred


Weather cooperated quite nicely. The skies were starless but the rains stayed out. Dinner was quite fun. A local band played Cebuano ditties atop the pavilion where the stalls were.

food pavilion
the food pavilion with a live band at the balcony on top


After getting some bit of desserts and baby-back rib takeouts of from the White Sands Resort (P150 including rice), we gallivanted around the shrine. I’m a pure bred Oponganon and I take pride of this historical place.

cooking at the White Sands Resort booth
live cooking at the food booth of the White Sands Resort


Next year, we hope to be back.

Battle of Mactan memorial
the marker and mural at the memorial at Mactan


To go: The food festival is held annually at the Mactan Shrine on the week of April 27, the anniversary of the battle of Mactan, where on 1521, the local chieftain Lapu-Lapu defeated the Spanish forces led by Ferdinand Magellan. Mactan is about 10 kilometers northwest of the Lapu-Lapu City proper.

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2 comments:

peenkfrik said...

I never knew of the date of the Mactan battle until this post. Thanks!

Farl said...

peenkfrik- yes, in fact Lapu-Lapu is considered the first Philippine hero who repulsed foreign invasion.