Let’s talk about a souvenir that is typical of Cebu. Of course, Cebu is a dried mango. But there are many other good things.
I first came to Cebu 11 years ago. I can’t count how many times I’ve been to Cebu. You’re exaggerating. There were many waves, but I think I’ve come more than 100 times since I make 10 round trips a year.
The thing that bothered me the most after coming and going many times was the souvenir.
It’s not fun with ordinary dried mangos or cookies. Because I wanted to make a souvenir that would make me happy even if I received it.
I chose a souvenir that is like Cebu surrounded by nature this time. All of them are actually used by people in Cebu. I will introduce each episode.
I like all of them, so I can’t rank them. I’m sorry.
The definitive edition of Cebu Island souvenirs! What souvenir would you like to buy?
Do you know a plant called Moringa or Marungai? It is called Miracle Tree or Medicine Box Tree and is said to be the most nutritious plant in the world.
Moringa is a super food that contains plenty of vitamins, calcium, amino acids, etc. necessary for human beings.
Cebu grows everywhere, so I didn’t realize this tree was so big. I even thought it was feed for livestock because goats and pigs like to eat it.
I have bitten a goat or a pig because they get excited and eat it deliciously like when I show a cat matatabi. I expected it to be very delicious, but the taste was just a little bitter.
There are various products using Moringa. How about Moringa supplement, Moringa powder or Moringa soap?
Cebu means Calamancy. People who get the idea of Karamansy are quite Cebu lovers. It’s a citrus fruit that looks like Okinawa’s shekwasha.
The Japanese name is Hirami Lemon. With a 10 times higher vitamin C content than Shekwasha, Calamancy is Cebu’s staple food and in a way the most popular fruit in the Philippines. They are more familiar fruits than bananas and mangoes.
Calamancy is an all-purpose fruit that comes with everything in the Philippines. It comes with meat or fish in the restaurant.
You can use it as a vodka, tequila chaser or cocktail, or you can dilute it with water and drink it with honey. It is rich in vitamin C, so I take it when I have a cold.
In the Philippines, you squeeze raw caramancy and they sell pure caramancy juice. It is very convenient because you can use it like lemon juice. I think it’s a nice souvenir.
③ papaya soap
Papaya is a fruit, but in the Philippines, there is an image of whitening other than eating it. Because the antioxidant effect of vitamin C, carotene and lycopene contained in papaya suppresses the action of tyrosinase which causes blackening.
Papaya soap is popular in the Philippines because people are more aware that fair complexion equals beauty.
Papaya soap is made by refining the white liquid that comes out when you cut the fruit into powder. Papaya has strong cleansing power, so it is popular among women who suffer from acne as a facial cleanser. It is also said that it is effective for inflammation resolution after sunburn.
And above all, the pleasant fragrance of the pastry soap not only cleanses the skin but also has a positive effect on the mind.
Papaya soap is extremely popular with Filipinos, and there are many brands of papaya soap available in supermarkets and pharmacies, so you might want to find your favorite one.
④ mango jam
The mango called Queen of Fruits is a representative fruit of Cebu. Have you tried mango jam?
I think there are many people in Japan who want to bring back mangoes, which are expensive fruits, but unfortunately, it is a violation to bring back fresh fruits. But you can take the processed mango jam home.
It’s richer than I thought and it feels like it’s full of flesh. Non-addictive jam with sweet fragrance of mango and sour taste. I eat it not only on bread but also on tea, yogurt and ice cream.
In addition, it is delicious to put it in juice or smoothie every day. It’s also delicious if you scoop it up with a spoon and eat it as it is (laughs).
Mango is excellent in nutrition and as a source of vitamin C and calcium. It contains plenty of beta-carotene, which is popular recently, so it is popular as a beauty and health food.
⑤ Banana ketchup
The typical seasoning in the Philippines is banana ketchup. Everything in the Philippines is sweet, but the secret is banana ketchup.
In the Philippines, hamburgers, barbecues, and spaghetti and meat sauce are all slightly sweet. At first I thought it was sugar, but the secret was banana ketchup.
It’s sweet ketchup with no acidity. By the way, it doesn’t taste like bananas. Other than “sweet”, it doesn’t have much of a habit than I thought, so I recommend it to people who like cooking. You can enjoy a wide variety of dishes and taste that you would never experience in Japan.
It has no taste in Japan, so it is a typical seasoning in the Philippines that challenges those who like cooking.
If you go to the countryside of Cebu, you can find natural honey in buckets. They scoop it up in a cup, put it in a bottle and sell it, but I can’t buy it as a souvenir. It is raw honey, so it is nutritious, but it contains fragments of beehives.
However, honey is also very popular in supermarkets. Of course, it’s not raw honey, but it’s refined, so you don’t have to worry about buying it as a souvenir.
There are many kinds of honey in the supermarket in Cebu, but they are not separated by the kinds of flowers which bees collect like in Japan. Honeybees must be gathering vigorously from flowers that bloom here and there in Cebu.
The typical way to eat Cebu is honey lemon in Japan. It’s not only delicious if you add honey to karamansi juice and drink it, but it’s also good when you’re tired or sick.
Of course, it goes well with bread, tea or ice cream. I think the honey at the trip destination is a good souvenir because it collects nectar from the local flowers.
⑦ cacao tablet
Cebu is also famous for producing cacao. The undiluted solution of cacao beans is called Tabrea in Cebu. It tastes terribly bitter as it is, but in some rural areas of Cebu, people drink it as a morning health drink.
Because cacao contains a lot of polyphenol, it is effective to improve fatigue recovery, concentration and memory. Chocolate with a lot of cacao is perfect as a souvenir. Chocolate of Cebu is said to be as delicious as famous shops in Europe.
Also, undiluted cacao is sold as tablea.
Normally, tableas are the leading chocolate brand in Cebu, but they are completely different. It’s delicious if you dilute it with hot water, add sugar or honey, sweeten it, and drink it. In addition, cacao tablets and powder are also perfect as souvenirs.
Cebu is coconut. Coconut is said to be an all-purpose tree and there is no place to throw it away. The trunk is used for building a house as wood.
Leaves are used for roofing. Not only juice but also oil and soap can be made from coconut fruit, and alcohol and vinegar can be made from sap. I’ll show you some coconut souvenirs.
⑧ coconut oil
Coconut oil, a medium chain fatty acid, has the effect of lowering cholesterol level and also has the effect of diet.
I didn’t know until I came to the Philippines that oil can be extracted from coconut. Do you know how to get oil from coconut?
You boil juice with coconut fruit. The oil will remain if you keep simmering it for hours. Coconut oil is also sold as a lotion, but I recommend the edible virgin coconut oil.
The fresh coconut oil of Cebu is best eaten with mangoes and bananas. I recommend this way of eating because it is actually done by Filipinos. I eat it with carpaccio and salad.
Please use it like you eat Italian food with olive oil. Everything tastes like Cebu.
⑨ coconut soap
Coconut soap is popular in Cebu. When I go to the countryside, I use homemade coconut oil as soap.
Coconut oil has enough moisturizing ingredients to be a milky lotion. In addition, coconut oil, which contains a lot of lauric acid, is highly antibacterial and can be expected to prevent oxidation, one of the causes of skin aging.
Lauric acid of coconut oil repels acne bacteria, so it also prevents pimples and acne. In addition, this product is recommended as a souvenir of Cebu as it can prevent ultraviolet rays and protect your skin from sunburn.
⑩ coconut vinegar
Coconut vinegar is made by adding sugar to the sap of palm trees and fermenting it with alcohol. Coconut vinegar has the effect of slowly increasing blood sugar level because of its low GI.
It is also rich in amino acid and mineral acetic acid, so it is said to be good for fatigue recovery in the Philippines. It’s a bit sour, but I don’t use coconut juice, so it doesn’t smell of coconut. It is easy to use for any dish.
In Filipino cuisine, meat is simmered with coconut vinegar and Philippine soy sauce for a dish called Adobo. If you dress fish with coconut vinegar, tomato, ginger, onion and red pepper, it will be a dish called kinilau.
Coconut liquor is called Tuba in Cebu Island. It is a local alcohol produced in the process of making coconut vinegar. It’s easy to make, so you can buy it anywhere in the country. It’s made from coconut sap, so it’s good to drink it in rainy season when it rains a lot.
Natural tuber does not last long. Or rather, it becomes vinegar immediately if you leave it. Cebu drinks it as soon as it is made.
They sell coconut liquor for souvenir. The container is also stylish, so I think it will be appreciated by drinkers. The natural Tuba has less alcohol content and is sour, but it is easy to take as a souvenir.
If you drink mango wine with its sweet aroma, you will feel like you are in a tropical resort. The alcohol content is not so high, so I enjoy drinking aperitif.
It tastes good and is easy to drink, so be careful not to drink too much. It is recommended to drink while chatting at parties. Please be careful as there is a limit to take out alcohol in the Philippines. Three per person.
Finally, dried mango.
Speaking of Cebu souvenirs, I have never seen Filipinos eating dried mangoes. I don’t need to dry it, so I’m eating raw mango. It is a very familiar food, so I eat it as it is.
Or maybe I can’t wait until it gets dry…
When I checked, raw mangoes were crops that needed quarantine. The only way to bring it back overseas was to process it. If you peel the skin and dry it, it will last longer. The dried mango was just right for a souvenir.
For some reason, 7D is famous in Japan, but if you go to a supermarket, there are many kinds. Please choose by yourself.
You can buy the above souvenirs at SM Mall supermarkets, Ayala Mall supermarkets or pharmacies. I recommend KURTURA, a souvenir shop in SM Mall for those who want a little particular souvenir.