Mactan Food Festival

            Mactan annually celebrates Lapu-Lapu's victory in the epic battle against Magellan of the Spanish explorers at the Mactan Shrine with a re-enactment portrayed by local actors. This year, there are a series of festive activities for this celebration and the food festival was the highlight. It runs from April 18-26 at 6-10 pm; everything under P100! When I first read about this, I couldn't wait to  check it out for myself. I had quite an adventure heading there for lunch on the second day but I missed to read that it only started at night. Fail! Haha. But that blunder will be expounded on another post. :))

         Food festivals are my playground. I love going around to see new and familiar dishes that excite my eyes and taste buds and refresh or add to my food library. :D

        Mother, my sister Joanna and I were booked at Shangrila for the weekend so this was my chance to explore the food festival. We just walked to the shrine for dinner since it was nearby. I was surprised to see so many cars parked alongside of the road on our way to the shrine. The festival was definitely causing some traffic but the event was well organized because there were traffic officers to help keep everything going smoothly. There were sooo many people! It felt like Sinulog. :D

early bird: 4:30 p.m.

Dad, Joanna and Mom waiting while I'm buying our grub :D

when the feasting begins: 6 p.m.

view from the bleachers - thick crowd with the live band :D

         Okay, before I get to the juicy details, just wanna apologize for the bad pictures because my camera's flash bulb shattered so I didn't have flash. And I was rushing to go around because all the food was quickly disappearing due to the hungry mob. This was a pretty big food maze so brace yourselves for my most lengthy and photo-full post to date. :D

         Good news though, we had dinner here again the next day (Sunday) and we came really early (4:30 p.m.) so I got to take better photos and a better look of what were offered. SAVED! :D

         All the hotels/resorts and some restaurants around the locale are the participating food stations and get this, EVERYTHING UNDER P100! That's hotel quality food for fastfood price! This is definitely food haven and worth visiting! There was also a live band to complete the festive mood and ambience. :D 

Here are just some of the stalls I got to document:

White Sands Beach Resort

Mexico at Porto Fino Beach Resort!

paella valenciana P95

Kaishu Japanese Seafood Restaurant

special california maki P60 (3 pcs)

Bellavista Hotel

beautiful mouthwatering kabobs <3

Shangri-la Mactan Resort and Spa 

roast chicken carving station
Days Hotel

No Problem STK

tinola (fish) and halaan (clam) soup P50

Maribago Bluewaters

luscious kakanin: maja mais and ube maja @ P15 each

Crimson Resort

Lozini's Lechon

Pacific Cebu Resort

Plantation Bay

the prettiest station :D

Vista Mar

pasta arrabiatta P50
buffalo wings P45

Swiss ice cream: Strawberry and Maple Walnut
       This has got to be my favorite for the night! Haha. Swiss ice cream at its finest! I had both flavors and I'd have to say, this is better than Haagen Dazs. The strawberry flavor was the winner for me; smooth, creamy, rich and worth every penny. It had real strawberry bits and I loved the natural tartness. You could tell it was made from premium fresh ingredients. But hey, the maple walnut wasn't bad either! I guess I just didn't enjoy it at its best because it was melted. But you know I'm the biggest strawberry fan, so yeah. :)

What We Ate:
buffalo wings and fettuccine carbonara from White Sands
pasta arrabiatta from Vista Mar
Lozini's lechon and puso, grilled chicken bbq, paella valenciana from Porto Fino
special california maki from Kaishu
biko, ube maja and maja mais from Maribago 
buffalo wings (2 pcs) - P50
carbonara - P80
pasta arrabiatta - P50
1/4 kg lechon - P100
puso - P3 each
grilled chicken leg - P40
paella valenciana - P95
special california maki (3 pcs) - P60
ebi (prawn) tempura (2 pcs) - P50 (not in the photo)
(1) ube maja and (1) maja mais - P15 each

           Honestly, that carbonara was the best I've ever tasted so far. I can really say this because I'm no fan of carbonara but this impressed me. The serving was also very generous for P80! The pasta arrabiatta was more sweet than spicy. Actually, it was barely spicy. Haha. So much for that. But the serving was just fine. The lechon was good, too. It wasn't too salty despite getting the belly part. :D

          The paella was our favorite. We bought one more order for take home. I've always loved california maki since the first time I tasted it in grade school and the ones in this food festival were certainly excellent for the price. They were in a satisfactory size and all the components were fresh and hefty enough. It was one of those things you could say you didn't feel cheated on. :D

         Overall, all the food sold in the festival were worth tasting and I love that everything was made affordable for everyone to taste. The officials who organized this event also deserve recognition for having planned and implemented everything very well. Peace and order were kept by police stationed at the right places, garbage disposal was well managed by having people assigned to go around and clear the tables and the traffic was directed well by assigned enforcers. Kudos to Mayor Radaza and I look forward to what next year has to offer! This was definitely one of the most exciting events this year. :D

Survival Tips:
 - Best to go early (like 4:30 or 5 pm) so you can get a good spot (both parking and dining) and take a look around for you to decide ahead which dishes you want and how to make it fit your budget (if you have any). :)
 - Bring cash! Everything's tempting! 
 - Go in large groups (at least a group of 4) and buy everything if you can. Just taste everything and that way, you'll get the maximum experience of the food festival. 
 - Bring a camera to document your awesome food adventure! 
 - Bring your own ventilation device (a fan) because it's quite hot. Sooo much people.
 - Bring your own drinks if you wanna save. 
 - Wear light and comfortable attire. 

You guys should head down there while it's still going on! You do NOT want to miss this! :D

To know Cebu, eat Cebu! :D

Babe for Food
- your BFF in Cebu dining! :)


  1. I want the ice cream and maki! :-P~~~ Too bad I won't be able to go and be a glutton.

  2. Hi Justinne!! I've been following your blog ever since I started here and I can honestly say that, you're awesome!! ☺ I love your posts, it makes me hungry! Haha. And we're from the same school btw. And if you are from Mactan too, well, it's a small world! I hope you check my blog <333


    1. Hi, Janine!

      Wow, thanks! Just sharing what I love. Glad you enjoy reading my blog! And oh, you're also from USC? I'm not from Mactan though. Haha. But yes, I'll definitely check out your blog!

      Thanks for dropping by and for the nice comment! :)