Shy was at Baguio Village Inn

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Sunday, May 27, 2012

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Taboan Market, Cebu: Bulad Kayo Diyan!

Mr. Jeepney driver taking us to Taboan

Buying Bulad in Tabo-an Market

It was our last day in Cebu and we were to buy bulad or dried salted fish.  Now for those who don't know what that is, it's basically any seafood particularly fish that has been sun dried and salted.  This will last for months on end since it is preserved by salt, which is known to be the oldest known preservative.  So how you cook it is you just have to fry it- it's that simple.  For most Filipinos, we like to dip it in vinegar to tone down its saltiness and to give it a nice good kick.  I've heard that we're not allowed to bring this abroad since neighbors would complain of its pungent smell, which we Filipinos would gush about, and then, salivate. 

Going There

Going to Tabo-an Market was a bit confusing for a tourist like me.  But it won't really be that difficult just as long as you follow directions carefully.  Locals here are really friendly and are usually willing to extend help.  When me and my family went there it was raining profusely so it made it harder to go around town.   Now sometimes people would tell you different directions.  So you need to be doubly sure before heading on. Talk about getting lost while raining.  It was terrible.  But finally we found our way. We still ended up getting wet despite bringing two umbrellas with us.

If you want directions on how to navigate your way to the market, check Cille's blog for the specifics.

Inside the Market

Once you reach the market, you would see a varied array of bulad.  Now this what made Cebu famous for it.  You could actually see bulad anywhere in the Philippines but it would be limited to 3-4 types.  But here in Cebu, particularly in Tabo-an Market, a filipino like me would be surprise to know that there are actually other types of bulad which I haven't really seen or tried.

There are a lot of stores practically selling the same thing.  So we had to choose one and pick our bulad.  People usually buy from stores outside the market because not only it's accessible, it's safer too.  I've come to know that since while in search for a good store, we attempted to go deeper inside the market, but the tricycle drivers nearby warned us of thieves inside.  So we opted to buy in one of the stores outside. From that store we bought 3 types of bulad.  Those that we already tried and had grown fond of.  We got the sweet ones. Now these types are particularly hard to cook since they cook pretty fast, so if you try to cook it you need to keep your eyes on the frying pan at all times, if you don't want to eat something black, bitter and crispy for breakfast. Oh yes, bulad is usually serve in breakfast, more like scrambled eggs in the West. 

How much is it?

As far as I can remember they sell it by the kilo.  You usually end up buying 1/4 kilo per kind which was about P140 to P170, depending on the type of bulad.  Usually these are just packed using newspaper sheets, sealing it in between folds.  But since the demand has gone beyond Cebu.  Sellers now pack it by putting it inside transparent plastic sheets, vacuum out the air and seal it, ready for handcarry in airports/planes.

Taking Pictures?

I was tempted to take a good shot of this boy.  But I'm afraid that the parents were just close by and would not want anybody to take a picture of him. This one I took was just a stolen shot.  Not bad ey?

While I was taking pictures, I was really paranoid about the thieves lurking around us.  I knew that we were in the safer portion since thieves are way inside the market.  But I couldn't help but get suspicious of almost everyone.  I would take a picture immediately, and then put my camera inside my bag and zip it close, hugging my bag close to me.  Now this is one reason why I couldn't really explore much by myself.  I'm paranoid like that.

After finally buying our bulad we were just eager to get out of the market and go to the mall.  But before that, we needed to get our pictures taken.  Of course. :)

Smelly Situation

I've read in a blog that you need to change your clothes after coming out from the market. I actually I don't think that's necessary.  The only time you should change clothes is when you actually cooked the bulad and you're just nearby the vicinity during the cooking process.  The scent will stick to you like a leach!  But if you just bought some and took off, no need. That's what we did anyways.  We just put alcohol and sprayed a zit of cologne and viola! We were fresh again.

Scene outside the Market.
Good thing by the time we got out of the market, the rain had subsided.  We then got our jeepney going to the mall for lunch.

What is quite remarkable about Cebu is the presence of old residues of the first city of the Philippines.  The really ancient buildings, the tricycles and calesas.  And then next thing you see are skyscrapers, expensive cars.  It's an amazing how 2 worlds intertwine.  Yes you could witness that it Cebu.

Check our Cebu/Bohol Family Trip here:
3D/2N in Cebu and Bohol - Itinerary, and Expenses




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