We Filipinos are known to be hearty eaters. We often greet our visitors with “Nikaon na ka?” (Have you eaten?) or “Mangaon ta!” (Let’s eat!). We just simply love to eat and when you think of Cebuano food, one of the first things that come to mind is the world famous Lechon de Cebu. In fact, world famous chef and TV personality, Anthony Bourdain dubbed the Lechon de Cebu as “The Best Pig Ever”. Well, Mr. Bourdain, you got that absolutely right. But, enough about Lechon. One thing that actually sets Cebuanos apart when it comes to affordable gastronomic delights is the “pungko-pungko”
Pungko in Bisaya means to sit, squat or crouch. Pungko-pungko got its name because patrons used to squat or crouch while eating but Pungko-pungko stalls have since evolved. People can now comfortably eat their favorite pungko-pungko food items since these stalls already have benches or even plastic chairs.
Pungko-pungko is great for students who are on a budget and for busy people who just wants to have a quick bite for lunch or dinner.
Eating at Pungko-Pungko stalls are also a great bonding activity for barkadas and a must try for Cebu visitors and foreign tourists who want to try the local street food her in the Queen City of the South.
Pungko Punko Delights: Ginabot, Dried Squid, Fried Chicken and More Yummyness
The basic pungko-pungko basket comprises of short and long lumpia (spring rolls with bean sprouts, veggies or ground pork), bola-bola (meatballs), longganisa (Filipino breakfast sausage), buwad (dried fish) or torotot (dried squid) and drum rolls please… Ginabot. Some call it chicharon bulaklak but at We Love Cebu call it Passport to Heaven.
Ginabot when cooked perfectly is crunchy on the edges and it is best paired with the local vinegar with lots and lots of onion. You can also add in a few pieces of sili kulikot (finger chili) for a bit more oomph. Brace yourself since the first bite can be a fiesta in your mouth.
Just a reminder though, eating Ginabot should not be taken lightly. Ginabot in that basketful of goodies is definitely not for the faint of heart. But, it never hurts to take in a few pleasures once in awhile, right?
Where to Find the best Pungko-Pungko Stall in Cebu?
There are now plenty of pungko-pungko spots all over the city but the most popular one can be found near the Redemptorist Church and Fooda Supermarket in Mango Avenue. There are also several stalls in the backstreets of Fuente Osmeña near the Sampaguita Suites as well as in Salinas Drive in Lahug.
Pungko pungko food trip may not be the cup of tea for everyone but for many of us who grew up in Cebu, we love it to bits!
Ato Ni Bay!
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