Carcar City

Hey there, ever heard of a charming little spot tucked away in the heart of the Philippines? Nestled in the province of Cebu is this absolute gem of a place, Carcar City. Now, if you’re thinking, “Is this some sort of car-themed amusement park?”, brace yourself for a delightful surprise. Nope, it’s not about cars, it’s about culture, heritage, and oh, the Lechon!

Carcar City, pals, is like a time machine that whisks you straight into the past. It’s like an artist’s dream come true, with every turn revealing a new, beautiful vista that could be a masterpiece on canvas. Picture this: age-old Spanish colonial houses sitting pretty beside an array of colorful roadside stalls, selling everything from trinkets to treats. Exciting, right?

And speaking of treats, have you ever tasted lechon that melts in your mouth like butter on hot toast? If not, then buddy, you’re in for a gastronomic adventure. Carcar City’s lechon is legendary, and that’s an understatement. But hey, don’t take my word for it, why not head over and give it a try?

Rizal Monument at Old Town Plaza in Carcar City
By Joannerfabregas – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

History of Carcar City

Carcar City has a rich history dating back to pre-colonial times. It was once a thriving trading center due to its strategic location along the coast and along trading routes to neighboring islands.

During the Spanish colonial era in the Philippines, Carcar was established as a pueblo or town in 1599. The Spanish built a stone church in the town center, which still stands today as the St. Catherine of Alexandria Church. The church’s construction marks the beginning of Carcar’s transformation into a Spanish colonial town, with its streets laid out in a grid pattern and surrounded by stone buildings.

In the 19th century, Carcar became a center for the production of quality footwear and textiles, which earned it the nickname “The Heritage City of Cebu.” The town’s shoe industry reached its peak in the early 1900s, with local artisans producing high-quality leather shoes that were exported to other parts of the Philippines and even to other countries.

During World War II, Carcar was occupied by Japanese forces and suffered significant damage, including the destruction of many of its historic buildings. After the war, the town slowly rebuilt and regained its status as a center for trade and commerce.

In 2007, Carcar was elevated to the status of a city, becoming the fifth city in Cebu Province. Today, it is a bustling urban center with a mix of old and new buildings, reflecting its rich history and continued growth and development.


This city is known for its rich culture and traditions. The city is home to several historical landmarks, including the Carcar City Hall, the Carcar Museum, and the Carcar Church. The city is also known for its vibrant festivals, such as the Carcar Fiesta and the Sinulog Festival.

Natural Beauty in Carcar City

This city is surrounded by natural beauty. The city is home to several beaches, waterfalls, and mountains. The city is also home to the Carcar Nature Park, which is a protected area that is home to a variety of plants and animals.


There are many activities to enjoy in this city. Visitors can explore the city’s historical landmarks, visit its museums, and attend its festivals. Visitors can also enjoy the city’s natural beauty by visiting its beaches, waterfalls, and mountains.

What To Eat in Carcar City?

Firstly, if you’re hungry and looking for a quick snack, there’s no better place to go than the city’s famous “chicharon” stalls. Chicharon is a deep-fried pork rind that is crispy and savory. It is usually served with a vinegar dipping sauce, which complements the dish perfectly. You can find chicharon being sold in various sizes, from small bite-sized pieces to larger ones that can feed a crowd.

Another must-try dish in Carcar City is the “lechon”. Lechon is a roasted pig that is cooked over a charcoal fire. The skin is crispy, while the meat is juicy and flavorful. It is often served as a centerpiece during special occasions or celebrations. In Carcar City, you can find lechon being sold by the kilo or by the whole pig.

For those who love seafood, Carcar City has a lot to offer as well. The city is located near the sea, so fresh seafood is always readily available. One of the popular seafood dishes in Carcar City is the “sinuglaw”. Sinuglaw is a combination of grilled pork belly and raw fish ceviche. It is a perfect blend of flavors that will leave you wanting more.

If you’re looking for something sweet to cap off your meal, Carcar City has got you covered. The city is famous for its “ampao”, which is a sweet rice crispy treat made from glutinous rice and caramelized sugar. It is a popular snack among locals and visitors alike.

Tourist Spots in Carcar City

Firstly, one of the most popular destinations in Carcar City is the Carcar City Public Market. Here, tourists can get a taste of local food and delicacies, such as the famous Carcar Lechon and chicharon. Additionally, the market is known for its wide selection of affordable and high-quality shoes, which are handmade by skilled local craftsmen.

Another must-visit spot in Carcar City is the St. Catherine of Alexandria Church. This historic church dates back to the 18th century and features intricate Baroque-style architecture and beautiful stained glass windows. Visitors can also take a stroll around the church grounds, which include a serene garden and a peaceful courtyard.

For those who love the outdoors, the Mantayupan Falls is a must-see attraction. Located just a short drive away from Carcar City, this stunning waterfall offers a refreshing respite from the city heat. Visitors can swim in the cool, clear waters or take a hike through the surrounding forest.

Finally, no trip to Carcar City is complete without a visit to the Carcar City Museum. Here, tourists can learn about the city’s rich history and cultural heritage through exhibits and interactive displays. The museum also features a collection of antique furniture, pottery, and other artifacts that offer a glimpse into life in Carcar City in centuries past.

Festivals and Events in Carcar, Cebu

First and foremost, you can’t miss the Kabkaban Festival. Popping up every November, this festival celebrates the city’s cultural and historical heritage. Imagine this – the streets become a live canvas of colors, filled with locals showing off their vibrant costumes, and dancing to the beat of local tunes. The highlight? A street performance competition that’ll make your heart pound with excitement. It’s not just about fun, it’s also about showcasing the rich folklore and traditions of Carcar.

Now, get ready to switch gears, because next we’re diving into the culinary world. Carcar is famous for its Lechon Festival. Happening every July, it’s a mouth-watering celebration of the city’s famous lechon. Picture this: rows and rows of crispy, delicious roasted pig, cooked to perfection in various styles. You know the saying, “The way to a person’s heart is through their stomach”? Well, this festival stands as a testament to that!

But wait, there’s more! The city also commemorates the Feast of St. Catherine of Alexandria every 25th of November. It’s a time of devotion and celebration with a grand procession, masses, and a bunch of fun-filled activities. The locals light up the streets, their homes, and their hearts to honor their patron saint. It’s a spiritual journey that brings the community together, all wrapped up in a festive atmosphere.

Last but certainly not least, Carcar also celebrates the Philippine Independence Day every 12th of June. This day is marked with activities that highlight the city’s patriotic spirit. It’s more than just a day off from work – it’s a day to remember the brave heroes who fought for the country’s freedom. So expect parades, flag-raising ceremonies, and speeches that’ll make you swell with national pride.

Getting There

To go to this city from Manila, you can take a bus from the following terminals:

Cubao Bus Terminal*
Pasay Bus Terminal*
Buendia Bus Terminal*

The bus ride to this city takes approximately 8 hours. Once you arrive in this city, you can take a jeepney or a tricycle to your destination.

Here are the steps on how to go to Carcar City from Manila:

  1. Go to one of the bus terminals mentioned above.
  2. Buy a bus ticket to this city.
  3. Board the bus and enjoy the ride.
  4. Once you arrive in this city, take a jeepney or a tricycle to your destination.

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So there you have it, amigos! Carcar City is a place where the old meets the new, where history comes alive, and where your taste buds are guaranteed a party. It’s not just a city, it’s a living, breathing storybook with a heart as warm as its lechon.

By the way, did I mention the shoes? Yeah, Carcar City is also known for its handcrafted shoes. So if you’re a sneakerhead or a stiletto queen, this city has got you covered.

In the end, isn’t that what traveling is all about? Discovering new places, sampling new flavors, and creating memories that last a lifetime. So, what are you waiting for? Isn’t it time you added Carcar City to your travel bucket list? After all, who wouldn’t want to experience a slice of heritage, a pinch of local flair, and a whole lotta lechon in one go?

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