It is home to the heart-stopping, artery busting chicharon (pork rind) that is cooked to a crackling crisp with a thick layer of fat dipped in pinakurat (fermented vinegar with exotic spices) that melts in your mouth and goes directly to your hips or tummy.
we groan and complain that fat always deposits itself on the most inconvenient space (gathering above the belt line of tightening pants or cramming itself on our cheekbones) but we continue to pop another piece of this devilishly scrumptious delicacy.
add jollibee to chicharon and you would have the basic answer of a typical cebuano when they are asked about Carcar. i don't think it is purely chance that jollibee is situated right at the bustling town rotonda and a hop right across Luis' Chicharon. Insider tip: if you're cute and nice enough, you can pick and pack your own chicharon pieces - don't forget to get chummy with the tindera.
interestingly, Carcar is one of the newest city of Cebu (July 3, 2007) despite the fact that it is one of the oldest town in the province (est 1599 by the Agustinian prayles) and perhaps the country. i have this theory that the national government updated the requirements for cityhood (population, land area and income) to include a jollibee outlet.
okay, some standard information: located about 46.3 kilometers south of Cebu City, Carcar is famous for its centuries-old buildings such as the Balay na Tisa, built in 1859 and the St. Catherine Parish Church, which was put up in 1876. not so subtle hint: click the image to display a BIGGER map.
the heritage of Carcar is its hidden charm beyond the usual stopover for jollibee and chicharon on your way to the fantabulous beaches of southern cebu.
St. Catherine's Church is named after the patron saint of the town, St. Catherine of Alexandria and a fiesta is celebrated every 25th of November. The church is typical Roman Catholic byzantine architecture with an interesting roman greco altar. A special feature of the church is its twin bell towers with minarets that are very similar to muslim mosque domes.
i need to plan another trip when the church is OPEN so i can snoop inside and take some pics, it is not a pleasant experience being chased away by the guard just because i look like a terrorist. fashionably outfitted complete with flowered hawaiian shorts and oversized boracay slippers yes, but still a terrorist.
Around the church are old structures that have been converted to the old municipal hall whereas some are preserved as heritage landmarks such as the Balay na Tisa. a small plaza fronts the church where lovers make love (what do you expect lovers do? war?) under trees surrounding a sculpture of the madonna holding baby Jesus. look closer and you'll see that mama Mary is wearing the filipino terno. aylabet! - check the picture slide towards the end of this post.
for those looking for a spiritual experience, Carcar is also home to the Theotokos shrine where a 20 foot image of mama Mary stands on top of the hill. This is the same location where the miracle of the Dancing Sun happened sometime in September 9, 1992 while Cardinal Vidal blessed the Lady of the Fatima shrine. again, excessive consumption of chicharon can also induce visions of a dancing sun. (credits to Maan's Pilgrim Site for the pic)
and in case you are wondering what happens to the excess skin that doesn't end up as chicharon, it gets recycled, dried and used in a growing leather sandal cottage industry that the town is getting famous for. of course you understand that i, am, just, kidding - pigs are meant to be eaten not used as foot accessories - weee stilleto hooves! but if you're the sasquatch (e.g. big hairy feet) like me, it is nearly impossible to find sandals that goes beyond size 11 inches.
but as they say, if you have BIG feet, you probably have BIIIIIIG shoes. uh.
and one last piece of advice, don't eat chicharon when you're driving - it can cause dizzy attacks. specially if you lug it down with beer. peace yo!
clicking on the image in the picture slide opens up the photo album and picasa. don't forget to turn on the "captions" to learn more about the images displayed. enjoy :)