Cebu’s Sweet Treats: Local Delicacies

Hey guys! There’s more to Cebu than danggit, lechon, otap & dried mango when it comes to pasalubong. Unknown to many, Cebu offers a whole lot more yummy local delicacies like masareal, shakoy, salvaro, tagaktak and bibingka from mandaue and chicharon from carcar. Last Sunday titus & i decided to go to Mandaue City near their cityhall to buy some of these native delicacies 🙂

My sister’s favorite native kakanin – sinudlan – shakoy stuffed with bucayo

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Bucayo or bukayo are shredded young coconut, cooked in brown sugar or moscovado until it has caramelized. When i was younger whenever we go to Mindanao for our summer vacation our kin there never fails to cooked bucayo. And i get to watch how bucayos are made from scratch, i’d be in rapt attention until the coconut strips will turn to brown. And you can be sure that when it’s time to go home to Cebu we would be bringing a container full of  bucayo with us  ^_^  But that was a long time ago, lately the only chance i get to eat bucayo is when they are stuffed in shakoys which is being peddled often in our neighborhood. My sister kenneth is not very keen on kakanin in general but she likes this shakoy stuffed bucayo so she is  all smiles when she hears  manang’s booming voice shouting  ‘shakoy, bucayo’.

bucayo stuffed shakoy or sinudlan ^_^

This is not white chocolate, this is Masareal 🙂

Masareal is made from finely ground peanut and sugar syrup and shaped to form a rectangular bar. Masareals are usually available in the kiosk stores selling kakanin or native delicacies in the vicinity of Mandaue church.  Popular brand is didang’s masareal, the small bar sells for P15 while the larger block is P30 each. Sometimes when i have cravings for masareal, i just pick it up in supermarkets because price in Mandaue is more or less the same in supermarkets.  The texture of masareal is akin to that of camote candy.

Sweet, Sweet Masareal Love!

The famous Mandaue Bibingka

We didn’t bought one because we were out of budget already buying loads of masareal and tagaktak haha. The best Bibingka or rice cakes in Cebu can be found in Mandaue City in the same stalls that sells other native kakanin. Mandaue bibingka is P50 a bundle where a bibingka bundle contains three delicious bibingka. For a bibingka to be extra-special it should be made out of pure grounded malagkit (glutinous) rice and tuba, cooked in traditional way. So sad we didn’t saw anyone cooking bibingka on the spot in Mandaue, it would have been great to see! And everyone knows bibingka is best eaten when it’s still hot right off the oven. Oh well.

Mandaue bibingka wrapped in banana leaves

Another native delicacy – Salvaro

Most of my non-Cebuano friends  doesnt know what salvaro is. Well, salvaros are wafer thin biscuits made out of coconut ,sugar and flour, it has a very distinct taste due to the finely grounded coconut. The thinner the salvaro is, the yummier it gets.  I ‘m seeing branded and well package salvaros in supermarkets lately so i guess some enterprising individuals have discovered that this wafer thin delicacy has a following.  If you have not tried it, why not try some? 🙂

Salvaro Biscuits Local Delicacy

Tagaktak I like!

Tagaktak is the main reason why last  sunday we made that special trip to Mandaue City. A magazine-tv show last year aired an episode regarding native kanin or local delicacies and tagaktak was one of those kakanin that was featured. And I was amazed by how it is made, how much skill and control you need to be able to whip out a decent looking tagaktak. It’s all about control, flexibility and speed, and no room for error as you pour the malagkit mixture in crisscross pattern to deep fry in piping hot oil and fold it to a triangular shape in just a few seconds! We were terribly disappointed though because we were expecting we get to see the tagaktak expert in action but all we saw was ready to go tagaktak. bummer  but it’s okay, tagaktak always makes my day 🙂 I like that when i bite this yummy treat it’s so crispy, you can actually hear the sound when your teeth sink to this snack. You can’t eat it without some pieces crumbling and falling, that’s why its called ‘tagaktak’, in cebuano ‘crumble and fall’ is ‘tagak’ or ‘ma-tagak’. This tagaktak from Mandaue cost P30 a pack and there’s 3 pieces per pack.

The Tagaktak Triangle – Crunchy Yum!


So there, at least you know, travellers and visitors to Cebu, that there is more to Cebu’s popular pasalubong items. And I hope the next time you swing by Cebu, you get to taste our off-the beaten path local delicacies and mayhap bring home some. You’d love our kakanins I swear!

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About Cille Anne

This blog is maintained, written and edited by she - who likes to travel a lot, more like wishes to travel a lot, doesn't want to miss a photo-op, loves the rain, certified chocoholic, coffee keeps her sane - it runs through her veins, she doesn't know how to swim, but wants to dive in Tubbataha all the same haha

~Come share with me, my travels, my stories, my life.

My name is Cille. AND THIS IS PENFIRES. :)


  1. bukayo was a fave of mine when i was a kid!

    i remember my tio always bringing masareal if he went to cebu. and that was every weekend! hehehe

    my lola (God bless her soul) made delicious bibinka. she overcooks them at the top which makes it yummy!

    • penfires says:

      kakanin really brings back our childhood days sa? 🙂 and that was awesome, every weekend masareal! my lola too when she was with us cooks the greatest bibingka! this post almost became how my lola whips out mouthwatering bibingkas, i have to edit the post to keep to the topic hahah

  2. hahaha mao ba. maybe you can make another post about that. 🙂

  3. where can we find the shakoy with bucayo inside in cebu?

    • penfires says:

      Hi Hannah,

      That is actually a very good question..hmmm I still have to ask some people because normally a vendor sells it by going from house to house. I will email you when i got answers, I’m sure somewhere may tindahan na nagbebenta ng sinudlan – that’s what’s it’s called.

  4. thanks for sharing this. I love Cebu’s sweet treats (or at least the ones i can find of it in Manila)… i’ve not heard of most of what you posted.. i will look harder for it because im curious to try. thanks. 🙂

    • You’re welcome, try out masareal and tagaktak! Baka nasa SM grocery sya kasi here in Cebu, SM is selling them in a special snack/pasalubong section.

  5. Where can I buy tagaktak in Colon? Wala man ko kita ana dugay na since bata pa ko.


  1. […] to those delicacies every time my mom goes to the public market. A friend of mine also likes tagaktak, though I’ve never tried eating one […]

  2. […] You can also check this post on non-mainstream local delicacies sa Sugbo: Cebu’s Sweet Treats Local Delicacy […]

  3. […] Cebu Sweet Treats – Mostly about non-mainstream pasalubong choices in the city. […]

  4. […] Cebu Sweet Treat’s Local Delicacies- Non Mainstream Choices […]

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