27 Oct2009


I was at the Banilad Town Center for the Sunday market. The week before, the crew had sold out of 3 lechons, so this time around, after a full-page article in the Sun Star on Saturday, we figured that bringing 5 whole lechons or roughly 90+ kilos worth would be sufficient to meet any increased demand as a result of the article in the paper. OMG, were we so wrong or what? My sincerest apologies to the many dozens of folks who went to the BTC Sunday market and were unable to buy any lechon. The five lechons we brought were sold out in less than two hours, as fast as we could chop them, and the volume of individual purchases and the number of people was simply unimagined or unexpected. We could have probably sold another 5-7 lechons if we had them, but as I have reiterated before, this is a very small operation. And I am so sorry we could not serve everyone who came to buy lechon. I promise we will try to make up for it next weekend, even though the BTC mall is officially closed on November 1, 2009, they have agreed to let ZUBUCHON sell its lechon next Sunday, 1 November. I strongly recommend that you phone ahead to reserve how many kilos you wish to buy. If you have made a reservation, you will be assured your order will be filled. Without a reservation, it is still on a first-come, first serve basis. Kindly call 032-236-5264 for reservations. Thanks.


The mall itself was somewhat amused by the sudden pandemonium and wrote a post on their corporate website, here. In addition to the lechons, several portions of freshly cooked Zubuchon Paksiw na lechon and sisig also sold out. But there was much more than lechon at the Sunday market, and I was so glad that I made a trip to Cebu to see how the market was doing…


A small table was filled with the most stunning organic produce. The most amazing bunches of cilantro or wansoy, fantastic asparagus nearly as thick as my little finger, basil, mint, mini-ampalayas, etc.


They were so vibrantly green, so appetizing to behold. I bought several items and brought it back to Manila in my luggage!


They also had the most incredible looking papayas on offer, with the smoothest unblemished skins, and I am told, the sweetest flesh. I didn’t buy any this time around, but if I lived in Cebu. I would have.


A kakanin and native delicacy vendor from Mandaue had several Cebu goodies on offer and I wiped out her cassava cakes as well as some other more unusual rice flour based desserts or snacks.


I was stunned to find cold platters of meats and cheese at the Don Merto’s table. These pre-cut appetizer platters are perfect for bringing along to the beach, which I forgot is just 30 minutes away. Some Cebuanos wake up late on Sundays, futz around for a while and head out to the beach by 9-10am with lots of time to spare to swim or relax before lunch… At PHP700 for the cold cuts platter, I thought this was a very good value! :)


Joan (a regular marketmanila commenter) had chocolate cakes on offer…


…as well as her silvanas, fresh out of a chiller!


Other food items on offer included canalones, breads, spreads, tableas, cheeses, etc.


I purchased these tableas from Argao but haven’t tried them yet.


And got two bottles courtesy of Artisan of his chocolate spreads that are heavenly.


I also brought home brioche, banana nut muffins, etc. from Artisan that I toasted and had for breakfast with kalamansi jam, superb match! Artisan was also kind enough to give brioches away to some of the folks who won jams and marmalades. I think I gave a bottle of jam/marmalade to a lady that had waited over an hour to make sure she got to meet me, at her “ate’s” instruction… and I gather from comments that ate is “Pilar”… and I also gave jams away to other folks in line. Of course Millet and Moni likewise got jams as well.


Finally, other readers so kindly dropped by and left me great stuff to try, like these little cacao tablea shards from Camiguin that Susie B brought with her. And Joan handed me a frozen packet of Alavar’s sauce which she brought from a trip to Zamboanga. I have promised to barter a bottle of jam for these goodies. All in all, a great start for a relatively new Sunday market. I hope more and more folks will come to the market and help get it to critical mass as having a weekend market like this is so incredibly good for Cebu as a whole…



  1. Cris Jose says:

    Never has the phrase “mamatay kayo sa inggit” ring so true… ‘kakainis…. :)
    One of these days, I will be able to go to Cebu and taste that zubuchon… and try the other products on sale as well…

    Oct 27, 2009 | 12:09 pm


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  3. bearhug0127 says:

    MM, maybe next time, for those who come and are not able to get their fill, they could fill in a reservations form with their contact numbers and place their orders for the next weekend sale.
    For us who are far away, we could only wish and dream…

    “futz around for a while and head out to the beac by 9-10am for lunch by the seashore…”
    MM, I think you need to edit this…

    Oct 27, 2009 | 12:15 pm

  4. Marketman says:

    bearhug, thanks, it’s been edited. And yes, people who were unable to get lechon last time were given something that will entice them to come back, and they were told to reserve ahead to ensure supply.

    Oct 27, 2009 | 12:34 pm

  5. Joyce says:

    inggit! :) i was also gifted by similar looking tableas from bohol by a friend, must remember to use them soon since the weather is getting colder.

    Oct 27, 2009 | 12:34 pm

  6. Gener says:

    Is there any chance that this lechon can be shipped abroad?? just few kilos and chopped to small pieces and packed in aluminum foil then delivered by dhl or ups? i dont mind if this will got damage and ill take that responsibility. Ill pay thru visa card or what ever these subochon group will agree….I just got crazy that i simply wanted it too…

    Oct 27, 2009 | 1:31 pm

  7. emsy says:

    Ahhhhhh, MM. I am miserable reading about Zubuchon and then not being able to taste it. When will you serve your Manila people? *slides down the wall crying and curls in a corner* hahaha

    Oct 27, 2009 | 1:41 pm

  8. tna says:

    You know, just this article alone is enough reason for me to pack up my bags and settle in Cebu. =)

    Oct 27, 2009 | 1:49 pm

  9. Bong says:

    Very nice! Very happy for you especially your staff!!! Nothing like a little extra income espcially with the holidays coming up! I hope you guys sell many, many more piggies!!!!

    Oct 27, 2009 | 2:04 pm

  10. farida says:

    MM, the pictures are just lovely. Question: that mini ampalayas looked like the ampalayas I see here at the Oriental store. Do you know if they are more bitter than the regular ampalaya? The store owner here said that this kind is a lot more bitter. Am just wondering if these are the same so I know that we have these kinds over there. Am I making myself clear as mud…sorry :)

    Oct 27, 2009 | 2:35 pm

  11. Aileen says:

    Wow, nice Sunday market, lots on offer. those chocolate spread looks good does Artisan sell them here in Manila?

    Oct 27, 2009 | 2:50 pm

  12. farida says:

    Have to repost this here: Looked like it was a fun Sunday for everyone. Can’t wait to go there sometime next year, I hope.

    ‘Scuse me, MM. this is for bettyq. when are we going to meet up for that recipe and sample ensaimada. I will have to do it on my own as I have given up on my friend to come with me. Bet all the lanzones are gone now. A week day is better as the border is not too busy.
    Thanks bettyq.

    Oct 27, 2009 | 3:17 pm

  13. farah, philippines says:

    sorry but i was not impressed. the skin was hard, the meat was hard and tasteless. not worth the wait. am still a fan of cebu’s very own rico’s and alejo.

    Oct 27, 2009 | 3:42 pm

  14. Johnny says:

    Gener….I asked the lady from a money changer at Gateway Mall because they cater FedEx. Canned Adobong Baboy is not possible.They have package promo for PHP10000. Wala lang pagkain. Sabi nung babae makulit daw ako..hehhehe

    Oct 27, 2009 | 3:42 pm

  15. arlene says:

    sana you can bring your zubuchon here in manila saturday or sunday market para naman matikman namin dito … sarap!!!

    Oct 27, 2009 | 3:50 pm

  16. The Artist Chef says:

    Your post title sounded like the ATC, Alabang Town Center. But this is a very nice post, you are truly a market man. I wonder why you’re not in the TV commercial of Nokia where famous bloggers were featured. If I were the creative’s of that agency, I’ll feature you instead. Your mystery really leads curiosity :p

    Oct 27, 2009 | 3:52 pm

  17. Maki says:

    wow.. i wasn’t able to visit the place.. i woke up late ^____^ but anyways.. thanks for sharing this photos MM, at least we saw what was offered during the event… the cake is soooo tempting… ^____^ kudos..

    Oct 27, 2009 | 4:32 pm

  18. ihid says:

    Cebu Lipitor alert (buy Unilab’s while still available) and also I’ll be waiting for your review on Camiguin tablea!

    Oct 27, 2009 | 4:38 pm

  19. Susie says:

    MM, I sent links of this post to everyone I know here in Cebu. Hopefully there will be more traffic and the market can grow!

    Oct 27, 2009 | 4:40 pm

  20. Peach says:

    Hi Marketman. I was hoping to visit the BTC Sunday Market during my trip to Cebu with the in-laws this New Year but then I realized that my flight back to Manila is in the morning of Jan. 3, Sunday! There goes my chance to try out Zubuchon. Sigh.

    Please keep us posted on the Argao tableas and the Camiguin tablea shards :-) I’m curious as to how they will stack up against the La Resureccion ones! Thanks!

    Oct 27, 2009 | 5:36 pm

  21. Lee says:

    This is just an October weekend. How many Zubuchons for a December weekend? :)

    Oct 27, 2009 | 6:58 pm

  22. cumin says:

    Wow! Really glad that there’s such a market in Cebu. Everything looks yummy. And yes, ihid, di ba there’s a Rose Pharmacy near BTC for lipitor? :-)

    Oct 27, 2009 | 7:30 pm

  23. meekerz says:

    Ditto what Lee said! I can imagine the waiting list for people who want to order whole lechons for their noche buena!

    Oct 27, 2009 | 7:34 pm

  24. Marketman says:

    meekerz, we only take limited orders for whole lechons, so it will be by reservation only… Lee, who knows, but the crew can only handle a small number of orders. Susie, thanks! ihid, lipitor, crestor… and yes, I will try the camiguin shards in a cup of hot chocolate soon… The Artist Chef, actually, Nokia representatives did approach me to do some stuff with them, but I don’t do endorsements for compensation in kind or pay… Other large multinational companies have also come around sniffing of late, wanting me to feature or endorse one product or another. But my personal policies on these kinds of things are pretty strict. arlene, sorry, I have no place in Manila to roast, and sending it by air just doesn’t do it justice so far… have been trying different ways to send the lechons, but to poor results thus far. farah, no problem at all, the zubuchon isn’t for everybody. So I am not offended at all it wasn’t to your taste. But dry meat isn’t the usual feedback we get from customers so far, so it’s unfortunate you got a dry and flavorless piece. Perhaps you prefer the umami of MSG laden lechons? And besides, with dozens of great lechoneros in Cebu, you’re bound to find one you like. farida, I find the mini ampalayas do seem to be more bitter than the larger ones. Bong, the crew are beaming from ear to ear. Gener, hahaha, no I don’t think this would make it to Qatar. But someone did order a whole one for delivery on Monday, and he said he was going to try and take it to Hong Kong! I told him we could certainly not guarantee the crispness of the skin but I think he did it anyway! :)

    Oct 27, 2009 | 8:15 pm

  25. Artisan Chocolatier says:

    MM, just wanted to acknowledge the people behind the Sunday Market at BTC. They are Joseph and Beth of Chains Store. They were the ones who convinced the management of BTC to allow them to start an organic and lifestyle market infront of their store. Beth is also the grower of them incredible looking papayas. Joseph and Beth approached me with the idea and helped them invite the participants like you (Zubuchon), Abigail (Organic Vegetables), Joan (Chocolate Cake & Silvanas), Tessa (Casa Escano Don Merto’s), Edgar (Argao Tablea), and Cebu Federation of Dairy Cooperatives (Artisinal Cheese and Dairy products). Kudos also goes to you and everyone mentioned above for supporting the Sunday Market. Hopefully, the market will continue to grow and become as successful as the ones in Manila.

    Remember folks, for THIS Weekend Only, the organic and lifestyle market at BTC will be held on Saturday (31 Oct.) from 10a.m. to 5p.m. And this Sunday (1 Nov) Zubuchon will be offered at the front door of the main BTC mall (which will be close for the holiday) for those who just have to have their fix of Zubuchon!! :>)

    The Sunday Market returns in full force the Sunday after next (8 Nov.).

    Aileen, will try to get my creme du chocolat available in Manila asap.

    Oct 27, 2009 | 8:28 pm

  26. Marketman says:

    Artisan, thanks for that, I was so crazed last Sunday I didn’t get everyone’s names!

    Oct 27, 2009 | 8:31 pm

  27. Cacho says:

    i just wondered if mr. bordain got the chance to sample the other lechon vendors in cebu? alejos? CNT? Rics? i am assuming he must have something to compare the zubuchon with? if your lechon deserves the title the best pig in the world then it must have gotten some stiff competition or compared with the other vendors.

    considering that you were tasked to tour the guest, it is a little bit awkward that you’d present your own. just my thought.

    Oct 27, 2009 | 9:37 pm

  28. Ging says:

    Got my fill of the Zubuchon during the eyeball. Need to lose 12 lbs before I taste one again.

    Oct 27, 2009 | 9:39 pm

  29. junb says:

    Way to go Artisan,Zubuchon and to the rest of the guys behind BTC. Hope this get duplicated to all cities in Philippines. This will help our local market, Traditional food, Organic grower and other unique food products to compete with imported products/fast food that are full of preservatives and supermarket. Educating Filipinos through this sunday market will really help.

    Oct 27, 2009 | 9:40 pm

  30. Augie Lontok says:

    Hi MM,

    I’d like to thank you for the jar of calamansi marmalade you gave me. Artisan was kind enough to drop it off at my wife’s resto – Fudge. I immediately opened it and spread it on buttered toast, it was fantastic! I’m so looking forward to trying your mangosteen jam! Many, many thanks MM! I hope you can stop by the resto next time you’re back in Cebu.

    Oct 27, 2009 | 10:18 pm

  31. Marketman says:

    Cacho, Mr. Bourdain and his producers specifically asked me to prepare the lechon as I had prepared it and described it on this blog. If you had bothered to go back into the archives and read from start to finish, perhaps that would be clearer, this index HERE may help you. Mr. Bourdain did not ask to taste ALL of the lechons in Cebu or anywhere else in the Philippines, and I did offer to order several different ones, nor did I push him to try our version. In fact, I thought I was only helping him identify food places to try and visit… but they (Bourdain and producers) later specifically requested that I cook several lechons for them, despite the fact, and they knew this from the beginning, that I was NOT someone who sold lechon commercially, nor was I a chef of any sort. One can completely discount his proclamations on the lechon he tasted, that is absolutely your prerogative. Just because he says it was “the best” doesn’t mean you have to believe him. Maybe it was just serendipitous and lucky. It certainly surprised me as much as it might have surprised you or anyone else in Cebu. Furthermore, as for critics who think he should have tried ten more of this or ten more of that, in a show that had only 6 days of filming and 43 minutes of final edited air time, you can imagine just how much they COULDN”T cover. In Cebu alone, they filmed some 20+ hours of video, which was edited down to some 8+ minutes, so a LOT was left on the editing room floor. Taste is somewhat subjective, so I say eat whatever lechon floats your boat.

    Oct 27, 2009 | 10:31 pm

  32. zena says:

    Mwahaha! I thought the chocolate cake was a bin of binagoongang fish! That the chocolate shavings on top were the little fishies. Then I read it was chocolate cake. My apologies to Joan, I’m sure it was a good cake. Not at all fishy nor salty. =) May the crew have a busy and prosperous holiday season ahead!

    Oct 27, 2009 | 11:40 pm

  33. Angela says:

    All the stuff looks so good! My mom and brothers (and their families) are going home in February. Since I’m always talking about the latest and greatest on your blog, MM, they have decided to visit Cebu. This will be their first visit there and I will tell them not to miss the BTC market. I’m sure they won’t be disappointed.

    Oct 27, 2009 | 11:59 pm

  34. psychomom says:

    this is for artisan chocolatier. do you ship to manila? i can get your stuff shipped to manila and have my sister send them to me. i am SOOOO INGGIT!!!! i wish i can try the calamansi and mangosteen jam too (plus all the other food offerings) the trials and tribulations of one who lives far away from home…..

    Oct 28, 2009 | 12:01 am

  35. jamelle says:


    Ever thought of franchising your operations to better serve the majority. You’re on to something here.



    Oct 28, 2009 | 12:20 am

  36. Artisan Chocolatier says:

    psychomom, email me at chefdecuisinecorp@yahoo.com as to where you want me to ship to manila.

    Oct 28, 2009 | 12:22 am

  37. netoy says:

    cacho – i regularly watch anthony bourdain’s series and i am pretty sure that being the gourmand that he is, he would know what is best or not, even without doing a comparative test on-site. it is just like you could remember the best dish (whether adobo or roast chicken, et al) you had ever tasted before and can compare that to whatever it is you are eating at the moment and would say: “mas masarap iyong adobo ni…..”

    in response to your comment “if your lechon deserves the title the best pig in the world then it must have gotten some stiff competition or compared with the other vendors” – in a magazine article, he did mention that he had tasted roasted pigs all around the world and still [proclaimed OUR lechon to be the best. be it zubuchon or any other lechon, i hope that you take pride that he preferred the PINOY lechon on top of anyone else’s.

    this response is written in fairness to MM.

    Oct 28, 2009 | 12:31 am

  38. Mari says:

    Congratulations MM for your success at BTC last Sunday…Cebu will definitely be part of our itinerary when we go back again.

    Cacho, when I watched No Reservations…it was more of a representation of our country and not of a specific dish made by a certain restaurant, chef or whatever. When he said the best pig ever… that was representing our country, the Philippines…and that is something to be proud of.

    MM keep up the good work. Really love your blogging and posting of pics…it makes me long to go home at least more than once a year.

    Oct 28, 2009 | 4:23 am

  39. Betchay says:

    Zena, that’s what I thought too! :) Apologies to Joan.It must have been the angle, color and exposure of the pix that played tricks in our eyes! I’m sure the choc cake was delish.MM, maybe it’s time to get some photo tips from The Teen!Ha!ha!ha! No offense MM!
    More power to you and the crew for the Zubuchon! I just hope I get to taste “the best pig ever” real soon! kakaingit talaga mga Cebuanos!

    Oct 28, 2009 | 7:20 am

  40. Lilibeth says:

    I just hope and pray that you will go international and open up a branch here in Los Angeles. I love Cebu lechon and I’m sure Zubuchon is a lot better than the ones I have tried there in the Philippines. No one makes Cebu lechon here in LA.

    Oct 28, 2009 | 9:44 am

  41. Quillene says:

    Wow! Congrats MM and crew! Better go with bettyq’s previous suggestion to put “ORIGINAL” on the Zubuchon stall name! :)

    Oct 28, 2009 | 10:08 am

  42. joan says:

    Betchay and Zena: hahahaha! when I saw the photo, I thought worse, so no offense taken :) this is a dark chocolate fudge cake with yema filling, one of my bestsellers. I hope you both can try someday, no bagoong taste, I assure you hehehe!

    Maki: come to the BTC Sunday Market and I’ll give you a free slice!

    Artisan’s breads are really good, his pre-baked pizza dough is a personal favorite of my kids, so we have pizza for dinner every Sunday night because of this. His “aged” homemade pizza sauce is perfect with the crust!

    Thank you MM for this post. Tell your crew not to forget us when they become millionaires because of this venture! They have our support all the way!

    Oct 28, 2009 | 10:39 am

  43. Jane says:

    I’ve been buying Zubuchon every Sunday for 4 weeks now and my family loves it! My husband jokes that sunday lunch is not special enough without the plate of Zubuchon. we love pork, especially lechon, but I must say that zubuchon is the best i’ve had so far. in fact, i had lechon from another place yesterday and i could not help comparing it with zubuchon. zubuchon has significantly less fat, it is by far tastier, and the meat is so tender. They also ask if I want some of the spices and I always get some. The first time I bought zubuchon, I wondered why the meat was chopped in huge cuts, but it was only during my second visit that I realized why. I was standing in line when the security guard warned them that they were making too much noise from chopping the meat, so I decided I would chop it myself at home. what a small price to pay for this delicious treat!

    Oct 28, 2009 | 12:43 pm

  44. inday says:

    This type of market setting is something that Cebu has needed for a long time–really exciting! MM will Zubuchon be offering to take orders ahead for small lechons for the holidays? Also, could someone give specific directions for BTC for those from farther away? The hours are always 10 to 5 on sunday?

    Oct 28, 2009 | 7:47 pm

  45. riza says:

    Sayang! I was in Cebu last week but di na inabot ng Sunday to think na we checked-in at Montebello Hotel (just at the back of Banilad Town Center!)
    I enjoyed my dinner at Larsian but super usok nakakaiyak hehe!

    Oct 29, 2009 | 9:59 am

  46. joshua says:

    Have to agree with farah. Bought some Zubuchon last Sunday and the skin was hard. Not as I expected.

    Oct 29, 2009 | 9:33 pm

  47. Marketman says:

    joshua, thanks for your comment. I know you have visited and commented on the blog several times before, so I wonder if you could help us out and tell us if you recall which lechon in particular you purchased your portion from? The first delivery at 9:00 in the morning (2 lechons) or thereabouts or the later deliveries (2 lechons at 10:20 am) and the last lechon at abour 10:50am? And besides the skin, would you agree with farah that the meat was hard and tasteless as well? The crew has delivered several whole lechons in the past few days, and the day after they deliver each lechon order, they try and call each customer to get their feedback, so your comments will be quite helpful to the crew if we can isolate the lechon in question…

    Oct 29, 2009 | 9:52 pm

  48. bernice says:

    marketman, are you planning on bringing zubuchon in salcedo market?

    Oct 29, 2009 | 11:42 pm

  49. Marketman says:

    bernice, at this point, no outlets planned for Manila, they are barely able to keep up with Cebu orders… :)

    Oct 30, 2009 | 6:51 am

  50. joshua says:

    I think it was the last lechon (about 11:30 a.m.) and the portion I got was one of the last few ones, the hind thigh and butt area. The flesh was tender and flavorful, not dry and tasteless at all, but parts of the skin were really hard, couldn’t even bite into it.

    Oct 30, 2009 | 8:34 am

  51. Marketman says:

    joshua, I have sent you an email to your yahoo address, please check and I hope to hear from you soon. Thanks for your comments, they are most helpful.

    Oct 30, 2009 | 9:08 am

  52. caroline gothong-ong says:

    hi MM, dropped by BTC two Sundays ago to grab a taste of Zubuchon and it was a good thing we were there early! (10:30am) we got the last parts of the second lechon.

    please extend my warmest congratulations to your team. Your lechon is simply delicious and unique! not to mention that i do not have to worry about feeding it to my 2 year old daughter (since it has no msg, etc). DROOLDROOLDROOL .

    ps, we ordered a whole lechon again last night and we totally LOVED it! can’t wait for our next time =)

    Oct 30, 2009 | 2:43 pm

  53. Marketman says:

    caroline, I am so happy you enjoyed the whole lechon. I have had the crew try to call every single person who orders a whole lechon the day after they do the delivery to check if they were satisfied and to see if there are any comments or suggestions… And yes, our lechons have no MSG, knorr/concentrated cubes, mixes, etc. that also contain MSG. Best regards, MM

    Oct 30, 2009 | 4:41 pm

  54. Cecilia says:

    Wow, I wish I was there … Dreaming, dreaming, dreaming.

    Oct 30, 2009 | 7:33 pm

  55. Mike says:

    Hi, MM. Mike here, brother of Millet’s. Our breakfast the next day we arrived in Davao: calamansi marmalade, brioche, creme du chocolat, and white cheese, and some stuff we bought from Ayala center, budbud kabug and moron. We simply couldn’t get enough of our Cebu loot. Sayang binagol wasn’t available at that time. And sayang we forgot to buy some of your sisig! Well, maybe we need to plan our next Cebu trip.

    I know, i know, you said the calamansi marmalade isn’t for sale. But let us know when it does become for sale. Who knows?

    Moni, thank you so much for allowing Millet’s family to ATTACK your Zubuchon!

    Congratulations, everyone, for coming up with the BTC Sunday Market.

    Nov 4, 2009 | 7:56 am


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