23 Jan2012

My apologies for the blogging hiatus of 10 days. I was in Cebu for several activities, including Sinulog, and seriously pre-occupied. :( At any rate, the next few posts are Cebu/Sinulog-centric, then hopefully back to regular programming. The first event on the recent trip was the blessing of our third restaurant branch on January 12, 2012, the “official” opening date. We had been operating for several weeks beforehand, to test the waters and iron out kinks, but we are now open full blast with almost exactly the same menu as our larger Mango Avenue branch. This restaurant is located in the Islands Stay Hotel in Mactan, and has roughly 30 seats. It is the in-house restaurant, but actually, 60+% of our guests are from outside the hotel… The prices are the same as our other branches, so no hotel “premiums” at all. We are pleased to partner with the Islands Group, a terrific home-grown Cebu brand, perhaps better known for their Islands Souvenirs line of shirts, etc., Islands Banca Cruises, etc.

We had a very simple blessing by a local priest and after he showered the entire place in copious amounts of Holy Water, we sat down to lunch of what else? Lechon, of course. :)

We have been ultra-conservative thus far, and this third branch is again a bit too small… dictated by the modest size of the hotel lobby. But the location is superb and now almost every single person arriving at the Mactan airport and heading into town will have a glimpse of our signage which is at a very strategic corner. It is also a great place to stop for a meal BEFORE heading off on a flight out of Cebu.

The hotel itself has a very bright, young vibe, and with rooms from PHP980-1,650, it provides a terrific option for local and international travelers seeking a clean, comfortable space at a modest price. They have been working out the kinks themselves, I gather, and are almost fully open as I post this. I have peeked into some of their rooms, and I can tell you I think they offer good value for money. Here, the front desk crew in Sinulog headgear.

With roughly 40+ rooms, the hotel extends out back, with almost a nautical feel to it. Notice the red pig in the front window. :)

Some of the larger rooms in the back, brightly lit, and hidden from the street noise.

A photo (courtesy of the hotel) of one of the rooms.

Islands Stay Hotel Lobby
M.L.Quezon Avenue
Lapu-Lapu City

Islands Stay Hotels

Islands Banca Cruises

Note: Some photos in this post taken by AT.



  1. Junb says:

    Congrats for the third one!!!

    Jan 23, 2012 | 8:25 am


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  3. linda says:

    Congratulations! Wishing all the success that you so deserve!

    Love the truck with the little piggies! Very cute :).

    Jan 23, 2012 | 9:08 am

  4. Dragon (Melbourne) says:

    It’s supposed to be a good year for the Pigs in the year of the Dragon.

    Kung Hei Fat Choi!

    Jan 23, 2012 | 9:09 am

  5. Sleepless in Seattle says:

    Zubuchon 3rd..Chain.Congratulations!!

    Jan 23, 2012 | 9:32 am

  6. Eileen says:

    Congratulations on your third.

    Happy Chinese New Year, Kiong Hee Huat Tsai =)

    Jan 23, 2012 | 9:54 am

  7. jade186 says:

    Congratulations MM! G?ng x? f? cái ???? ! ????.

    Jan 23, 2012 | 9:57 am

  8. jade186 says:

    Congratulations MM! Gong xi fa cai!
    Ps. I think your webpage does not support Chinese characters…

    Jan 23, 2012 | 9:58 am

  9. Ging says:

    Gad! The rooms are too brightly painted! I dont think i can get a good night’s sleep there hahahaha

    Congratulations on the new Pig! I saw it when i got back to Cebu just before the marathon. Very good location! Cant help but stare as you go around that bend in the highway :-)

    Jan 23, 2012 | 11:02 am

  10. rewindnreplay says:

    congratulations on your new branch! too bad your store wasn’t open yet when I went to Mactan and while I was scouting for the best lechon in town. fortunately, I stumbled upon your small kiosk at Mactan airport.

    Jan 23, 2012 | 11:05 am

  11. PITS, MANILA says:

    CONGRATULATIONS! This 3rd PIGGY will be the most successful … what with a most strategic location! And the hotel looks great, MM! I’m still hoping for other PIGGIES in Manila!

    Jan 23, 2012 | 11:49 am

  12. Bakerwannabe says:

    Congratulations! I am sure it will be another successful Zubuchon store like all the others.

    Jan 23, 2012 | 2:00 pm

  13. sophie says:

    congrats MM, Wow 3rd PIGGY!
    looking forward to the Mactan Resto and to think Jan12 is the official opening, and it’s my birthday…yay!

    Jan 23, 2012 | 2:51 pm

  14. yas says:

    MM! I was there in Zubuchon-Mactan on January 17 around 8pm and I saw you!!!! I wanted to have a picture taken with you but my husband stopped me from running to the parking lot ( where u were busy taking pictures i think) because he said that u might not want me intruding your privacy. :)

    Jan 23, 2012 | 4:31 pm

  15. corrine says:

    Congrats to your new branch. I’ve been curious about this hotel every time I pass by it from the airport. It looks like a businessman’s hotel. Hope to stay there one of these days.

    Jan 23, 2012 | 4:33 pm

  16. Marketman says:

    yas, next time please say hello… :) Thank you everyone for the kind greetings! :)

    Jan 23, 2012 | 4:57 pm

  17. Chris says:

    My hubby just got back from Cebu and brought a pack of chicharon from Zubuchon. Soooo yummy! Wish he got more. :-)

    Congrats on the third branch!!

    Jan 23, 2012 | 8:54 pm

  18. Melit Villanueva says:

    congrats MM, soon I will visit Cebu!
    I so love the chairs in your resto, very elegant looking!

    Jan 23, 2012 | 9:17 pm

  19. Faust says:

    Yeheey! Congratulations on the third branch MM happy nomnoming to come when I arrive in Cebu this early summer! ^_^

    Jan 23, 2012 | 10:05 pm

  20. Footloose says:

    I imagine that a tiny eatery crawling with customers would be a much better draw for me than a cavernous one that looks like a recent aftermath of an effective fire drill.

    Jan 23, 2012 | 10:33 pm

  21. Dianne says:

    when, o when will one open in manila… this year, i hope :)

    Jan 23, 2012 | 10:39 pm

  22. natie says:

    Oh wow!! Congratulations, MM!! Your absence was felt here…In my case, I like the vibrant pain-job in the rooms—reminds me of the 70s pop art..the Age of Aquarius

    Jan 23, 2012 | 11:23 pm

  23. marvien de leon says:

    In Cebu now….just dine-in at Zubuchon @ N. Escario branch! Ang sarap! Two-thumbs-up! More power to Zubuchon!

    Jan 23, 2012 | 11:34 pm

  24. Kate says:

    yehey! new postsss! congrats on your third! :)

    Jan 23, 2012 | 11:35 pm

  25. la emperor says:

    Congrats on your new branch, MM! May they continue to multiply.

    Jan 24, 2012 | 12:58 am

  26. Rie says:

    Finally a new post!!! Congrats MM!! Hope I can finally visit one of your store one of these days..

    Jan 24, 2012 | 1:03 am

  27. rita says:

    BIG CONGRATS!! i wish you and your family all the very best!

    the hotel looks nice, too.

    Jan 24, 2012 | 2:14 am

  28. RjAllcanseeya says:

    Congrats Marketman, Truly a Success Story your Work Speaks by Itself.

    Jan 24, 2012 | 3:02 am

  29. bisdakRN says:

    Congrats MM! Am home in cebu right now for some family health issues & I havent been to visit any of your restos yet. I have been planning to go to the one in Mango since it’s much closer to the hospital we’ve been going to but somehow I’ve never been. Hopefully I get to go one of these days before I head back to my second home far, far away :)

    Jan 24, 2012 | 6:27 am

  30. Betchay says:

    Congratulations! You are really so full of energy!

    Ging,orange and apple green may really give some a headache but orange/tangerine is not only the color of the year, it also evokes excitement and adventure……..it is more FUN in the Philippines! :)

    Jan 24, 2012 | 8:40 am

  31. lee says:

    “I imagine that a tiny eatery crawling with customers would be a much better draw for me than a cavernous one that looks like a recent aftermath of an effective fire drill”. A Footloose classic :)

    Jan 24, 2012 | 2:43 pm

  32. Marketman says:

    Footloose, you are absolutely correct. We bucked the tide and opened small places, and got them packed to the gills… all the while wondering why other places were so huge and empty 85% of the time… but the commercial rationale starts to make sense. The deluge of diners comes for two hours at lunch and two hours at dinner. With bigger restaurants, they sell a lot more during peak periods and simply effectively shut down the rest of the day. Unlike places where real estate prices are prohibitive, here the fallow space is part of the cost. Having said that, far too many restaurants locally survive when they probably shouldn’t… We could close perhaps 1/3 of the restaurants in the Philippines and still have more than enough room for diners. There is a LOT of invested and underperforming capital, in my opinion.

    Jan 24, 2012 | 3:25 pm

  33. rain says:

    We just came back from Cebu for Post-Sinulog and was pleased that frozen cebu lechon from zubuchon is available at 5 AM in the airport. We also ate in Zubuchon Escario and indeed, your lechon is the Best Pig in the World :)

    Jan 24, 2012 | 9:46 pm

  34. Pink Carnations says:

    Kudos MarketMan, if i may say, you are in “THAT” league of “Most Admired Businessmen”. You raise the bar. You go beyond. A world-class Filipino!!!

    Jan 24, 2012 | 11:14 pm

  35. Katrina says:

    I like the cheery and graphic look of the hotel! It’s not often that budget hotels give much thought to design, so it’s refreshing when they do.

    Gosh, you have three Zubuchon branches already, MM?! I hope to make it to Cebu soon to visit one!

    Jan 25, 2012 | 2:14 am

  36. Lambchop says:

    Congrats on the expansion of the Mango Branch too, MM! I was lucky enough to have arrived five minutes after a new piggy was delivered that day, so I had hot and very crispy lechon skin. Yum!

    Jan 25, 2012 | 6:52 pm

  37. greens_blossoms says:

    Wooohooooo !!!!!!!!!!! Congratulations, MM on your 3rd branch..crossing my fingers and my legs for a Manila opening….

    Jan 25, 2012 | 8:41 pm

  38. Alisa says:

    Congrats MM! This little piggy sure has gone a long way :)

    Jan 27, 2012 | 2:02 pm

  39. Angie Z says:

    In zubuchon right now Having early dinner. Finsihed off a plate of lechon, some dinuguan and sinigang. Loved the kamias shakes! Great service. Thoroughly enjoyed our meal.

    Jan 28, 2012 | 6:34 pm

  40. Marketman says:

    Angie Z, at Mango Branch? We have WIFI if not on the fritz. Unless you are commenting from your phone… Many thanks for trying the restaurant, glad you enjoyed your meal!

    Jan 28, 2012 | 7:20 pm

  41. sandee says:

    My dad and sister just came from an overnight business trip to Cebu. They stayed at Islands Stay. She brought home lechon and chicharon :-) They had breakfast at Zubuchon – lechon flakes fried crispy and slow roasted adobo. Apparently the resto doesn’t have ketchup so no ketchup to put on the eggs for them.

    Feb 3, 2012 | 10:24 pm

  42. charmaine says:

    hi mm! are you open for franchise?

    Feb 20, 2012 | 12:56 am

  43. Dee says:

    Hi MM!

    Do you serve breakfast in Zubuchon? Like danggit and chorizo?

    Feb 23, 2012 | 4:30 pm

  44. Marketman says:

    Dee, yes, the Mactan branch serves breakfast… but not sure if they do danggit due to the aroma in the hotel lobby… but they have chorizo, lechon flakes, etc.

    Feb 23, 2012 | 6:24 pm

  45. Robin says:

    Ate here last night, perfect location for a meal before the flight back to Manila. You won’t have to worry about being late for your flight, since traffic in the city has been getting worse over the years. Ordered the slow cooked adobo, very nice with rice, atchara and chili oil. Also bought a kilo of lechon which I enjoyed 3 hours later in Manila, skin still a little crispy. Will definitely make this my regular last stop before flying out of Cebu.

    May 16, 2012 | 10:32 pm


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