Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Carcar, The Heritage Town of Cebu

Carcar, a municipality in the Province of Cebu, is located about 40 kilometers south of Cebu City. With a land area of 116.78 square kilometers, it is bounded on the north by San Fernando, on the south by Sibonga, on the west by Barili and Aloguinsan and on the east by the Bohol Strait. Carcar is known as the Heritage Town of Cebu because a number of Spanish and American period structures still stood in this town today.
 Carcar town center, a mix of the old and the new.

The Rotunda of Carcar

In the heart Carcar town proper is the Rotunda. In the past, this is the spot where the forefathers of Carcar had settled to avoid Moro assaults in Valladolid. The kiosk was built in the time of Mayor Mariano Mercado. The figures on top of the kiosk symbolize America guiding the Philippines while the figures around it represent Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

Right across the Rotunda are stalls and vendors selling Carcar's famous delicacies: chicharon, ampao and bucarillo.

 Buy your pasalubongs here.

I bought ampao and bucarillo from these Manangs and asked them to pose for a shot!

In the quaint street of Sta. Catalina stood heritage houses which are distinct for their historical and architectural values.

 The Mercado Mansion is in the corner of Sta. Catalina Street.

In the corner of the street is The Mercado Mansion, completed in 1906. Owned by then Carcar Mayor Mariano Mercado, the Mansion once hosted the visit of US Senate Foreign Relations Chair, Key Pittman to whom Mayor Mercado appealed to intervene for the granting of Philippine Independence in 1931.

Ang Dakong Balay

Another heritage house located in Sta Catalina St. is Ang Dakong Balay which was expanded and improved in 1873. It was acquired by Don Florencio Noel, a former Mayor of Carcar during the Spanish and American periods. Ang Dakong Balay served as the venue during the visit of Gov. General Wiliam Cameron Forbes and his party in 1911.

 Balay na Tisa

Further down the street is the Balay na Tisa, built in 1859 by Don Roman Sarmiento and Dona Canarias. Balay na Tisa is one of oldest ancestral homes in Cebu. Inside the house, original pieces of furnitures and priceless antiques are still well-preserved.

The Mercado Mansion, Ang Dakong Balay and Balay na Tisa are all Heritage Houses officially declared by the National Historical Institute.

Located a little uphill walk from the Sta. Catalina St. is the monument of Leon Kilat. He is a revolutionary leader during the Philippine Revolution against Spain and was killed in Carcar in 1898.

The Monument of Leon Kilat 

From the Leon Kilat monument, the St. Catherine of Alexandria Church is only a few more steps away. Built in 1859, this church is said to be the second oldest in the island of Cebu. The church is fronted by the town plaza and is also near the Carcar Museum.

  The St. Catherine of Alexandria Church

Travel Tips:

1. Carcar is about 40 kilometers south of Cebu City. From the Cebu South Terminal, you can either take a private van for hire or the public buses with regular trips to Carcar. The estimated travel time from Cebu City to Carcar is about one hour.

2. You can hire a tricycle to take you to the heritage sites around town.


  1. Just like Taal Town, another NHI declared site, i've been to Cebu a few times now and is running out of places to visit except for the beaches, thanks for sharing this Earl

  2. lakwatsera: you're welcome claire! this was after the cebu marathon.instead of hitting the mall, my friends and I took a little heritage trip down South Cebu. The trip was all worth it as I learned to appreciate more of the province's history.

  3. trivia: carcar became a city for a brief period of time, until the supreme court demoted them to municipality level. :)

  4. yay! 1 hour lng pala. I might be in Cebu in the nxt 2 weeks. My uncle is a priest and is based there. ayoko na sanag dumaan sa kanya baka magkulang ng time pero 1 hour lng pala at mukhang base sa pix mu madameng heritage houses at maganda ang church!

  5. @fetus: yep, same case sila sa mati, davao oriental.murag daghan to sila ka-batch na na-demote.hehehe.

  6. pinaysolobackpacker: pwedeng-pwede.1 hour travel from Cebu then an hour or two in exploring the heritage sites. The sites are located not that far from each other and you can hire a tricycle to take you to these places.

  7. Cebu is one of the most progressive cities in the Philippines. I recommend living in Cebu because you can easily find affordable housing accomodations.

  8. Wow, it looks like the structure of the mansion is like the mansion of Malacanan of the north in Ilocos Norte.

  9. Hi, can someone knows how much the room to stay at the travelers inn at carcar city cebu?.. For just short time...

  10. can someone give me there landlyn number in carcar travelrs inn at carcar cebu?

  11. jul 7 2011, carcar city is celebrating its 4th charter na na kuno...and hopefully ang mga leaders unta dili madumtanon...ambot lang...

  12. can someone please give me some information on any resorts, hotels, etc. in carcar?

    1. I can tell you anything you wanna know. Email me at

  13. Earl, i am making this post as a reference now for my CEBU trip this June 28. :) hopefully, masingit nako ang CARCAR! :)

  14. I usually hear people say that I should check out Carcar in Cebu. Hmmm... I'll check this place out. By reading this blog and looking at the pictures, I can see that the place looks like it's been preserved during the Spanish era. :) Last time I visited Cebu, me and my friends went to Kawasan Falls by renting a bike at It was such an unforgettable experience.

    1. is it possible to rent a motorcycle in cebu through

  15. Hello larry i am planing to rent a motorcycle in moalboal. Does offer motorcycle rental in moalboal? can you also tell me how this website work.


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