They say that a true tourist is able to immerse himself in the culture of the locals by eating their native delicacies, performing their daily rituals, and visiting their local public market. Yes, visiting a local public market is already on the to-do list when visiting a particular city. For Cebu tourists, Carbon Market Cebu is the recommended place: it is the city’s largest public market and is already over a hundred years old. It is positively a must-see attraction in Cebu for travelers who want to check out the city’s true color. The market offers a wide range of goods both for those on a budget buyers and splurgers alike: truly a shopping’s paradise for any Cebu city visitor.
This market certainly has an interesting story on how it got its unique name. It dates back to the 18th Century during the time when people used steam to generate electricity. The area was used to dump heaps of carbon waste back then. Through the years, mountains of carbon gradually developed on the spot, thus the name Carbon Market. Adding to the story of origination for its name was that that the market was named after the Cebu Railroad’s coal depository. The current location of the market used to be the final station of the railway line where coal was stored and was used to power the steam engines.
Stepping into the market brings you to an animated and multi-cultural place, very much comparable to Divisoria in Manila. A huge and fresh variety of fish, fruits, vegetables, flowers and sweets are all for sale. Carefully hand-crafted items from Cebu are to be seen here, as well as baskets made in Bohol. Kalamansi, a miniature lime, salt and local newspapers and magazines are among the favorite bargains in the area. There are also items like the dried fish called Danggit, dried mangoes and otap for your Filipino relatives and friends. This large public market is a fantastic place to find inexpensive souvenirs to bring back to your family and friends after your trip. It is all about the locals here, with products showcasing and making use of native materials used by the locals to make and sell goods at excellent wholesale prices.
Getting to the market may be quite difficult if you are not familiar with the public transport routes of the city. It is best to take a cab from anywhere in Cebu if this is the case. All cab drivers will definitely be familiar with Carbon Market as various entrances to the market face the college campus of the University of San José Recoletos and the Cebu City Hall. For an even more exciting experience, you can opt to try the “karetela” or the local horse carriages for a tour around the market. The market is notably safe but it better to leave your valuables, document and jewelries at home. Also, make sure to come early to get a hold of cheap and quality produce items.
The Carbon Market is a vibrant and thrumming web of all types of vendors and goods. You must not leave Cebu without a visit to this marketplace so you can a hold of the city’s favorite delicacies at affordable prices, right in the heart of the downtown area.