From lechon to tinola, talong salad to fish kinilaw, ginabot to crispy fish bihod, escabeche to kalderetang kanding, the Sugbusog 2016: Seafood Edition at Marco Polo Plaza Cebu’s Café Marco is all the Cebuano dishes you love and more, prepared the five-star way.

To get inspiration for Sugbusog 2016, the Marco Polo Plaza culinary team “stormed the Pasil fish market” at 1 a.m. which is when the fishermen will be bringing in the day’s fresh catch, said Jessica Avila, the hotel’s consultant for its nine-year running food event.

“This year, we wanted to come up with a Sugbusog that’s more than the usual. We want to serve food that people like to eat all the time, food that is healthy,” she added.

Sugbusog 2016 Marco Polo Plaza Cebu
Fish tinola.
Kinilaw or fish ceviche.
Kinilaw or fish ceviche.


Grilled saang.
Grilled saang.


Chicharon or pork cracklings
Chicharon or pork cracklings is a Cebuano delicacy.


This culinary feast of popular Cebuano dishes on top of the Café Marco international buffet spread is timed with the celebration of the country’s grandest festival, Sinulog 2016.

Sugbusog 2016: Seafood Edition runs from January 6 to 17 and features the freshest bounties of the sea and other Cebuano favorites.

Sugbusog 2016 menu

On these dates, Cebuano staples like squid adobo, humba, chicken pork adobo, fish sarsiado, nangka as well as guso, lato, sunlutan, and bat salad, tinap-anan na isda are available at the Cafe Marco buffet.

At the tinola and sinigang station, you get to pick what goes into your soup, from the kind of shell or fish to the ingredients that accompany it.

There’s nothing like nangka (jackfruit), puso (banana heart), or gay salad, fresh lumpia, green mango with bagoong, boiled cardava or sweet potato with guinamos, or suglaw to whet your appetite for more of those sumptuous Cebuano fare that is at the heart of Sugbusog.

Chicharon bulaklak.
Chicharon bulaklak.


Goat kaldereta.
Goat kaldereta.


Tinola and sinigang station
Tinola and sinigang station. Here, you can choose ingredients that go into your soup.

The list goes on and on with bangus relleno, several kinds of sisig and meat barbecues, beef kare-kare, halabos na pasayan, pochero, pancit, dinoldog with malunggay, batong guisado, pinakbet, and sotanghon guisado.

Pinipig delights, gulaman at sago, biko with latik, toron, maja, and polvoron are just some of the desserts but they are more than enough to satisfy anyone’s sweet cravings.

Festive Sinulog celebration

These exceptional dishes are made possible by Marco Polo Plaza Cebu’s team of chefs that worked tirelessly to bring about this year’s exceptional Sugbusog, said Avila.

“This is not something you will see in any restaurant in Cebu, even in Manila,” she added.

Sugbusog 2016 Marco Polo Corngrits Rice
KAN-ON MAIS or corngrits rice is a favorite among old-timers in Cebu.


Sugbusog 2016
Kiampao or stingray with blackbeam sauce.


Guso or seaweed salad
Guso or seaweed salad.


Puso sa saging or banana heart.
Puso sa saging or banana heart salad.


Sago at gulaman.
Sago at gulaman.


Maja and leche flan.
Maja and leche flan.


boiled kamote
Boiled kamote or sweet potato ready for pairing with guinamos.

Cebu Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale said there was no limit to the innovations undertaken by Avila and Marco Polo Plaza Cebu general manager Julie Najar to make every Sinulog celebration in Cebu even more festive.

“There’s nothing that can get people together more than good food and we have it here. I guess we can rightly say that it’s more fun in Cebu,” she added.

Can’t wait to try this smorgasbord of Cebuano favorites? Call Marco Polo Plaza Cebu at (+6332) 253-1111 or email the hotel at [email protected] for reservations or inquiries. This buffet treat comes at the net price of P1,099 for the lunch and P1,395 for dinner.

Sugbusog 2016 opening
OPENING. (From left) Marco Polo Plaza Cebu general manager Julie Najar, culinary consultant Jessica Avila, Vice Governor Agnes Magpale, and Msgr. Roberto Alesna lead the formal opening of Sugbusog 2016 at the Marco Polo Plaza Cebu lobby.


Jessica Avila and Agnes Magpale
Marco Polo consultant Jessica Avila and Vice Governor Agnes Magpale at the opening of Sugbusog 2016.


Sandiego dancers
The famed Sandiego dancers perform a Sinulog dance to mark the opening of Sugbusog 2016.


Antique Santo Niño icons on exhibit at the Marco Polo Plaza Cebu lobby.
Antique Santo Niño icons on exhibit at the Marco Polo Plaza Cebu lobby.


FESTIVE. The Marco Polo Plaza Cebu lobby.
FESTIVE. The Marco Polo Plaza Cebu lobby.

Marlen is the editor of and co-founder of Cebu-based journalism startup InnoPub Media.

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