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Carcar, Heritage City of Cebu
Known as the Heritage City of Cebu, the town of Carcar is home to various Spanish- and American-era houses and structures.
Carcar is also famous as Cebu’s shoe capital because of its long history as the province’s premier footwear manufacturer. Its native delicacies are also popular.
One of the most famous Spanish period structures in Carcar is the Saint Catherine of Alexandria Parish Church. The Greek Orthodox style inspires the main facade of the parish church because the domes of the two bell towers are similar to the bell towers of churches of the Greek Orthodox religion.
The parish church’s ceiling has beautiful symmetrical drawings and decorations. The concrete fence surrounding the church plaza has statues of saints standing on top of each fence column.
During the American period from 1922 to 1938, the then Mayor Mariano Mercado built several notable public structures in Carcar, including the Carcar dispensary, the Rizal Monument, and the Carcar Rotunda. All of them are still standing until now. The Carcar dispensary is now a public museum.
Located in the Carcar Plaza is the Carcar rotunda, a gazebo-like structure with intricate designs, stairways on four sides and two statues on top of its roof. During the last week of November, local and foreign tourists would flock to Carcar to watch the Kabkaban Festival, which is the town’s most famous yearly event.
Carcar’s most well-known industry is the making of shoes and sandals. The industry started in the 17th century when sandals were the first footwear made and then leather shoes came later. The footwear industry reached its height in the 1960s.
Since then, many shoemakers have closed down because of problems like intense competition from other shoemakers in Cebu and from foreign shoe imports. However, through the resilience and determination of the remaining shoe-making businesses, they continue to operate until now. You can buy shoes and sandals in stores strategically located all over the town.
Carcar’s most famous native delicacies are ampao, bucarillo, and chicharon, which are just found all over the town. If you don’t have time to buy these delicious snacks, you can easily find them at the town’s bus terminal; you can also buy from vendors who go inside jeepneys and buses.
How to Get There
The Municipality of Carcar is located about 40 kilometers from the south of Cebu City. If you want to go to Carcar via public transportation, you can head to the Cebu South Bus Terminal located on N. Bacalso Avenue. At the bus terminal, you can take the public buses with regular trips to Carcar. The estimated travel time from Cebu City to Carcar is about one hour. For a faster travel time, head over to the One Citilink Terminal and ride a v-hire. This option will be a bit more expensive, but it will also cut time spent on the road.