Healthy living in Cebu City
Cebu City, the capital of the island province of Cebu in Philippines, was established by the Spanish in 16th Century. The oldest city in Philippines is famous for its beautiful beaches, diving spots, and happening nightlife.
Being an affordable first world city (the average cost of good living being $900-$1000 a month), it is home to many expats in addition to the locals and the Spaniards living since the Spanish occupation period. Healthy living in Cebu City has been a distant dream until the last decade despite its pleasant climate all year round because of the non-veg dominated diet of the Cebuanos.
The proximity of the sea and easy availability of quality pork and beef makes the cuisine primarily non-vegetarian. Various fish based dishes are a staple at the local restaurants. If you go to Cebu City, the first food recommendations will be to taste the Sisig and Lechon.
Though the local restaurants have served a vast variety of international cuisines like Greek, Argentinian, French, Chinese, Thai, Italian, etc. since decades, a complete vegetarian or vegan menu used to be rare because till recently, the cost of import of vegetables from the neighboring Negros Island was very high. Local farmers were reluctant to grow organic vegetables instead of chemically induced ones because of the apprehension of not getting a fair price at the market and the lack of Government support.
After the opening of the Organic Market Forum in 2009, where the then Governor announced a budget of P10 million from the Department of Agriculture to promote the Organic Farming Industry, the local farmers have taken to growing organic food.
A number of organic vegetable outlets have begun catering to the individual local buyers as well as the restaurants. God’s grace farm store (TPE Bldg., Gov. M. Cuenco Ave., Banilad and across Anita’s Bakeshop along R. Duterte St., Banawa), Cebu Herbs (No. 20 Horseshoe Drive, Banawa), Dad’s Organic Farm (Sunset Drive, Lahug) are some of the organic vegetable shops in Cebu City.
Organic cereals, almond or hemp milk, fruits, dates, steamed vegetables, salad, quinoa, smoothies, cheesecake – these are some of the dishes you can make out of the vegan stuff available at the Sunday Farmers Market in Banilad.
Also, since most of the expats (and even locals) almost never cook at home because of the availability of so many restaurants in and around Cebu City, it might be a good idea to start eating at the amazing vegetarian, vegan and vegetarian-friendly restaurants that have opened up recently.
It is a myth that vegetarian or healthy food is pricey. Yes, it used to be when vegetables came from Negros Island, but with local vegetables available, healthy living in Cebu City has never been so easy. You can eat the famous vegan burger at Vegan’s Guild, a stall operated by the Turkish cooking aficionado Firas Baassiriat the Saturday Market in Banilad Town Centre, at only P100!
If you want more options, take your pick from the healthiest restaurants in Cebu City – Healthy U, Lun-haw Vegan Cafe, La Veggie Deli Cafe, Mimo Ramen House, Planet Vegis, Shiv Dal Roti Corner, Miller Hospital Cafeteria and Wellnessland Health Institute and Vegetarian Cafe!
Eat well and burn your calories later at the best gyms in Cebu City – Gold’s Gym, Power Gym, Banilad Gym or the Metrosports Center.
Healthy living in Cebu City is not a distant dream anymore! If you live at 38 Park Avenue then you can use the fitness facilities on the 26th to 28th floor as well as the restaurants below (at ground level). and if you don’t live at 38 Park Ave Cebu then it’s worth a look at the prices. Spoil yourself with vegan delicacies and rewarding workouts and reap the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.
Do you know of some worthy additions to the above list? We’d love to hear about them in the comments section.