Mandaue Unboxed

Small city that’s big on homegrown surprises

Mandaue City is home. I’ve spent four decades of my life here, seeing it evolve from a laid-back, tightly knit community to a small but dense city of vibrant economic districts.

And yet like a tightly wrapped package, Mandaue City continues to surprise.

Ironically it is during the pandemic when we found ourselves getting “boxed” in one place that I got to know about my beloved city even more.

Like many developing cities, Mandaue is not perfect. But I’ve seen many good things here over the years, thanks to a citizenry that continues to support forward-thinking leaders both in the public and private sectors.

Such a healthy dynamic between the government and its people has been crucial for Mandaue to deal with the unprecedented challenges that the pandemic has brought upon.

Such a healthy dynamic between the government and its people has been crucial for Mandaue to deal with the unprecedented challenges that the pandemic has brought upon.

So when I was asked to support an initiative to promote homegrown enterprises in Mandaue, I didn’t think twice.

And today, June 25, the Mandaue Investment Promotions Action Center (MIPAC), the investment and promotions arm of the City of Mandaue, will launch “Experience Mandaue” to help boost the City’s economy.

This is the second edition of the #ChooseMandaue campaign that was launched last year, and one cannot stress the importance of its role to promote Mandaue City’s local products and services, particularly Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) that have been badly affected by the pandemic.

Now, I’m aware that Mandaue, despite it’s small size, is host to numerous business enterprises, mainly commercial and industrial. But I only had a clearer grasp of what the city produces and how diverse it is when MIPAC sent me a package with a #TatakMandaue label.

Guess what’s inside the box?

But before I get into that, I’d just like to point out to you that Mandaue City lies in the heart of the island of Cebu.

And the metaphor is apt: everyone passes through Mandaue. Vehicles from the north that want to get to Cebu City and further down south need to go through Mandaue, and vice versa. Airport arrivals and departures to and from mainland Cebu must transit through Mandaue.

Mandaue is at the center of everything.

In short, Mandaue is at the center of everything. No wonder then that commerce and industry has flourished in this city of barely 35 square kilometers, the smallest among five cities in Cebu.

So what does Mandaue have to offer? That package of #TatakMandaue goods that found its way to our doorstep several days ago offers several clues.

All these goodies are certified Tatak Mandaue!


Upon unboxing, I saw a sampler of Mandaue’s homegrown food products, many of which I didn’t realize were produced in this city.

Some of the #TatakMandaue goodies inside were all-time favorite pasalubongs like Cebu’s famous dried mangoes from FPD Food International Inc. (7D brand) and Profood International Corp. (Philippine brand).

These two brands got me thinking: Mandaue isn’t big on direct tourism, but when it comes to tourism-related sales, the city is a pasalubong colossus.

Mandaue isn’t big on direct tourism, but when it comes to tourism-related sales, the city is a pasalubong colossus.

Not only that, I also learned that Mandaue hosts another huge food enterprise, Prifood Corp., which produces a sizeable range of popular snacks such as Super Crunch.

Then there’s Mandaue’s iconic delicacy called masareal, particularly Didangs Delicious Masareal, as well as excellent Polvoron from Mandaue’s Nutricious and addictive Baked Squid Bites from Baker’s Mill.

The box also came along with a package from Mama’s Little Secret Creative Burgers, which was quite a filling treat.

  • Samplers…


Of course, the best of #TatakMandaue cannot fit in a box, so I’d like to make a shoutout to homegrown faves such as Vcente’s classic La Paz Batchoy and Bebong’s to-die-for Mango Cake.

The list of #TatakMandaue brands is quite a long one, and we’ve barely touched the surface. I suggest you head out to this side of Cebu and get yourself a good old #TatakMandaue treat.

#experiencemandaue
#choosemandaue
#tatakmandaue

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