In Love With Argao: A Closer Look at Cebu’s Torta Capital


I’ve visited Negros a million times since I was a kid. And the part about traveling to Negros which I hated the most was passing through the Municipality of Argao. I mean, Argao is one of southern Cebu’s biggest districts and I always thought that there was something about that place that made me nauseous and want to vomit. I guess this was the exact reason why Argao never really intrigued me.

Last Wednesday, the ever-talented Pikoy told me that some of the artists from the office have agreed to join Argao’s ‘Argao 400‘ – a visual art contest to commemorate the establishment of the municipality in 1608. The municipality is holding a contest for photographers and artists to paint or shoot distinct scenes of life in Argao.

So, to show our support and to visit Argao na pud, we (with Line and Jen) decided to go.


So, what do I think of Argao? One word: Lovely!

And awesome.

And amazing.

And breathtaking. Hahahaha.


In love with Argao!

 Argao’s Balay Lungsod (Municipal Hall) welcoming guests to the Argao 400.


To start the day, we had breakfast sa Alex Kafe. Lami kaayo diri.


View of the church from the cafe.

For breakfast, we had omelet


Fried Rice

and Beef Steak. Yummy!

Master Pikoy inom2x ug kape. Hahaha.

Interior of the cafe. Nindot kaayo.

Table and chair. Naay art.

Mga dalan sa Argao. Very clean and well-maintained.

Entrance to the church.


Old house beside the gate.

Belltower and tree.

To the Balay Lungsod

Broken clock


The beautiful church of Argao.

Balay Lungsod

Hall of Justice

Legislative Building

Argao’s Joe

Age-old hospital of Argao

To the beach

Pagong and church

That last building is the Executive building

Intricate carvings


Terra-cota roofing sa municipal hall.

Church door. We weren’t able to get in.

Some funny posts:

Deep kaayo

Bistek tingali ni

Mga bastos! Hahahaha.



Ang beach

Kid and his beachball

Back to the church

Red flower

Argao coast


Interior of second level of the Balay Lungsod

 The town square. Lovely lovely sight.



Artist nagpaint sa grass.

Another artist.

Some of the entries.


Mao ni iyang gi-paint.

Another entry

Another one

Artist painting inside the Municipal Hall


Master Pikoy decided to go to the beach and paint something else.

Master Pikoy in action


Scene at the beach:


Foreigner enjoying the sun

Master Pikoy and Miguel


Ang view nga gi-paint ni Master Pikoy







111 thoughts on “In Love With Argao: A Closer Look at Cebu’s Torta Capital

  1. Wow, I never been to Argao but when I was growing up in Mabolo we had a neighbor that came from Argao. Ley, thanks for the lovely photogs, I always love browsing your site every week for any new stuff. I really get home sick and wanted to go back home asap.

  2. for a while there, i thought you were talking about another beautiful woman in the mold of sian 😀

    great pics ley, as always! 🙂

  3. Very nice – Wow – did not realize that Argao is such an old community!

    I will be using your blog for the annual International Festival tomorrow. Philippines – Culture, History and Globalization. You have it all and of course my beloved Cebu!

    Will have 2 lap top stations for the university community to check your blog out – love the photos and the historical background.

    Thank you for such great work!

    1. Wow, i grow up in Langub Argao cebu, i did”nt realized my home town nindot na kaayo, mura sab ko ug nag tour karon nindota ah. good job everyone who ever posted all the pictures,

      1. Mingaw nako kaayo sa torta ug ang atong one and only chocolate name TABLIYA hahahaaha. miss pinas, aloha land of paradise.

  4. hala kanindot sa ilang simbahan, karaan na kau.
    i like the fishermens photo, and i can see Bohol.
    vry nice town kadaghan nilag building oi.
    Beautiful pictures Ley and painting.
    and the winner isssssssss

  5. I will always love Argao. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to visit there, next time na lang ‘cuz I’m going back there with my children this time. I’m back in Canada now. It’s a weird feeling, from extreme heat to extreme cold. LOL. I had a great time there. Gorgeous pics of Argao!!

  6. Abi nako Baclayon Church…great pics !!! Makahinumdom man sad ko ani sa dapit sa akong mama…Baclayon, Bohol…gimingaw na jud ko samot…LOL

  7. si line kay Ms. Maniniyot. 😀
    sorry line. i make the asinine (in ley’s opinion but “cute” according to me)comments here. i will do the same on your blog. hihi.

  8. i miss argao! my mama was born there… 🙂

    the old structures are amazing..they really did a good job in preserving them..and hopefully, they’ll keep it that way — nostalgic…

  9. Argao is my mother’s hometown, but she marries somebody from the north, so we were based there. Every December my family and some of my cousins visits my maternal grandparents in Argao and stayed with them for a week or so.It was also bonding time with cousins that I seldom see. I can still remember when it was only the horse driven tartanillas are plowing the streets, then later on the motorcycles with the side cars. Looking at those pictures of the old church ,the municipal hall, and the ruins, brings back a lot or memories. Those are theplaces that we go for a stroll every afternoon. A lot of love ones are not with us anymore, but those pictures sure did bring back happy memories from 30-40 years ago.

  10. wow…ka nindot gud sa argao…ako landlady dati kay taga argao man..pero wla jud ko ka anha aning dapita…basta nindot jud kaau…

  11. this reminds me of everything even the vandalism structs me and the breath taking view ..4 years from now ill be there…

  12. our recent trip to cebu last dec-jan also brought us to argao, suroy-suroy lang. kita pud namo nang foreigner – a local mentioned to us that he’s like part of the beach scene there

  13. We like the photo of Mike on the Beach (Foreigner enjoying the Sun – as u call it) actually he is practically pinoy now he has been in phils for more many years na. And we like the the photo of the old house cos we cant remember the location. Everything else was very good, very professional

  14. hi leylander, great fotoblog! it is not easy to find decent pics from argao online, yours made it! hope you don’t mind that I linked your fine blog in my website about the construction of my house in lamacan, argao which is maybe i see you there one day.

  15. Your site is simply marvellous and informative:)

    i’ll be hitting Cebu this weekend 🙂

    All so excited bout it now! 😛


  16. I was born in Argao and thanks for all the pictures it remind me when I was growing up in my in my home town. In fact I finished my high school in Argao. I missed everything, I wish I can visit Argao….Gimingao na ako. As I look at all the pictures, I missed my friends and classmate…I am now living here Los Angles Ca and I wish meet my old friends relatives in Argao..

  17. nice place! the people are warm, the beach is good and i have had a friend there who brings me to visit their place, Marites Sarvida. Where are yopu now Matchay!

  18. ako husband’s family (sa iya father side – Bajenting/Lucero) is from Argao.. been there once and loved the place jud.. lovely town! mayta kabalik mi pohon ig uli namo sa Pinas! 🙂

  19. Heel mooi fotos!!!! Well done allemaal… Mijn mama komt uit Argao. Ik ben in Argao nog nooit geweest. Fotos zijn heel erg leuk. Als ik groot wordt, ga ik samen met mijn mama naar Argao.

  20. Hello everyone… I love watching the photos ,it’s really pretty. I was thinking to visit Argao and most espicially there church . I would like to ask some help here. How much is the bus fare from cebu city to Argao? How can i get to Argao church from cebu city? can anybody tell me some direction from cebu city to Argao church or maybe map? I really scared to get lost. so that is why i ask help here..Hope someone can help me..thanks in advance


  21. hi peepers.

    find a ‘bato/oslob’ bus (south bus terminal). fare should be less than 100. tell the driver or conductor where you want to go. the bus will stop in the poblacion (argao town proper). you can take a tricycle or you can walk (and ask around). the church is pretty easy to find. 🙂

  22. Hi, I’m a visitor from Japan!!

    I’ve been roaming around the world through the internet to find something new about Cebu.

    I mean I used to stay in Cebu for a year for studying English.
    As a reslut, I ‘m attracted by everything from Cebu when I was there.

    By the way, I have a web-blogs about Cebu, so please visit my site if you like!!

    Don’t angry at me what I wrote,,I just wanna know Cebu more!!

    Have Fun!!

    Cebu cuisine

  23. missing ang famous torta sa the way, ang park sa municipal hall is wifi hotspot.talbog cebu city.nindut jud ang argao,preserved ang kasagarang old houses.typical of a community nga mostly educators.not to mention si honorable hilario davide.kana lang balay skina sa highway padung kilid sa simbahan.naa pud nay balay diha nga kabungkagun pero nindut ug architectural design.apil-apilun jud ko.

  24. Bai!
    Wa jud diay nakaeskapo ang mga vandals sa may dagat nimu no? Haha. Naa sad koy pics anang mga gipangsuwat diha. Cge gyud mig agik-ik ana. Pero ang ako masulti nimu daghan pa kag madiskubre diha. Bisitaha ang falls dha ug ang balay sa agta. Nindot gyud. Naa pay hike2x ug river trek gamay.

    Lingaw jud kog tanaw sa imu blog diay. Naa na kos Japan gud karon ug tinuod gyud diay ning kamingaw. So magsurf na lang sad ko ug mga cebu blogs pawa sa kalaay. Taga UP High diay ka? Niattend ka sa centennial homecoming? Nagtudlo ko didto last year usa ko nilarga dre aron muskwela.

    Ayay, pasensya sa taas nga storya! Haha. Sa sunod na lang sad. Ayuayo. Amping!

  25. hapi fsta argao!!!!!

    fsta na jd!~!!!!!

    asa man ta mangaon ani oI????

    WOW ANG pda mo ari sa argao sos mo lantaw jd ko ana bsag pila pa ang plta!!!!!!

    kita kitz na mga pepzzzzzzzzz!!!!!!!!!!!

    400 na ta tym kapamilya argao!!!!!!!

  26. I never thought that after 22 years away from the Phil., Argao especially, has so many improvements that I almost lost my way. In Lamacan where I come from, there are many new roads and many big buildings. Thanks to my sister, Shirley. With her tricycle I could see how Argao looks. I’m sure that I come again but this time with my friend and children. They are also very eager to see Argao especially their Lolo Maning and Lola Moning.
    By the way, I liked to stay here longer but I must fly after 3 weeks.

    Schoenen Gruss aus Deutschland.

  27. Whatta amazing photos! I grew up in Argao and I really missed this town. The beach reminds me in mahayahay where my father died. I missed torta and tabliya sa ka Gilang. I missed riding my bicycle din adto merkado and buy fish and fresh vegetables and ginamos. The graffiti/vandalism are funny but its not good. It makes a bad image to the tourists. Who ever wrote those vandalismo is a savage person.

    1. hi! i/m roger artiaga rubia puedeng magtanong? may hinahanap kc me na relative sa argao cebu,si vining artiaga,her mother”s name is adela, en rudy artiaga,may kila2 ka ba?

  28. Thanks for posting the funny graffiti, especially the reminder. It’s another way of saying “Go directly to the point”. The pictures? Lovely. I felt I was transported to another time in history. Argao really has still something to show for its 400 years of existence.

  29. oh my god.. someone mention ginamos.. kalami ginamos ug saging bal ba nga-an did i said that right?.. im from tuburan.i never been to argao.. thank you for all your pictures ley..medyo. na bawasan akong ka homesick diri.. and i have an idea where to go next time i visit cebu 🙂



    1. asa man ka dapit sa hawaii . I’m here in hawaii too. i leave in Makakilo pls i want your e-mail so we can get together aloha

  32. WOW!its amazing how you guys have captured those shots.It makes me think og the good old days of my beloved hometown …Im a pure argaoanon!!!my mom and dad were both from argao though I grew up in the city but we always go back to the countryside every now and then…the old chruch,the shore,the torta and bibingka,the fishermen,the medical hospital…the city hall itself…OH! How I miss those scenery now that I`m here in the states…
    Thanks a lot for bringing up good old memories!!!

    Lyn Kintanar

  33. To Lyn Kintanar,
    Normally, I’m not like this, asking question from a stranger. I was just checking out several web sites while my wife watching t.v. show and I saw your comments close to mines. You mentioned that you are from Argao and your last name sounds so familiar. Did you go to “CSAIS”by any chance? My two older sisters, Rosie and Elizabeth went to the same school and they probably remember you. Anyway, if you don’t mind, we don’t really get to meet Argao people here in Hawaii.It’s funny, i get excited when I met one. Excuse me if I sounds strange but if it’s not too much to ask my email address is
    Kito Olita

    1. Bay Kitoman,
      I was in CSAIS from 1972 to 1976,,, basin akong claasmate and usa sa imong sisters, sa section A, kay i remeber naa ko classmate nga Olita, I think it was Rosie, Rosalinda if imnot mistaken,, give my regards to her and all your family,,, mingaw na gyud ta sa Argao,,,Hope i can come this summer 2011, dia ko sa CAnada karon

  34. waa..
    niCe !
    naApiL jud ang naWong sah uYab sakO bEstfriend..
    kana naai tag nga ‘another artist’..

    haha 🙂


    nasHocked kO gamay dah!

  35. woottt!!! wooott!!!! nice photos!!! looking at those stunning pics reminds me so much of my father. he was a proud Argaoanon (not sure if thats the right term :-)) and his dying wish was to be buried there. although i am not very familiar with the place, i am always at home whenever i visit my relatives there. thanks for sharing those pics… it brought back wonderful memories. not to mention, i missed the Torta so much!

    1. Hi Marisol, what part of Argao are you. Are you from Look. Also did you graduate at Argao Campus high school and what year. The reason I try to blog , your name is very familiar to me, of course we have many name like yours. I did graduate at Argao 1986 with my best friend Cleofe Omboy and Ida.

      1. an o yha Argao is a fabulous place. I grow up there graduate through high school, thanks to dy Linda to twist my mothers arm. Oh yha the snachez family are very persistance of educating the relative. Si I went as I recall I was quit popular in school. I did get back to visit my home town 3 yrs ago. Traffict is herandus. Thank god I learn to drive evry city in the USA. I though New york is bad, but the City of cebu is hundred time worst. The whole time I was driving there I was screaming insede my rent car. People there are crazy or insane. Plus I forgot how to home in my home town. I got lost of course. Thank god for my indian navigation. We made it. of course I have friend with me, she is not much of help. she is a white Amirecan and it was her first travel with me to argao. I’m sory to say I do not really miss Argao at all.

  36. wow! nalipay ko nakakita sa akong yutang dili natawhan apan yutang diin ako gituboan ug buot ug bot-bot.

    pag butang pag daghan hulagway do, i-apil ang sam-ang aron akong paagi paghinumdum sa mga nitaliwan na ning kalibutan.

    daghang salamat!!!!

  37. wow, ka nice pag ka picture….taga argao q, in fact very weekend q uli sa argao, pero sukad wa ka appreciate sa mga omprovements pero sa pics naka ingon ko ka nindot man diay sa argao,,, mag la.ag2x na diay q panagsa oi, mura naman nounko stanger sa akong kaugalingon nga hometown, huhu, how sad!!!well, definety i love my hometown very much bisan kon papiliun ko kon argao or america, id rather choose argao, its the best…samot na kon katilaw ka sa torta dayon paresan ug homot nga chokolate, pastilan makalimot ka jud sa imu ngalan..

    tanx bay sa pau upload this beautiful captures!! i love it..

  38. this is amazing!!! terrific pictures! i always know my hometown is this beautiful but now it makes me miss more and wanted to comeback there. the photos are just terrific!

    great photo captures guys… thanks for kputting this in this blog now i can see argao even if im halfway around the globe.

    keep it up!


  39. Nindot tanan nga shot! Especially ang kid w/ his beachball. Kasi anak ko iyong nakatayo sa doon. Amaze ako. Paano nyo nakunan ng hindi ko alam? Anyway, Thank you! Hindi ako taga Argao but im working here. Ma in love ka talaga..

  40. pwede apilon ang pics sa miss argao first festival,.heheh

    para makita nila na dili lang lugar ang nindot sa argao, mga gwapa pa gyud.


  41. wow nice pic and nice blog!!! mingaw na nuon ko sa torta diha dah!!!
    fiesta diay sa Lamacan today… adto ta ila boss arding …
    padad i nalang ko torta flong… hehehe

    NINDOTA XA ARGAO UI!!!!!!!!!!!
    I LUV IT!!!!!!!!

  43. nice shoot, it’s me!!!… i was one of the contestant back then, it’s nice to remember how grateful i am to be one of the participants, unfortunately i didn’t won, but my experienced is enough to be called as winners.

  44. miss ko ang hometown ko ARGAO,iwas born here last jan 19,1956.hope to meet my batch of CSAIS BATCH 1970S PAREHAS NILA;celso cagigas,nena cagigas,adelia alcazaren,delia albaran.celso miranda,liza pantinoplezoe monte.manuel monte and nalimot ko sa uban apan sa torta wa malimot kay mao nay hinungdan napahak akong ulo kay nakuha kog torta sa sarangan.nagpuyo ko sa candabong,argao,uban pa among batch sila rex alfafara,jane pangandoyon syempre silingan god mi ani sa una pero karon dia nakos bukidnon.nisugod kog puyo diri last april 05 1986 up to can visit me at my friendster bahalag tigulang na pawala sa going home cebu this aug 21-22,2009 may seminar mi sa ayala together with my officemates nga taga DCDB,dumaguete city,lapulapu city,valencia city bukidnon and dcdb qzn branch bukidnon.then laag vkog kadiyot sa argao ug alcoy lugar sa aakong asawa.

    1. hi! paulix sabado,i”m roger artiaga, taga jan din ako sa argao cebu,pero matagal na akong di nakapunta dyan,kaya nakalimtan ko na ang place ng mga kamag anak ko dyan,baka kila2 u cla?their name vining artiaga her mother’s name adela artiaga,pls. rply me gusto ko kc pumunta dyan,thnx.

  45. bay… salamat kaayo sa mga pics… reminds us from where we are. lasbina sa mga bata pata. well good work choy & more power.. hope u can add more pics especially to our most scenic spots. proud of being argawanon.

  46. wow!!! na miss na jd nko ang argao ang church,plaza,dagat,(lawis and pier) it reminds me sa akong mga happy moments wd fryns. (karaoke,inom,overnyt swimming, basketball,disco,etc.) i was born in argao and now daghan n au ug kausban.naa pa jud dghan mga nindot na dapit sa argao. hay asa mn ang torta!!!! how i wish mk.uli ko nxtyear…i mz my family…..

  47. nkaanha nako sa argao pro dugay na, and i want to go back there puhon..try nya nako anha sa Alex Kafe, hehhehe.. naa koi mga relatives ug classmates na tga argao. dugay nako wala nakalaag ddto dah! 😉

  48. wow..i missed argao upon seeing the pics..Argao 400? it was a memorable event for boyfriend tried to join the painting contest unta, sad to say, Argao is such a beautiful place that he cant even paint any scenes in it…hehehe…

    ahm, ngau ku gamay na pics hahh…ipaprint nku…


  49. Saw all the beautiful pic’s of Argao, an will be visiting in march also going to see the future Mrs.Cruz an to spend some time in her beautiful country

  50. hey…nice kayu amu place…hehehehe i wish mka balik ko sa argao….nice na kau amu plaza…daku na kayu mprovment…basta mayor edsel lage supper!! ayaw mo pag hugaw2 sa amo plaza hah…mka nlove pajud ang music dha,,,huhuhu i remmber…

  51. Thanks for posting Ginatilan. I live in Malatbo, Ginatilan, Cebu. 20 mins walking from Paradahan. When I view your Argao pics. Icannot imagine kon didto nta sa Paglubong ni Sir Bert Canada. Pero timing man sa akong CWL meeting. Next time adto ko mag shoot ko ug mga nindot nga view. Moura sad g nag adto ko ug Carcar when I view the pics. in Carcar Cebu.

  52. I’m glad people like and love my beloved hometown, Argao. I was born, raised and had a lot of lessons learned from way back then. Been staying for more than half of my life in Quezon City but never miss an annual visit to this lovely place. Argao has a lot to offer but only a tip of the iceberg is exposed. There are a lot more to explore.

    Thanks to all!!

    Tita Jojo

  53. I love argao itself .The people are very friendly and accomodating. Just one reason i dont wanna back there because its not safe! The crime rate is very high and the administration ignores the killing and no onces captured. Unbelievable.. BTW, happy fiesta ARGAO!

  54. Home sick na gyud u sige basa sa blogs,,,Dinhi sa Argao nga akong yutang natawhan, naka tunan nako ang tanan,,,bugoy bugoy, barkada ug hugoy sa mga kauban, mga minarunong nga sinultian nga wa nako masugati sa ubang dapit, dinhi sad nako nasugatan, mga istoryang atik ug balihon dirie gihapon,,, abi nato ug mga kabuang ra ning tanan pero pwede sad diay nga isapyag sa ubang mga katwhan nga atong nahilambigitan,, dakong psalamat sa mga memories when i was groing up in Argao,,,Jingjing, Dicksim, Anjan, Jordache, Mosdem, Nitbon, Artbon, LOlo Allan, Katyubong gang asa na man ta karon,,Boy Valmo, Dano, Cris Byron,,RIP sa usa ka amigo nga bisan na ug balaslokon, pero maayong barkada ,, Atty. Posas. Hope to spend next year a good vacation in Argao, with all my friends. Mga class mate sa High School CSAIS Batch 76, Amplong, Danny Alcazr, Boy Lucero, Efren Abadiano, Bindoy, Tony and Ojing Remonde, Alama Ludalin, Nenet Monte, Rosemarie, Lourdes Flores, Elro. Hey guys Do you still remeber Rudolfo “Thef” Albarracin, all my regards to all of you Merry Charistmas and a wonderful New year to come

    1. Bai, apil siguro ko anang imong mga classmate, pero ambot asa ko nimo ibutang sa imong roll call, naa ko sa tunga tunga. Voltaire

      1. Bai, Sorry kaayo kay wa tika namention sa roll call,,, bisan ug di na kaayo kita mga hinginom karon pero ikaw gayud ang among idol sa una kon mag inominom na,,kay kamo mang duha sa akong agaw nga si Mayong ang mga youngest sa Mansion Boys,,,nagsunod na lang sab kami nga mga Pin-Ed boys kay kadaghanan man mga sakop ni Noy Pino sa baling. Nag reunion diay ang atong mga klasmet sa hig school sa una last Dec 2011,, kumusta na ka bay Voltaire,, atong amigo nga si Mandol ni panaw na balik padulong sa atong makagagahum last Dec,, usa sad to sa mga haligi sa Mansion Boys.

  55. Hello there, kumusta! I was so impressed with all the photos as i, myself is a pure
    Argawanon. My batch and i are planning to have a reunion when after we have gathered our batch mates. I wonder if you have a photo of the old school, Cebu South National High School. What is there now is the new one which is the “Cebu Tecnical School. We are the class 1972. I know it is might be impossible for you, but if can have one, i would apprecite it very much if you can send me one….Many thanks and God bless


    In the scenic south side of Cebu where culture and history are rich, lay the first well-planned subdivision with complete amenities and amidst picture perfect view of rice fields and serene mountains.

    1. Di gyud nato makalimtan ang atong yutang natawhan bay,, daghan na ug kausaban,, padulong sa pak nindot,, makasamot ug kahomesick

  57. i start visiting argao last december 21,2012…from time to time i return back in this place and i found out aside from the heritage you’ve got in the lungsod,,,there’s still alot of areas the argaowanon to be proud of…..special you overlooking views…try to explore tru your mountain areas…thumbs up ako ang ganda tingnan… and the people in argao are hospitable and respectful!!! continue preserving our HERITAGE!

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