Iniity

Travel Diaries | Hilltop Food House and Marble Rocks of Kitcharao

The Province of Romblon is known as the “Marble Capital of the Philippines” and I thought that this kind of rock can only be found in this province. I was proved wrong one Saturday in August 2013 when we traveled to Surigao del Norte to attend a meeting.

Hilltop Food House and Marble Rocks of Kitcharao


We had a short stop-over at Hilltop Food House in the humble town of Kitcharao to have our lunch. Actually this is my second time in this restaurant coz I love their mouth-watering Pinoy foods. In my humble opinion, I think they serve one of the best Bulalo in town! Oh I forgot to say that their special dish is the adobong “Kasili” or the fresh-water eel harvested from the nearby Mainit Lake. 

Hilltop Food House and Marble Rocks of Kitcharao

Hilltop Food House and Marble Rocks of Kitcharao
Hilltop Food House and Marble Rocks of Kitcharao

Hilltop Food House and Marble Rocks of Kitcharao

While waiting for our order, my attention was caught by the beautiful marble carvings on display at the restaurant’s entrance. Out of curiosity, I asked the woman in the counter who happens to be the owner, “Ate, ganda ng mga marble display nyo, galing po ba ng Romblon?”

I was surprised when she replied that the statues were actually carved at their backyard and she pointed a pile of rocks- I never thought that these are marbles. “Dito lang, sir, sa likuran kinukuha ang mga bato.” Yeah you read it right; there is marble in Kitcharao, Agusan del Norte!


Hilltop Food House and Marble Rocks of Kitcharao

Hilltop Food House and Marble Rocks of Kitcharao

Hilltop Food House and Marble Rocks of Kitcharao

After our lunch, the owner invited us to their small carving shop – a minute walk from the restaurant. Actually the shop and the carving were started just a week ago and they are simply testing the quality of rocks if it’s marketable. Of course, it is! I bought 1 baseball ball replica as a souvenir for only P50. Cheap, isn’t it? I tried to buy the fruit display tray but the owner refused to sell as it is already sold and reserved to one of their restaurant suki.


Hilltop Food House and Marble Rocks of Kitcharao

Hilltop Food House and Marble Rocks of Kitcharao

Hilltop Food House and Marble Rocks of Kitcharao

Hilltop Food House and Marble Rocks of Kitcharao

Hilltop Food House and Marble Rocks of Kitcharao

If you want to taste the best Bulalo, kalderetang Baka and Kambing, authentic Kasili dish in CARAGA, and see the newest and promising livelihood in Kitcharao, Agusan del Norte, visit Hilltop Food House. Of course their marble carvings are the best souvenir! You should never miss that.


A Little Background about Kitcharao

My curiosity about Kitcharao was piqued because of those exquisite marble pieces I found at Hilltop Food House. I decided to poke around the web for more information. Here’s what I found.

Kitcharao is a third class municipality set in the boundary between Agusan del Norte and Surigao del Norte. That’s actually the reason why it was the perfect stopover place for our trip to Surigao.

The name was derived from “kit-kit ug isarao”, based on a legend. A long, long time ago, the land was divided into the north and the south, with two powerful kings ruling their respective areas. However, a dispute about hunting territories eventually led to war. King Mangipikan, the ruler of the north, and his men were able to overcome King Busaylan from the south. To celebrate their victory and to drive away their fallen enemies, the King Mangipikan ordered his men to “kit-kit ug isarao” (bite and scatter the plants). With the story handed from one generation to another, the battle cry became shortened to “kitcharao” and became the name of the place.

Of course, as legends go, there might be grain of truth in it – or it may have been pure work of fiction. Who knows? No one has lived long enough to prove the truth behind the story. What is important is that the people embraced the name and are proud of its legendary history.

The Truth about Marble in Kitcharao

It really is not good to judge a book by its cover – or in this case, a municipality by its category. Kitcharao is merely a third class municipality but its lands offer an abundance of marble and various mineral resources. That makes the place quite rich by Mother Nature’s standards! It is in Mt. Kabatuan that the highest number of marble deposits can be found but such rich deposits are also scattered across town and in neighbouring areas.

Still, Kitcharao can be considered a fledging in the marble production industry, with very little mining and development activities being undertaken. Although there are studies as far back as 1997 regarding the feasibility of establishing marble production in Kitcharao, a full-scale program has yet to be seen.

Today, the town is still considered almost purely an agricultural and a fishing community, although several tourist attractions have slowly paved the way to tourism in the area. Judging by the excellent craftsmanship exhibit by the sculptor who created my souvenir from HillTop Food House, it wouldn’t be too long before the marble products of Kitcharao will place it in the map.

I’m certainly going to be one of the people who would help promote this quiet yet beautiful little rich town. If ever responsible marble mining and handicraft production will be established well in the town, this would surely boost tourism in the area. Such could create more jobs for the people plus a big addition to the economy of the place. Who knows? In the near future, Kitcharao may become a first class municipality!


Adventures in Kitcharao

You can also read about my other adventures in Kitcharao in my blog. Travel Notes | A Quickie at Lantawan EcoPark will give you a glimpse of this lush home for surrendered/rescued animals and forest-protected area. Don’t miss this ecopark during a trip to the town.

Also, you can access Lake Mainit from Kitcharao. It’s a great venue for canoeing, kayaking, and ecological tours.


How to Get There

From the town proper of Kitcharao, Hilltop FoodHouse is just a 5-minute tricycle/habal-habal ride. Fare is 8 pesos only.

From Surigao City Integrated Land Transportation Terminal, ride in a bus or van bound to Butuan City. Tell the driver to drop you at HillTop Food House. The restaurant is just along the highway before the Lantawan EcoPark. Travel time is more or less 1 hour. Fare is around P70–80 for the aircon bus but is much cheaper on a non-aircon bus or van.

From Butuan City Integrated Land Transportation Terminal, ride a bus or van bound for Surigao City. Tell the driver to drop you at Hilltop FoodHouse after Lantawan EcoPark. Travel time is more or less 2 hours and the fare is around P100-120 for aircon bus and lesser for non-aircon or van.
__________________________________________________________________________________________________
Let's #explore7107islands







Follow TRAVELING MORION's Journeys and  Travels
Follow me on Twitter| @travelingmorion
LIKE my Facebook Page| Traveling Morion

24 comments:

  1. That's one interesting place to visit. I'm curious about the Kasili. You said, they have the best bulalo, that is something I will not miss to try.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Their marble carvings looks good. It's nice that they also have marble here like the one in Romblon.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Though I am interested in marble carving, but my desire for the cooked goat meat is what makes my mouth watery. It is one of my fave Filipino delicacies.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Waaaahhh, I want to those marbles crops and have on for my self. I hope I can include this on my visit this november.

    ReplyDelete
  5. The marbles looked elegant. :) I have never heard of Kitcharao before but right now I feel like this place would provide adventure and more learning to tourists.

    ReplyDelete
  6. This is the first time I heard about the marble but they look beautiful. I love the profile pic you took of Manong on the first pic hehehe.

    ReplyDelete
  7. oh, bulalo, I miss that. I love seeing marble rocks in their various forms in nature. those carvings are beautiful. oh, the adobong eel looks very yummy too, would want to try that too if I get a chance to visit there someday.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. try to go here with us you really taste the delicious food ....

      Delete
    2. try to go here with us you really taste the delicious food ....

      Delete
  8. Wonderful, of course while scrolling down i was drooling with the good food i missed to eat. those are one nice carving, i wish to get one for a house decor. it would be lovely.

    ReplyDelete
  9. nice to know about this things!! i love marble! in way they are nice for floors if they have something like that as they feel so cold when you touches them! good for the hot weather in philippines! those designs looks incredible!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Never heard this one, I guess am already a foreigner in my own country. Wow! it is amazing they just get it in the same area.The rocks carving is beautiful

    ReplyDelete
  11. Romblon, the Marble capital of the Philippines. Next time you be there, bring me along. I wanna see how the locals do the marble stuff. Bro, sarap iguro ng mga tsibug. Do you still lives ba in Alabang?

    ReplyDelete
  12. Very interesting, aint right? Mindanao is not only a haven for glorious foodies but of these lovely marble carvings as well.

    This makes me proud to be a true blue Mindanaoan!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Good food and a little bit of history, what more can we ask for in a place to visit?

    ReplyDelete
  14. What can I say but WOW on this travel adventure you've had!!! Great escapade! And I didn't even know that Romblon is the Marble capital of the Philippines! Thanks for sharing! :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. I wonder why these facts where not being taught or advertise? For I have known it only here in your blog. Maybe I am just not that updated but reading your posts gives me new knowledge to be fond of and share to friends with common interests. I will share this to my designer friend whom just recently asked me about beautiful marbles. (since she thought I am that savvy to know everything by the net, well I am saved by your post) Thanks :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yey! thanks Kha Arabejo :) Let's help the promote this promising livelihood in Kitcharao. As i've said, If ever marble mining and handicraft production will be established well in the town, this would surely boost tourism in the area. Such could create more jobs for the people plus a big addition to the economy of the place.
      Salamat ng marami Kha!

      Delete
  16. I am now drooling on those food photos, hehe! Great marble creations! Would love to visit Romblon someday!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. this is in Kitcharao Agusan del Norte not in Romblon @mtrguanlao :) I miss the foods - very Sarapinoy!

      Delete
  17. The souvenirs are truly beautiful and every food looks yummy. I haven't tried most of dishes in the menu board.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Wow I want to try to eat on the hilltop food house! I am also curious about the marble rocks.

    ReplyDelete
  19. My grandfather is the pioneer of marble quarying in kitcharao, wayback before 1997... we still have the plant there... but apparently when my old mand and my father passed (both president of the family business Kitcharao marble industries), the company went into a long hiatus... but im not giving this up... currently im been doing some undertakings to bring back our family business and put back kitcharao on the map... im a cebuano.. but my folks are from surigao city... and i live at kitcharao for quite a while from 2nd year highschool to 3rd year hightschool at IHMA

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for visiting TravelingMorion.com Let's #explore7107islands
Feel Free to drop/leave comment/suggestion(s) here :)