CAPIZ | King Crabs and Sweet Suman at Pontevedra Market

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

I’m not a big fan of crabs when it comes to seafood, preferring the much easier to eat shrimps and squids. It’s just so cumbersome to eat that I usually get tired digging for meat even before the meal ends. But it’s a different story when in Capiz, where super-sized mud crabs abound at the Pontevedra Market. With its size, I’m pretty sure its claws would be more than enough for my whole meal.

It was a fine sunny day, our third one in the province of Capiz, as we alighted from the van provided by the provincial tourism office. We dropped by the Pontevedra Market to check out the big-ass mud crabs that are regularly sold there by locals.


The market stands beside the brown-greenish Agbalo River where curiously-shaped boats line the banks. The mud crabs are usually caught in these waters. Quite convenient since they can easily row it back with their boats to the market.

We saw basketfuls of crabs along the hallways of the market, their huge claws bound by plastic straws.

But these are not your ordinary crabs. Mud crabs which are also called king crabs are not called such for nothing. We sampled one on a scale and it tipped the one kilo mark quite easily.

How much does a one-kilo crab cost at Pontevedra? A thousand pesos, the vendor quickly told us.

I’m not familiar with the prices of these crustaceans, leaving the market chores to my mom and sister every time we go to Dampa Macapagal, so I have no idea if that’s expensive or not.

The best time to buy crabs at the Pontevedra is during market day. Twice every week, the whole river bank facing the market gets filled with vendors selling all sorts of bounties from the sea. Too bad we were unable to witness such event, being there on a lull day.

On our way out, we spotted a local kakanin delicacy being sold at one of the market’s corner. We immediately flocked the vendor, bought a piece for a mere ₱5.00 to try out.

The wedge-shaped kakanin is called suman sa ibos, a local suman version found in Capiz.


Made from glutinous rice steamed inside a banana leaf, I’m not sure why this rice delicacy is paired with the word ibos, which pertains to suman wrapped in palm leaves. This particular one is wrapped with banana leaves, so it should’ve been called suman sa lihiya.

But no matter, the suman itself doesn’t taste much. We paired it the muscovado latik that traditionally accompanies it, and it quickly became an instant hit with the group. We sure weren’t able to afford the thousand-peso king crab, but we’re quite happy with our five-peso suman in Pontevedra.

Pontevedra Public Market
Address: Brgy. Poblacion, Pontevedra, Capiz
Opening Hours: Open daily, Market Day twice weekly
GPS Coordinates Map: 10.375193, 122.869747

Capiz-Aklan Series

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  1. Wow that's some mighty crab right there! I have always loved crabs, even if it takes forever to eat one, even if I have to wrestle with the shell, I just love love it! A thousand pesos? Hmm... I'm not sure how it goes in the market but for me that's expensive. Oh well, anything for that humongous crab!

    I'm familiar with that kakanin but I didn't know what it's called until now. Yes, it tastes better with caramelized sugar.

  2. I love crabs but it is too labor intensive to eat LOL.

  3. 1k is too expensive for a kilo of crabs. Unreasonably so. In reality, a kilo of crabs is just half the price the seller told you. He just said 1k because he knew you're not from the area and assumed that you were unfamiliar with market prices. Tuso and Pinoy, kala mo. LOL.

  4. That is my beloved hometown. It is called "CAGUYUMAN" originally. from the word GUYUM means Ant...people are like ants during market day (Monday and Friday) . Barter is so alive in our town . The one living in highlands exchange their goods to the fisherfolks....For the price of King Crab that is too much, you can buy it there 500 to 750 hehe...mostly, the seafoods there were supply directly in DAMPA Paranaque and other places. The one selling in DAMPA are from our place mismo....others were exported. Name kind of seafoods you'll find it there...

    1. Thank you for those interesting info! I didn't know this is actually where dampa gets their seafood!

  5. you know why seafoods in Capiz especially Pontevedra is tastier than other places dahil nasasakop ng tabang at alat. Agbalo River in Pontevedra is the last river ng probinsiya para umagos sa dagat ang tubig galing sa SUBA which means Ilog...The problem with my hometown frequently binabaha ito. Isa pa there's a lot of suman there aside from the one you featured napaka yummy din nun Kulay Puti siya at pahaba at matamis na mismo di na kailngan ng asukal pero ang pinaka favorite ko na namiss ko nong January uwi ako dun yung hugis "PUSO" na suman which is literally "Puso" din ang tawag in our dialect....ang tamis na nun at pinakuluan siya sa katas ng TUBA mapa nipa man ito o niyog na tuba....ang sarap sana na feature nyo sana hehe...We still have our ancestral house there kahit na lumangluma na sa awa ng Diyos nakatayo parin kahit matindi ang bagyo....By the way thank you for promoting our hometown. Balik kayo dun at dami naring resort na matutuluyan can go at VILLA CONSORCIA or MALBERT INLAND more our place and hook-up with fishponds owners para mapasyal kayo sa mga palaisdaan....