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Best of Cebu - Puso Nobody knows where the word puso comes from. In the Tagalog language, puso means "heart." But this puso we're talking about is food. It is pronounced as pus˘. It is rice wrapped in coconut leaves shaped like a diamond. At least that's what it looks like to me.

The making of pus˘ is not merely clumping cooked rice in your hands and wrapping them in coconut leaves like what some people probably used to think. Truth is, the coconut leaves are first weaved into diamond shells. The master weaver then leaves a hole open. This hole is where they pour uncooked rice before sealing up the shell and putting them on a large pot filled with water and putting them over the fire. The usual way of cooking rice happens when all that is done - which is merely to wait until the water is gone and until the rice have grown and gone soft.

There is no existing gadget used to measure the amount of uncooked rice to put in the shell. That is all up to the skillfull maker to decide. Put too much rice in the shell and the rice would not be able to grow much, the shell would restrict its expansion. So this would result in a pus˘ that's hard and clumpy. The making of pus˘ requires a degree of thinking that is only earned through practice and learning from people specializing in the craft.

Much talk have been said about the pus˘. People have tried to translate it into English. Through time they seem to have met an understanding to call it "hanging rice." In stores, that is how they are displayed hence, the name. In every store that sells pus˘, one can immediately guess that there's also barbecue for sale. Yet it's not just barbecue that goes well with it. In meals held by the beach for example, it is only but normal to bring pus˘ around along with any viand one likes to bring. And just as a Filipino meal is incomplete without plain rice, some meals are incomplete without pus˘. Pus˘ can truly be the "puso" of any occasion.

by: Reynaldo B. Inocian - Cebu Normal University
on: Aug 17, 2005 09:58 AM

I'm very happy that you included puso in this website. I have conducted researches
and public speaking on puso as a ritual object and a local trade as well. I do hope
that through puso we can promote the Cebuano culture in the national and global

Prof. Reynaldo B. Inocian
Social Sciences Department
Cebu Normal University

by: Jun Edgar M.Lavadia - Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental
on: Aug 31, 2005 04:44 AM

Good day! I'm so happy that you included puso in this web site just
like the case of Prof. Reynaldo Inocian I'm also conducting a research on this

Thank you so much.

by: Francis Narvios - Houston, Texas USA
on: Sep 05, 2005 01:04 PM

Yummm yummm...I miss Puso...Especially the one they sell at Larshans...A
combination of Puso and any kind of barbecue...Will surely satisfy you stomach
and make you want more...Just like how i want to eat it now...Yumm yumm...

by: Ian Clark Ceniza - Los Angeles, California
on: Sep 28, 2005 06:38 AM

in my whole stay in the US, i've never seen any "puso" in here. when i
get home, i'll have puso, ginapos -- ginamos gipus-an ug sili, and bar-b-q nga
tina-i. gigutom ug naglaway na ko ron. hehehe... kalimot ko, fishball, tempura,
McDo --Mcdokodko kilid sa san jose. hahaha... miss y'all! can't wait to be

by: Coco Alinsug - Boston, Massachusetts, USA
on: Sep 29, 2005 07:43 PM

Thanks for featuring "PUSO" in your website. I still remember as a kid I
used to go to Larsian and order bar-b-q with puso. hmmmmmmmmm.

by: Naomi Ricana - Munchin, Germany
on: Oct 20, 2005 06:21 AM

ahh..mnnnn.. puso! what a lovely word..
I miss puso so much!! In all the years living in England (21 yrs) and now in
Germany, I have never seen puso!I can buy Tilapya, cook sinigang, buy ginamos but
not puso! Anyone thinking of visiting Cebu must try this yummy Puso! Oh yeah.. Macdo
sa San Jose! good one!

by: Jose Esgana - Paranaque City, Metro Manila
on: Jan 08, 2006 03:07 AM

An NGO "Tithing Initiatve To Help Economy, Inc," is now promoting
and initially include 'PUSO-making' as one of livelihood projects wherein
our less-privilege fellowmen shall be provided with young-coco leaves to
assemble it as 'Puso-rice-container' and likewise a member of NGO with Lechon
& BBQ stores shall purchase it to augment their sales by combining the
puso-rice to their main-products. One NGO member a JOANES LECHON DE CEBU
located in Paranaque City now selling "lechon" with free puso. As a cebuano,
am blessed to read your article about PUSO, and in behalf of this NGO as
founding-chair, please count me as your supporter in propagating PUSO as our
way of saving cost of rice-food not only in Metro Cebu but also in Metro

by: Jeffrey James Y. Pacres - Milton, Ontario, Canada
on: Feb 16, 2006 01:03 AM

The legend of the puso started when the chinese traders came to Cebu.
These chinese people were good at making rice dumplings and the cebuanos tried
to imitate the so called "ma-chang" which is delicious. Then came the
cebuano, proud of what he has made and showed it to the chinese. The chinese
did not agree with what the cebuano had cooked out of the palmn leaves and said
"phu-shr" (which means "it isn't") while pointing out on the puso, and
saying "ma-chang" while pointing on the rice dumpling, that was when the
cebuano realized that, what he made is named "pu-so" (in which the cebuano
didn't get the pronouncation well). well, that was how the pu-so was born.

by: Martin - Hamburg, Michigan
on: Apr 20, 2006 12:14 PM

I was interdicted to Puso several years ago when I visited Cebu on
busyness. A fellow employee taught me how to braid a Puso. I used ribbons and
filled with popery.

I havenĺt made them for some time and have forgotten how the do the braid. Are
there any instructions on-line for them? I also know that there is a frog
pattern but my associate didnĺt know how the braid that one.

by: Joy - Chicago, Illinois
on: Apr 21, 2006 12:44 PM

I havn't had pu-so in 5 years now. i missed the pu-so & bbq @ bbq
station near usc. pu-so & fish/squid ball @ robinson's food court. pu-so and
sinugbang panga!!! yum... yum... yum.... i can't weaved one, but my dad &
brother does. unfortunately, the leaves of the palm tree is too short to

by: Marilou Alenton - Southern California
on: May 01, 2006 12:52 PM

I haven't had puso in 8 years. I missed eating all the Cebuano
delicacies. It's not the same here whatever they sell on the West Covina
restaurants here. Nothing can compare the Larsian area or the small eateries in
Cebu! I missed Cebu so much... I wish I can visit every year!!! I love this
site so much... keep up the good work!!!

by: GODFREY \"guada\" DELA CRUZ - New York, New York
on: Jun 19, 2006 03:07 PM

PUSO! Pagkalami gyud sa puso nga ituslob ug una sa ginamos labi na
ipares ug kinilaw. Dili nako ibaylo ug THE BEST PIZZA sa NEW YORK.
Sa estudyante pako sa San Carlos,upat mi nga barkadang "gayrly shell"adto mi
manga-on sa the famous BarBQ Station sa may Jonquera St. Order dayon mi ug 40
kabu-ok nga puso. Tag 10 jud mi kada-usa,nanguta dayon ang among
classmate....Hala! mga guafa mahurot na ninyo? Tubag dayon ko, Of course!
Babaye mi pero among tungol lalaki. So, lami jud kaayo ang PUSO. I miss it.

by: Maricel S. Moreno - hongkong
on: Jun 30, 2006 04:08 AM

well folks, if not for the love of my life na cebuano i will not
encounter puso. i ask him once for pasalubong coz i miss filipino delicacy, he
bought that puso. it really fascinates me. i like it so much pair it with other
foods really nothing bets the cebuano delicacy, thats the truth!

by: Viern F Marquez - Quezon city
on: Jul 20, 2006 12:04 AM

Sir good day,

How i wish if you could teach me how to make a hanging rice.

by: Spyche Gonzaga - Miami, Florida, USA
on: Aug 21, 2006 07:10 PM

Puso ug BBQ sa larsian pagkalami gyud ipares pagkahuman tulakan dayon
ug mabugnaw nga beer. hehehehe..... Pagkahuman ug tan aw sa live band didto sa
Jerbys Cafe nga karon na close na tawn, diretso dayon sa larsian mangaon ug
BBQ ug PUSO. Gimingaw na tawn ko kaayo sa LARSIAN, manghinaot ko nga
makabakasyon na tawn ko sa Cebu para makaaon nako ug usab. Cge bye....

by: rosela montalban - Norfolk, Massachusetts
on: Sep 09, 2006 05:28 PM

Nalipay kaayo ko nga nakit-an nako ni nga article.I used to make puso a
lot to sell them during fiesta sa baryo....kind of miss it now!!!i've never been
able to join the fiesta in my village in Mindanao in 4 years.

by: nilo - Jeddah, KSA
on: Oct 13, 2006 07:39 AM

Pakiupdate sa Busay ug sa Ayala Heights somewhere along Central Highway.
Unsay mga activities didto.

by: Edward Sarabia - North Africa
on: Jan 23, 2007 07:11 PM

asus ginoo! you made me wanna crave for puso with adidas and quik quik
hehe! i've missed it for a couple of years now and i would surely pig the day
when i get home.

by: ginalyn hollmann - mandaue cebu
on: Feb 11, 2007 01:30 PM

Ya,its really nice to recall lovely things especially food in our
homeland. I love puso. I used to braid them and earn money from it when I was
a kid.

When I had a vacation, I brought some young coconut leaves to germany and braid it

My german friends find it interesting and
loved the taste too!
Its a pity, theres no coconut leaves in asian shops here.....so that I can cook it
everytime I miss it...


by: Zuraidah Ehsan - Singapore
on: Feb 17, 2007 05:01 AM

Hi, my first saw puso on a trip to Mindanao in 2005 and thought, what is
the 'ketupat' doing there? I am from Singapore and what the Filipinos call
puso, we call ketupat. I would like to get in touch with Prof Reynaldo B. Inocian
as he is doing or has done research on it and also Jun Edgar M. Lavadia. I am
currently an MA student looking at the possibility of doing comparative work on
Malay and Filipino food.
My email address is zuraidah_ehsan@hotmail.com

Thank you.

by: marjo - pampanga
on: Feb 19, 2007 04:36 AM

hindi po ba ung puso saging un????

by: Rowena Gabuya - Palenko - Las Vegas
on: Mar 05, 2007 01:52 PM

Gutommmm!!!!! Mingaw na gyud ko'g puso ug bbq sa Larshan. 4 years ng wala
pa gyud ko kauli. We have a lot of Filipino restuarant here in Vegas pero wala
gyud makalupig sa puso,bbq,ginamos nga pino with sili,fishballs, agree sad ko
dukoduko sa San Jose. Chinese lumpia sa Robinson's but before I lift they
tranfer across Chong Hua Hospital. I hope I can find a coconut leaves here in
Vegas I will make a puso and bbr like @ Larshan.

by: tONIo - Riyadh KSA
on: Mar 23, 2007 05:23 AM

gikan ko bakasyon atong enero, pero na-miss na nako ang puso ug barbecue
sa larsian. pirme man ko kaon didto ining dayon nang uli gikan inum sa manindot
nga acoustic joint sa brews cafe diha sa may baseline. hmm sunod tuig nasab...

by: Merly - Cebu City
on: Apr 29, 2007 03:44 AM

Hello Mr. Jeffrey James Y. Pacres - Milton, Ontario, Canada, you know sir
u really have a great and perfect explaination of where the word "puso" came
from....u gave me an idea.... keep loving puso guys hehehe.....

by: jevee - united kingdom
on: Aug 13, 2007 12:14 PM

oh i just miss puso a lot my husband whose a british loves it very. hilabi
na kung isuwa sa barbecue ok kaayo!

by: Lili Abella - Packwood, Washington
on: Nov 19, 2007 12:08 AM

I remember Puso back home when we go to Talisay Beach (maligo sa dagat)
taste so good Puso and Inasal. Yummy.
Wish you all the best mga Visaya sa Cebu City esp. Labangon Cebu City.

by: Vic - Hawaii
on: Nov 27, 2007 11:55 PM

Can anyone show me how to braid puso? I've been trying for months and I
can't do it. I want to make it here in Hawaii so it's easier to eat at the
beach, just like back home in Cebu :)

by: Trent Omand - Vancouver, Canada
on: Dec 20, 2007 10:56 PM

uuummm puso and lechon, was my first experience with puso and i must
admit I was hooked. During my stay in Cebu in June 07 we often took puso to the
beach with us, and to kawasen falls. I am looking so forward to returning to Cebu
in Aug and plan to remain for a year sampling more of what Cebu has to offer and
of course much more puso.

by: Sherma Cecile O. Miranda - Quezon City
on: Feb 04, 2008 08:37 AM

Hi, please inform me where i could learn making the "puso" in Cebu.

by: Christine Villoria - Hollister, Ca
on: Apr 19, 2008 03:30 PM

I just came back from Sudlon II Cebu City. Saw family and friends making puso and thought I had to learn this tradition, it was an experience and a half. After all the weaving we had puso with lechon, it was AWSOME!!! Cebu I'm coming back for this....Aloha

by: rhee - cebu
on: May 01, 2008 09:28 PM