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 puso. It is rice wrapped in coconut leaves shaped like a diamond. At least that's what it looks like to me.

The making of puso 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 puso that's hard and clumpy. The making of puso 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 puso. 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 puso, 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 puso 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 puso. Puso can truly be the "puso" of any occasion.

    Comments on “Puso”

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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...

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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!

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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 havenít 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 didnít know how the braid that one.

  10. 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

  11. 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!!!

  12. 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.

  13. 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!

  14. Sir good day,

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

  15. 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....

  16. 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.

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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...


  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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...

  23. 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.....

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

  25. 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.

  26. 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 :)

  27. 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.

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

  29. 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