Everyone, as in everyone, in the Philippines loves lechon. It’s the definitive fiesta food, the definitive birthday/wedding/Christmas/any occasion food. It is highly celebrated, in fact, that different towns all across the country decided to hold festivals all for the love of roasted pig. Check these out!
Talisay City, Cebu
Anthony Bourdain declared that the Cebu lechon is the best roasted pig in the world. Heavy words from someone who has literally traveled the planet for food! He should’ve visited on October 15th instead, so he can declare that the Philippines is the country that’s the craziest about roasted pig! This is definitely something different from the usually visited Sinulog Festival of Cebu. Come and celebrate and well, eat lechon!
General Santos City
Aside from being home to the People’s Champ Manny Pacquiao, General Santos City is also home to an abundant supply of swine. In fact, a lot of producers in the city supply to clients in as far as Luzon! To celebrate, the whole city holds a lechon parade every 3rd of July. Just this year, 41 roasted pigs were paraded around town! Surely everybody had a great time afterwards, eating the lechon with steamed rice.
From Visayas and Mindanao, we go to Luzon to continue our celebration of the country’s most loved food! Balayan, Batangas holds its annual town fiesta every June 24, to honor their patron saint John the Baptist. After the celebratory mass, everybody flocks to the streets and waits for the parade of decorated lechons placed on dressed up floats. Some lechons are dressed up as Lady Gaga, and some are even made to look like St John the Baptist! Imagine that! However, the most important part of the celebration is that the roasted pigs are enjoyed and shared with everybody for lunch. *wide grin*
La Loma, Quezon City
Although Bourdain and a lot of other foodies say that Cebu has the best tasting lechon, La Loma in Quezon City still remains as the lechon capital of the Philippines. It has the grandest (though a bit too commercialized) parade that shows pigs as chefs and TV stars. One float even had a pig’s head perched on top of what seems like a sexy lady dressed like it’s her honeymoon. The best part? Written on the float are the words “Pigtoria’s Secret.” If that isn’t worth your visit, then we don’t know what is. It’s an easy drive from any point of the Metro, so all you Manila people don’t have any excuse. If you’re from the provinces, well there are cheap flights care of Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific and other local airlines! See, no excuse at all!