Parada ng Lechon

wpe23.jpg (71781 bytes)

In the Philippines, it is not unusual for lechon or whole roast pig to grace any Filipino fiesta table. Parada ng Lechon is a parade of golden-red and crispy roasted pigs. The delicious aroma of this sumptuous dish led the locals of Balayan and Batangas to commemorate the feast of St. John, their patron saint on 24 June with the presence of the delectable, crispy lechon.

It is on the night before the festival that an anniversary ball is held at the town plaza to choose and crown the lechon queen. On the event day itself, a mass is held at the Immaculate Conception Church. After the mass, at least, 50 lechons are gathered in anticipation of the celebration. The parade proceeds after the holding of blessing of the pigs and people in St. Johns' name. At this celebration, one can witness a hilarious sight when the roast pigs are dressed according to the theme of the participating social organizations. Some of the lechon are dressed in wigs, sunglasses, raincoats, or whatever the decorators want

In an event of sheer madness such as this, one can expect mischief just around the corner. During the celebration, pranksters toss water or beer over the lechons, drenching not only the lechons, but the bearers and onlookers as well. Some will even attempt to have a free sample of the roast pig's prized crispy skin. To prevent this from happening, some participants cover their lechons with barbed wire.

After the fiesta, the lechons are then brought back to their respective club headquarters or home for yet another celebration of drinking and feasting. As for those who believe in the spirit of sharing, they will gracefully give away their prized lechons to the crowd of audience.

Traveler's Companion: Philippines