Lechon (roast pig) is a regular fixture at every Filipino occasion and rightfully so. It is incredibly hard to resist its aroma, its crispy skin, and succulent flesh. This is just regular lechon, mind you. Now if you want to experience the best lechon the Philippines has to offer, head over to the Visayas for a bite (or more!) of Cebu lechon.
When asked about what makes Cebu lechon a cut above the rest, former Malacañang executive chef Babes Austria says that “the saltiness from the rock salt, the delicate texture, the pungent flavor plus the aroma of Visayan spring onions and native peppercorns that set the Cebuano lechon apart.” She also says that it is best enjoyed when eating it while it is still hot, with puso hanging rice and no sauce.
But where in Cebu is the best lechon? Most people will point you to Talisay City, where many of Manila’s lechon makers are originally from. And what better way to celebrate the city’s many years of distinctive lechon-making than to have a lechon festival?
The lechon festival is celebrated annually on the 15th of October, coinciding with the fiesta celebration honouring its patron saint, St. Theresa of Avila. Also called the Halad Inasal festival, contingents kick off the celebration with street dancing, followed by concerts and sports contests, but the real highlight is the parade of at least a hundred lechons, garbed in outrageous costumes!
On this day, lechon is sold at huge discounts, and no home banquet is without it, so be sure to bring a hearty appetite!