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2021’S on Let’s Lechon!

Lechon has been considered a symbol of prosperity since time immemorial



FULL plumped roasted pigs in skewered steel pikes on full display in Laloma, Quezon City—the country’s Lechon Capital STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHS BY RONALD DE LOS REYES

Media Noche is the most valued Filipino tradition. It is a Spanish term for “midnight” and here, families and friends get together to feast and celebrate as the coming new year unfolds.

Together with it, we revel by lighting fireworks, jumping and making loud noises to drive away evil spirits. 12 round fruits are also displayed on the table while we don ourselves with polka dots to symbolize money.

And of course, the ideal Filipino fiesta tradition would not be complete without the presence of a plumped full roasted pig or more known as lechon as the centerpiece on the table.

LECHON is delicately wrapped for the celebration.

CHICHARON is one way to enjoy and eat pig.

Lechon has been considered a symbol of prosperity since time immemorial. Our ancestors have been raising swines even before the arrival of Spanish colonizers and Chinese merchants—which both have greatly influenced our much-loved national dish of today.

REVELERS on the prowl for the best lechon in town.

This spit-roasted, suckling pig bears influences of a kaleidoscope of cultural and culinary influences. On special occasions, it seats at the core of food arrangements. The bigger it is, the better as it is superstitiously believed to welcome fortune.

GOLDEN crispy lechons ready for feasting. These roasted pigs are priced as high as P22,000 for one full piece.

Lechon is “pork perfected” as they say. Revelers are awed by the manner of how it came to be. They admire its golden skin which is caramelized into a crispy, candied sheet. Its smokey meat is peppered with garlic and lemongrass is stuffed inside as it is blackened by soy sauce and charcoal flames.

NEWLY-BUTCHERED pig being sizzled on the grill.

And so—for this new 2021–we cast away all the ghosts of the past year as we hope for the best. Let’s have a feast. Let’s lechon!