Sun.Star Pampanga - - OPINOIOPNINION -

The roast pig is the Filipinos’fes­tive food. It is com­monly served in wed­dings, birth­day an­niver­sary, fi­es­tas, in vic­tory and grad­u­a­tion party cel­e­bra­tions.

It is con­sid­ered a health food , a source of high pro­tein for those phys­i­cally fit and a com­fort food for the sick and ail­ing.

Some physi­cians in­dulge val­ued pa­tients in se­ri­ous con­di­tion to the sin­ful plea­sure of the flesh (a chunk of the roast pig with crack­ling skin in­tact) if that would give joy to the nearly dy­ing. The ter­mi­nally ill would rather end his life with too much lit­son and de­riv­a­tive killer dishes than pass away from the world with­out them.


From mem­ory, roast­ing lit­son at the backyard pro­vides more ex­cite­ment and an­tic­i­pated thrill than feast­ing on the “le­chon” from com­mer­cial sour ces.

Le­chon pigs in La Loma are de­light­ful to see as they are lined up be­fore de­liv­ery or wait­ing for buy­ers.

But they ad­duce lit­tle of the thrill and ex­cite­ment that the young boy re­mem­bers in the rit­ual of pig roast­ing decades ago. Mother would fat­ten a piglet in time for the fi­esta ob­ser­vance in the old home­town.

My as­signed task was to gather some friendly neigh­bours’ slough for its sus­te­nance. The job en­tails im­mu­nity from strong sweet sour odour and the chance of see­ing bar­rio lasses tak­ing their evening bath by the arte­sian well be­hind heavy bushes.

At day­break of the fi­esta the hired butcher-roaster would come. He digs a pit then builds up a fire from rice bags-full of char­coal. Soon the an­i­mal is slain. Peping Bu­lul sticks a long-bladed knife into the pig’s heart for its slow death by pro­longed bleed­ing. The drain blood is used in cook­ing din­uguan.

Peping Bu­lul pushes deeply and twists the knife; the an­i­mal shrieks in pain. It is a kind wild wel­come to the march­ing band from Cand­aba that rouses the town be­fore the Mass. Most naughty boys do not like the sound of the big brass horn.

The first mass brings the el­derly devo­tees to church. Chil­dren are in tow dressed in “pamyesta”at­tire. The band plays its stan­dard pieces. By ten the male folk gather at the pobla­cion stores and start their day with vo­tive Gine­bra. In am­pli­fied voice the pri­est is heard in­ton­ing “per ipsa, et cum ipsa, et in ispa”

“Pare, nanu kano?” Taquio To­mador asked an­other drunk­ard.

“Kaibat ning Misa, munta ta kanu king spa. Kanya kanyang pera,”

By one pm the town’chief po­lice had a trou­ble paci­fy­ing the band master. It was re­ported that the Chief’s son was caught pour­ing a beer-gin-coke mix into the spout of brass horn while the mu­si­cian was at rest.

I rushed home for the lit­son. Peping Bu­lul ap­peared to have its sec­ond bot­tle of Gin for the day. A neigh­bour ac­costed the hired butcher over his miss­ing hen. “kaling­wan mu ne in manok pare,” mother tried to ap­pease the man.

It seemed the hen wan­dered at our yard and came in Peping’s way. The scent of roasted pig in­spired the need for lit­son manok.

JUST be­cause you can doesn’t mean you should. Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte met with King Norodom Si­ha­moni at the Royal Palace of Cam­bo­dia and did the un­think­able.

He wore his clas­sic barong taga­log with top but­tons open and rolled-up sleeves.

The Pres­i­dent leaned on one side of the chair and had one foot turned to ex­pose a sole while the king, dap­per in his dark suit, gra­ciously sat up­right with both feet firmly planted on the floor.

On some other oc­ca­sion, per­haps, the at­tire and body lan­guage of the Pres­i­dent was noth­ing to fret and write home about.

But this was a meet­ing with the King. Cam­bo­dian ne­ti­zens quickly showed their dis­plea­sure.

They felt that their king had been deeply dis­re­spected by Duterte’s at­tire and be­hav­ior. Duterte’s fan­dom rose to his de­fense.

It was not the pres­i­dent’s fault— he should have been told what to wear and what to do. Se­ri­ously?

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