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?