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lechon at Malatapay Fiesta May 14-15, 2011

Malatapay Fiesta

Accidental Reveller
Fiesta was the furthest thing on my mind. I went to Bacong (town just south of Dumaguete) to catch Mario Pascobello's boat for Apo Island to commence my Open Water Diver (OWD) training, but the boat wouldn't start. We were constrained to spend the night in Bacong. Fortunately, it was also the eve of Zamboanguita's fiesta (Malatapay is one of the barangays). With Mario's relatives whipping up a feast just a few minutes away, we stopped by for dinner.

Philippine Fiesta
Here in the Philippines, fiesta is synonymous to abundance of food. Even poor people go into debt just to lavish their guests with a plateful of the best traditional food. This festivity usually lasts the entire weekend. Neighbors, friends, relatives come in droves to partake of the feast. Kids play around the neighborhood, the wives talk about the latest gossip and updates, and the guys pass around a 'shot' as their man-talk (or in my parlance, gossip laced with machismo) intensify with the increasing amount of liquor they imbibe.

Malatapay Lechon
Here in Malatapay, the signature dish is lechon - a whole pig roasted on a spit. Nearly every house would have one, plus additional array of native dishes. It's common knowledge that Malatapay lechon is the benchmark for lechon here in the Dumaguete hub. UPM Jom emailed me saying the best lechon he's ever had was in Malatapay. So for me, I was at ground zero for lechon indulgence! That night, I had lechon in 2 houses. Tip: if you plan on visiting more than one house, make sure to leave room in your tummy. It's impolite not to eat in a house during fiesta time simply because you're full from the previous house!

2 Days of Lechon
As if the 2 lechon dinners were not enough, lunch the following day was still more lechon from another house! I had lechon coming out of my ears. It's not just crispy lechon skin and meat, but fried inards as well - chicharon bulaklak, chicharon bituka, etc. The caloric intake just shot through the roof. As I was in a circle of guys then, washing it down with Tanduay Rum and coke was a fitting finish.

Ending Thoughts
If you happen to know anyone from a town close to celebrating its fiesta, specially here in Negros, one tip: make nice to him/her. You'll be rewarded far beyond your cholesterol limit. It's not an everyday indulgence, so it's all good!

--- TheLoneRider

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