A No-Holds-Barred Lechon Festival

Text and photos by: Bombette G. Marin

BALASAN, Iloilo will celebrate Lechon Festival in a very festive affair on a quiet street fronting the town hall on June 20-26, 2018.

The activities include Cara-Gwapa Festival, Balasan Got Talent, Lin-Ay sang Balasan and nightly live band performances.

Highlighting the festivity on July 20 at lunchtime is the Boodle Fight – a military style of eating where soldiers would gather around a long table full of food and rice is spread over banana leaves and eaten with bare hands.

Many visitors hold pilgrimage to Balasan every July, where they are always joined by happy throngs of locals enjoying true Balasanon flavor.

Balasan may not be as popular as its neighboring towns in terms of attractions, but it honestly has the best-tasting suckling roast pork in the entire province.

Many will argue that their version of this dish is just as good as any out there. However, the people of Balasan display a fierce territorial pride when it comes to their favorite pork recipe.

The annual Lechon Festival started 10 years ago as a theme-based offering of no-holds-barred Balasan cooking. It is a public, free-for-all roasting and mixing of the local cuisine with good times and good music.

The main street is jam-packed until it becomes a standing-room-only venue. Almost everyone is there and excited to eat an authentically prepared and rare taste of the town: that crispy and polished skin, that juicy taste of the aft and meat, and the heavenly combination of crispy soft, and smooth texture.

Lechon is a local delicacy well loved by almost every Filipino. The lechon or the roasted pig roasted is blended with herbs and spices. It is always present in the best occasions of every Filipino home such as fiestas, birthdays, weddings, anniversaries.

Most people will recommend that you try Balasan lechón while you are here in Iloilo. Come and join the people of Balasan in celebrating this wonderful testament to the homegrown favorite.

Balasan is a 4th Class municipality situated 128 kilometers away or almost a 3-hour drive north of the city. Made up of 23 barangays, it is bordered in the north by Carles; in the south by the town of Batad; in the east by Estancia; and in the west by the town of Pilar in the province of Capiz.

To get to Balasan, one can take the bus at the New Ceres Terminal in Barangay Camalig in Haro, Iloilo City.

For more information, please contact Municipal Tourism Officer Cecil Crisme at (033) 3970296 or email at dpicrisme@gmail.com.

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