Monday, December 21, 2009

Talisay (Cebu)’s Lechon Place

Hands down, or should I call it “tongues down” – for me and many friends the lechon of Talisay (Cebu not Batangas) is the tastiest of them all. It’s juicier and just teems of a delectable blend of herbs and spices – even if it’s not the ribcage area of the pig! Oops okay, I stand corrected, I should call that “pork”! Gosh! And we are unanimous, the Talisay lechon is tastier than CnT’s – even if for the sake of argument you say that CnT cooks theirs also in Talisay hehe!

The fascination went farther than just asking a friend to get one for us whenever we crave for that tasty cholesterol boost! One hot and lazy Sunday, we trooped to the area, to binge on lechon and to see where (and probably how) they cook those pigs… okay pork!

The verdict… next time we want to eat that tasty lechon of Talisay, just ask our friend to buy for us again… never go to that lechon row, ever!

But why?

I’ll get to that, but first, let’s describe how we found that place – lest we may have been mistaken and went to another area hehe! We called our friend (who is from Minglanilla) to accompany us to that place in Talisay where he buys them lechon for us. Unfortunately, he was driving and on his way to some family reunion in Boljoon while we were already entering the SRP. Yup, we got lightly scolded for the short notice but gave us specific instructions on how to reach the “lechon row” – if we can call it that. And we found it easily.

Where is the place? Well, we followed the easy instructions. Please correct us here if we went to the wrong place, okay?! Reaching the church and facing the old municipal building of the town (now a school) that is a dead-end, we headed right and straight to another dead-end corner. There we found the so many manangs and manongs inviting us to buy lechon from them. And we got excited.

When we got off the vehicles however, just by looking at each other, something in our hearts and minds seemed to have been upset. The place is like a talipapa where the shacks are really shacks and it does not look good at all. Not just one shack, but all of them look the same shack! Even one of the drivers was a bit disgusted that he asked “dito kayo kakain”? I just looked at the time on my cellphone and did not answer as I was unsure if indeed we could eat there. It was disheartening.

Probably it was because we expected something like Laloma. No it is not… far from it hehe! The row is not really a row of so many lechon places but just about five or six shacks. And we thought that the lechon is cooked or rolled (however it is called) right at the area. When we asked one store where they cook the lechon, the reply was “at home”. So we asked where is that “home” and if we could take pictures of the pigs being cooked. The reply was, the next “tuyok” (rolling) time was at 3PM. It was only 1205H.

Then a manang asked why we wanted to take pictures and what for. We said just as a souvenir that we saw where its cooked because their lechon was famous. They were kind enough though to invite us to wait for 3PM. Then a driver asked if there are a lot of the pigs cooking all at the same time. The reply was “maybe just one” since business is not as brisk nowadays”.

Alright, why were we disheartened?! What did we not like?

These lechon “stores” are very similar to what you see in a little barrio’s talipapa. Wares are spread out on tables to the delight of flies of all sizes. Of course, like anywhere, some of them ladies will sometimes attempt to drive the flies away. But we know who is most persistent in this scenario, right? Behind those tables where the lechon are spread and hacked to your desired slab hehe, there are little tables and chairs for the “diners”. THAT is what disheartened us. We are used to eating at many a palengke… but in that row, things kind of did not fit well. Those shacks are hot under the noon sun. They wash their wares inches of you and not in running water. We are not sure if we saw any faucet. Ah, I could not imagine how a comfort room would look like in their shacks, so don’t look for one! One of our drivers may have been fueling our imaginations when he contributed this in bisaya “these shacks look like where dogs sleep as soon as the lechon vendors leave”!

We did engage some of the ladies in light conversation. Like the lady at Celia’s Lecon told us, it was her store that was featured by Jessica Soho. And that it was her in the picture featured by TIME Magazine (she pronounced it “times”). I did not ask, but probably, she herself is Celia. Hmm, am sure Jessica and TIME did not feature the floors of their eating areas, the table cloth on the tables, the street where those shacks are located, and how the lechon are spread out in the open for you to see and buy. Hey, probably flies are camera shy too! Who knows?!

So, unanimously broken-hearted, the lechon addicts in us decided it was time to go. But at the corner before we turned right towards the church, the lechon on display at the unnamed shack looked rather crispier and newer than what remained at Celia’s. One of us… okay all of us, decided we would at least buy “to go”. First it was 2 kilos, then it became 5! Whohoa! And a trunkfull of puso, plus 3 big bottles of coke.

Then what? Hey, nothing can easily bring us down on a lazy Sunday! We trooped to a part of the SRP, spread picnic mats on the grass (ever ready eh?) and put out the lechon, puso and coke! There! Amidst the breezes and the fine view of the sea beyond, we had a fill of the delectable lechon with a good view. There! Six human beings, five kilos of Talisay Lechon without flies hovering and without the “murky” situation of the shacks! And we left the SRP at 4PM?!

So, take it from us, if you crave for the Talisay Lechon, just call and have it delivered. Teka lang… who told us to go and eat there anyway?! Di ba nang Celia?! He hehe he he!

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