Sunday, June 3, 2012

Free Lechon In Calbayog, Anyone?!

That is if you dare to be as crazy as I can become at times!

I was out of the kakanin vendors and walked across to the fishy side of the wet market, just wandering around – actually constantly looking too, as to where would I exit from this big mesh of stalls and humanity! I passed by ‘pasayan’ being sold by the ‘tumpok’ not by the kilos, some fresh shiny fish that I know tasted good when fried, some shiny colorful clams, I think the manang called them “punaw” and many other things we commonly see at a wet market. But I finally found my way out, and there was LECHON!

Out of the main hub of stalls, actually already exiting the market, and just a few more steps towards my Hotel Almira, I stumbled upon makeshift tables on the side of the street. All 3 were selling lechon and that got me surprised since I passed this way earlier on and there was not even a trace of them or their tables – much less the aroma of those shiny, delectable indulgences! Of the three tables, one has just sold out a previous pig, now starting to chop a new one. I watched.

Couldn’t help but ask a manang if this was their permanent stall location since it looked like they would hamper the normal flow of traffic. Her smiling reply was that they only sell in this place early Sunday mornings. I asked why. She said they are not allowed in this area but they also sell in their homes and that they accept orders for special occasions. She continued that with, besides, all the lechon of the few vendors around would be already wiped out even before the 7AM Sunday mass is over – which is supposed to be their captive market.

As we conversed, some little bits and pieces of the delectable lechon would fly our way when her sons would whack slabs of meat for buyers. A speck of crackly delectable skin (panit) landed on the chest portion of my shirt. And listen to this… I slowly plucked it form there and tossed it in my mouth! Yummy yum yum! The lady let out a hearty laugh and said “bumili ka na lang sir, kahit 1 kilo lang”. I said “no, bawal”! The son who hacked that slab of meat was also laughing and the father who probably took pity at my pathetic act picked about 2cm square of stray lechon skin and gave it to me. Of course, I quickly grabbed and munched on it whole. On hindsight, I think I was like a monkey who immediately grabs and eats any morsel of food tossed by anyone!

The son not to be outdone in their “act of kindness” scooped those little bits and pieces on the banana leaf and gave them to me. Syempre, direct to my mouth I tossed it hehe. Now that got my lips oily and I had to fish the hanky to wipe it and my right hand fingers. Hmm, there were getting to be bigger bits and pieces strewn on that banana leaf as more and more customers came. But I felt oily in the mouth so I started looking around for coke. None! I instead saw a bakery and went for it to grab a few pieces of fresh bread (most of them are real fresh in the mornings – at least in the provinces).

Munching the first of my 3 pieces of Spanish Bread aside from two other pieces of I don’t know, I must pass by the lechon tables again on the way back to Almira. And the son hollered “sir, adi pa”! So I went near again, and started scooping them little bits and pieces from the banana leaf! I knew this family was having fun looking at me scavenge like that from their “lechon tailings” if I can call it that! The father already reminded me “sir, paubos na, bumili ka na kahit kalahating kilo”! I still shook my head. The mother who probably got envious at what I was doing also started on the little “takrag”. I even admonished her saying “hoy competition, stay at the other side (of the lechon).

Probably still in an act of pity, as their whole pig was nearly all sold out, the other son gave me a fairly big chunk of meat from the stomach while his father was also already munching some skin from the nape. Hmm, it tasted good with my bread. I gave one piece to the mom, and in no time, we just caught ourselves already dipping the breads unto the sides of the lechon! The other son already exclaimed “nakakasamok na kam ha” but the father said “ikaw naman, didi la sira sa ligid”! Probably already pissed and to drive me, his mom and his father away, he picked a bigger piece and tossed it to the banana leaf where we were “scavenging” hehehe.

In no time, the two sons said “waray na, ubos na”! Even the head was bought by some representative of a restaurant – but not after one of the sons sliced a bit of skin from the nape and gave it to me! Whohoa! They packed up and left, I walked back to my hotel!

7:09AM, I was at the stairs of Hotel Almira, drinking coke that waiter brought from upstairs, and I saw the last of the 3 lechon vendors leaving the place! Whatta Sunday morning!



  1. scavenging to the tiny bits of lechon on a banana leaf felt like fun... i can't help but smile while reading ... and the comment "wag bawal", prohibited it was, yet u had a taste of it. :)

  2. Sarap ng Lechon!..:)
    Masarap talaga kapag bawal.. hehehe..:)