La Loma Lechon Festival (Parada ng mga Lechon)

Sunday, 16 October 2011

The best way to celebrate fiesta in La Loma is to dress up and parade roasted pigs in the annual Lechon Festival.

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What better way to celebrate fiesta in La Loma but to, well, dress up and parade roasted pigs (lechon) in the annual La Loma Lechon Festival or Parada ng mga LechonAfter all, La Loma is the lechon capital of the Philippines.

Lechons or whole roasted pigs that were on display during the La Loma Lechon Festival
Lechons or whole roast pigs that were on display

Lechon Festival in La Loma (Parada ng mga Lechon)


    Ask any food-loving Filipino and you will most often find lechon included in their list of favorite food. For those who are not aware, lechons are whole roast pigs. The most prized part of which is the its crunchy skin that is best eaten when dipped in sweet-sour liver sauce.

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    Brief History of the La Loma Parada ng mga Lechon Festival 


    The La Loma Lechon Festival (Parada ng mga Lechon) was launched more than 10 years ago as a promotional effort and as a celebration of the main source of livelihood of the district of La Loma in Quezon City, which is selling of lechons. 

    The Parada ng mga Lechon is celebrated every third Sunday of May. Since then, it has become a main attraction in La Loma, drawing quite a good number of tourists and spectators from around Metro Manila and nearby provinces. A most awaited part of the celebration is that, after the parade, the lechons are chopped and distributed to residents, visitors, as well as participants in the festival.

    Our La Loma Lechon Festival experience


    Last May 16, 2011, I accepted an invitation from my good friend Deeday to watch the Lechon Festival or parade of lechons at their place in La Loma. I thought it would be amusing to see all those succulent roasted pigs in colorful costumes and positioned in various made up scenes in vibrant floats and carriages.

    Deeday and I met at UP at around 10 am with hopes of jogging a few round at the Acad Oval. However, we eventually dropped our initial plan to jog around the acad oval because of sheer laziness. As such, we proceeded straight to La Loma instead. We were early, it was just 10:30 AM so we decided to just take a walk around the area and work up a sweat.


    Being playful with my shadow during the La Loma Lechon Festival
    Being playful with my shadow

    We really had no idea when the parade would start. So by 12 noon, we decided to head to Shakey's for some "light" lunch because we were already feeling hungry. After lunch, we went back to Deeday's house to rest a bit from the heat and just wait there for the parade to arrive.


    Blue drum at the La Loma Lechon Festival
    There were loud drumbeats for an even more festive mood

    The Lechon Parade


    The whole of La Loma was in fiesta mood, as can be expected, with many people lining the sidewalks. We were among those people who were eagerly waiting for the Parada ng mga Lechon to finally begin.

    Lechon dressed as a royal couple during the La Loma Lechon Festival
    Dressed as a royal couple

    The parade started a bit late at around past 1 PM. Children as well as adults were all in the sidewalks excitedly trying to get a good view of the lechons on parade.

    Lechon in a horse drawn carriage during the La Loma Lechon Festival
    Lechons on a horse-drawn carriage
    Faint drumbeats from a few blocks away signaled that the parade was nearby. When the parade finally came into view, the spectators were obviously thrilled to see the "stars" of the fiesta. There were drumbeats and there were street dancers. There were also countless lechons on display and decked in colorful clothes and accessories.

    Under the sea-themed float at the La Loma Lechon Festival
    Under the sea

    Lechon dressed as the Little Mermaid during the La Loma Lechon Festival
    Dressed as the Little Mermaid 

    I later realized that only the heads of the pigs were used; I initially thought that whole pigs were dressed up. The body supporting the head, meanwhile, is made up of various materials like wooden skeletons and frames to papier maches - and then dressed up and decorated.

    People in lechon costumes riding a float during the La Loma Lechon Festival
    People wearing lechon masks

    Aside from the dancing band, the parade is really just all about lechons that are dressed and decorated in various ways and mounted in colorful floats. It such a spectacle with pigs dressed a princes and princesses, mermaids, and superheroes, just to name a few. There were street performers but they ask for a fee if you would like to see them dance and do acrobatics.


    Lechon dressed as Captain Barbell during the La Loma Lechon Festival
    Dressed as Captain Barbell

    Before watching the parade, we were actually looking forward to having lechon. However, with all the lechons that we saw that day, we found it quite impossible to even have the slightest craving for crispy, fatty pork skin.

    Lechons in honor of senior citizens at the La Loma Lechon Festival
    Senior citizens' float

    Lechons in drum and lyre costumes at the La Loma Lechon Festival
    Dressed in drum and lyre attire

    The end of the parade of floats signaled the most anticipated portion of the festivities -- free lechon that was to be distributed to the residents of La Loma, resulting in kilometric queues.

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    Epilogue


    When the parade had finished, Deeday and I decided to stroll around the La Loma area and marvel at the old houses as we waited for the evening procession.

    Later that night, we had coffee and chatted for a while. I went home early that evening as we were both tired and there was work the following day.

    LA LOMA, QUEZON CITY

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    51 comments

    1. I can see that you had a wonderful time there. It does sound fun. It was lovely reading about your experience at the Lechon Festival in La Loma.

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    2. Thank you, Fatima. Indeed, it was lovely.

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    3. The photographs makes me think about the immense fun you must have had actually being present in the festival. Hope to read more about your adventures.

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    4. I would love to attend a Lechon Festival. It looks like a lot of fun. I love pork, and the fact that it was free for residents sounds awesome. I love the first picture...yummy! Thanks for sharing.

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    5. Thank you for dropping by! Lechon is good, you should try it when you visit the Philippines. There are different varieties but you should try the ones in Quezon City and Cebu City.

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    6. Thank you so much! It was indeed fun.

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    7. I can't get enough of the decorated pigs. What a great idea! Thanks for sharing (:

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    8. Oh my goodness I miss lechon. We get lechon here but it's not the same! Know that I am green (very green) with envy!

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    9. Oh wow that sounds like a lot of fun!! The photos are also awesome love how its all so colourful!

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    10. What a fun time! Those displays are very pretty. People are so creative.

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    11. Never heard of this but those masks look scary!

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    12. Wow, sounds like a lot of fun! Fiestas are definitely better when you join the celebration and go out in the streets to see the parade. Although, the pig heads dressed in human clothes are quite creepy.

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    13. I don't blame you for not jogging. I wouldn't have done either haha. Sounds like you had a lot of fun. I'd love to go.

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    14. Looks like a fun festival, I love all the bright colours in the procession and I wouldn't blame you for not jogging!

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    15. Hahaha. Yeah, the pigs look scary as well.

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    16. Meron palang parada ng litson sa La Loma? To think I lived near there for decades and I never knew about that! Nag crave tuloy ako ng litson!

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    17. Very fun festival from what I see. There are so many colors and people. Personally didn't like the "decorated pigs".

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    18. Ang sarap! Pahinging sawsawan! Haha. Love their creativity on how they dress the lechon. :)

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    19. looks like you had a wonderful time! Never heard of this festival before! looks fun

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    20. What an amazing festival, the photo are simply amazing! Very creative! Pinned your post!

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    21. What a fun festival, Looks like you had a wonderful time. I like all the decorations they are very neat!

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    22. Lechons are really amazing especially when they are dressed. Such a wondrous event this is!

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    23. Surely it was a fun day. I wonder how many lechons were used during the parade. Funny but when I read the part free lechon distributed to residents, i felt a little envious. hehehe.

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    24. Thank you. It was indeed fun.

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    25. Thank you very much! It was indeed fun, a day well-spent.

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    26. Hahaha. It's nice to know that you are familiar with lechon. The best place to get lechon, of course, is here in the Philippines.

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    27. Thank you for dropping by! Yup, those decorated pigs look awesome.

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    28. I have never heard about this festival. It looks so colorful and I bet, you had so much fun! Thanks for sharing this post with us! :)

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    29. I really love eating lechon, especially lechon skin, yummy, you made me crave right now, hahaha, those lechons in dress are awesome,

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    30. The festival looks like so much fun! And I love all of the bright, festive colors. So glad you had a great time! XO

      Anna || A Lily Love Affair

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    31. OOh I like these kind of cultural festival, food, music, dance, costumes, I like the atmosphere so much ! We have lots of those celebrations in Italy ;)

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    32. I never attended this festival but we have relatives who participates in the event. Hopefully we can watch too and we can taste some of that yummy lechon.

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    33. Lechon is my fave Filipino food ever!! Hope i can attend a lechon festival someday .

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    34. Oh, poor piggies! Hehehe! I am not a fan of lechon. I'm sure this is a big event though as a lot of Filipinos loooove lechon! Is La Loma lechon better than Cebu lechon? I only have that for comparison.

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    35. Looks like a nice carnival atmosphere out there. And with some good food i suppose

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    36. I don't know how I feel about a festival that uses pigs bodies as puppets for the entertainment of the audience. It seems weird to me but I guess every place has its habits.

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    37. Wow a lechon fiesta, I would love to attend one. I think it would be such a spectacle to see all those pigs being paraded. The mermaid pig is so cute!

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    38. Whoah..... Lechon, I love them so
      Much! It is so cute to see them in costumes... This is somewhat the same as balayan festival's lechon festival

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    39. Ah, yes. There is also a lechon festival in Batangas.

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    40. Yup, happens every summer in La Loma. It was fun.

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    41. Yup, it was mostly for fun but I agree with you. Not all people would want to see pigs bodies in such a way.

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    42. It was more of a "carnivore" atmosphere. Haha. But yeah, food was good.

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    43. Yup, poor animals. I find Cebu lechon better. Haha. :)

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    44. It happens every summer in La Loma. But I love Cebu lechon more. :)

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    45. It was fun attending the event but, honestly, I did not have the appetite for meat after that. Haha.

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    46. Wow, I hope to attend one of Italy's beautiful celebrations someday.

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    47. Yup, it was a good time indeed. Music, food and lots of colors.

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    48. Yup, I love lechon as well. But I prefer Cebu lechon more.

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    49. Thank you for dropping by. It was indeed fun, a day well-spent.

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    50. Wow! I never attended such festival and it looks like fun! Parading lechons in the streets are quite weird and peculiar for some but it surely does bring entertainment to everyone! Lechon is one of Philippines' delicious foods and I just miss eating such! :)

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    51. Oh my, I have never seen this in my life. All those pig heads and pigs. I know this is a very important tradition. But it's a bit new to me haha! Have to get used to this. Glad you enjoyed!

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