Hot, spicy lechon

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Saturday, January 11, 2014


THE English essayist Charles Lamb, in “A Dissertation Upon Roast Pig,” sang praises on, what else, the “undefinable sweetness,” the “tender blossoming of fat,” the “pure food,” the “animal manna” and the “ambrosian” well-roasted pig.

He didn’t say it but he must have found the roasted pig tastier than lamb chops.

Why, even the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) found it so irresistible.

***

No, it’s not really the lechon, the star of every feast, BIR officials said. It’s the taxes paid by owners of lechon businesses and why it’s lower than expected.

They’re training their gun sights on the lechon business, not on the helpless lechon paraded during the “lechon festival in Talisay City.

Perhaps the lechon business became “very hot” when they started selling hot and spicy lechon.

***

One of the indelible images coming out in the aftermath of super typhoon Yolanda was that of survivors roasting pigs over red hot coals amid the debris heaped by the fiercest typhoon in recorded history.

It seems the lechon symbolizes the Filipinos’ resiliency and the ability to celebrate whatever is left of our lives.

Only the BIR wants to roast the lechon business owners.

***

We almost cancelled our annual reunion of the Visayan Staffers Alumni Association set at noon on Friday, Jan. 17 at the Ecotech Center in Sudlon, Lahug, Cebu City. A gentle soul suggested we should instead give the money to calamity victims.

We have to remind him that it won’t amount to so much because we won’t be supping with Lucullus and the food, which includes “utan Bisaya” and the usual lechon, is anything but Epicurean.

What’s pressing is that we met only once a year and our number is dwindling by natural attrition unaided by the lechon.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 11, 2014.

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