WHEN it comes to true-blue Cebuanos, they’d rather pick a hot bowl of pork sinigang over a perfectly cooked belly of lechon. True story. Ask those who have been around town for quite some time now and have tried a few plates of lechon over the years.
If you disagree, you’re simply not a Cebuano. Here are five reasons why Cebuanos hate lechon.
Cebuanos are beach lovers. And when it comes to dining at beaches, Cebuanos usually prefer to skip the utensils and use their hands instead. That’s why puso (hanging rice) is such a hit—it’s a low-maintenance alternative instead of preparing cups of steamed rice. When it comes to the viand, however, Cebu lechon is usually very crispy—that’s the problem. Sometimes, it’s too crispy that when the skin breaks, a piece turns into some uneven yet edible shuriken that can cut hands and all. A lechon’s crispy skin is dangerous, most especially for children. Cebuanos prefer fried sisig with sweet tomato sauce—the safer alternative.
When there is a chance to eat lechon in restaurants around town, the establishments usually pride themselves in serving lechon that “needs no sauce.” Seriously? The last time we checked with Filipino food, one does not simply separate the sauce/gravy from the meat. How are people going to eat plates of rice if lechon in Cebu is not served with sauce? Has one ever considered serving dried monggos? Or serving a deconstructed soup number five? Exactly! Cebuanos like their paksiw, but not lechon.
Cebuanos like their meats tough. Why do you think barbecue is a big hit here? The extra fat that comes with serving a whole roasted pig is a turn off for the entire Cebuano population. But because lechon is a popular business here in the Queen City of the South, locals prefer to fry their lechon in a little oil so to rid the juicy pieces of pork of their extra fat content. Cebuanos like to live dangerously without actually stepping over the line. So, to maintain the perfect beach-ready bodies, Cebuanos fry the lechon’s fat away; some use extra virgin olive oil.
Some establishments would say Cebuanos “aren’t stingy. They just have good sense of getting value for their money’s worth.” All of that is good PR, nothing more. Cebuanos would rather walk kilometers to the beach than take one comfortable Uber ride to save money. Why do you think Cebu is a popular spot to host marathons and triathlons? People here like to quit spending and start saving. A whole lechon can cost around P4,000. Why buy a whole lechon for 30 people, when one can buy *four whole roasted chickens for P750 instead? (*One chicken, eight cuts, one piece per person).
Welcome to Cebu, a place that used to pride itself in “30 minute rides” to get from Point A to Point B. Now, all of that is false, thanks to the collective disregard in setting up an efficient mass public transport and a sound infrastructure plan to complement it. If Cebuanos hate to be stuck in traffic for two hours when it should have just taken them 30 minutes, how much more if they wait for a whole pig to cook? The solutions here for the local traffic and dining woes are: a) install more flyovers, and b) construct a drive-thru at every restaurant, fast food and carenderia in town.
If there’s any day to feel strongly against a story, it’s today, April 1. Go figure!
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