Lechon at the night market of Iligan
Lechon for breakfast, for lunch, and for dinner. Yes that’s how it is in Iligan (also in Tacloban). It’s an every day food and not just a special dish for celebrations. One thing I’ve noticed about the delicious Iligan’s lechon is that it is stuffed with lots of red onions.
There are plenty of lechon stalls and lechon carinderia scattered in Iligan where one can buy by the kilo or fraction thereof. It is smoking hot and available early in the morning. One can even eat lechon for breakfast at the carinderia. During Friday and Saturday evenings, there’s a food night market at the plaza where the most dominant fare is the lechon, what else. This is where the residents go for Friday and Saturday dinner out. This is where folks from all levels bond happily over a lechon meal.
If I have to rank the sarapness of the lechon by place in the country, then Iligan is the champion, followed by Tacloban, and then Cebu City as second runner-up. I’ve lived in Cebu City for 5 years and lechon (inasal in Cebuano) was not nearly an every day food as compared to Iligan. In Bacolod, my hometown, I would buy lechon in Barangay Lechonan, at one of the several lechon stalls by the roadside.
Iligan’s lechon is without frills, readily available every day for the ordinary folks, and yet the best tasting, period.
Understandably the “best pig ever” of Anthony Bourdain is relative to his number of lechon exposure in the country (hence the ‘ever’). Sir Anthony, I hope one day you can experience lechon paired with puso and eaten onsite in one of the several small tables at the weekend night market of Iligan City. Perhaps you might find your “best pig, period”. No reservation necessary.
One of the several lechon places in Iligan
Photo taken around breakfast time and lechon is already available and smoking hot