If you’re planning to have some out of town trips or looking for a festival to watch, then you have to consider visiting Batangas. The province which is two and a half hour travel from Manila has many beaches and other tourists’ destinations such as diving at Anilao. But a major addition to them is the yearly celebration of Parada ng Lechon, a parade that features roasted pigs that are dressed up according to theme. It is celebrated every June 24, as a commemoration to baptism of Jesus Christ done by St. John the Baptist. Residents of Balayan and neighboring municipalities are rich in farm and poultry products that give them the luxury to take down a pig and make it a lechon to join the parade. Others say that La Loma and Cebu are the only two places where a lechon can be, which is wrong because lechon has been the favorite delicacy of Batangueños. This attachment to lechons by the people of Batangas makes this delicacy a superstar in festival.
This festival features a contest for the best dressed up roasted pig of around 50 – 100 participants that makes the parade more exciting. A mass is always held on the said date at the famous and beautiful church of Immaculate Concepcion. Before the parade starts, the participating roasted pigs or lechons are blessed as honor to St. John the Baptist. All the entries are included on the parade around the town of Balayan. Along the way you should expect to get drenched in water and beer, as people who are enjoying the fiesta will splatter those along the parade. To avoid spoilage, participating lechons are covered with plastic. After the parade is done, the best time of the day will start for those who are craving for these roasted pigs. Everyone is invited to the day-long feasting and drinking. You also have the chance to taste the parade’s superstars, the lechon. This time the feast would be for everyone around and all the visitors are welcome to have this opportunity. This festival is considered to be one of the most astounding festivals in the Philippines.
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