BBQ in the Philippines is almost as common as the sun. You’ll often hear the word lechon when referring to BBQ in the Philippines. If you walk down a street in the Philippines, often you will see many people selling BBQ on the street. And they BBQ everything, from fully roasted pigs to chickens to chick parts such as chicken heads, intestine and feet.
BBQ In The Philippines is Lechon
This word confused me a bit. I would see street vendors with “Lechon” signs on their booths but I didn’t see what I thought lechon should be. When Filipino use the word lechon alone they mean a fully roasted pig. You’ve seen these on TV shows about Hawaii. A pig roasting on an open fire on the beach. It is usually on a pole of some kind at a party on the beach. Lechon is often served at family gatherings. It is almost like a turkey on Thanksgiving in the USA.
According to Wikipedia, lechon is a pork dish and with the strong Spanish influence in the Philippines that is likely where the word comes from. It has evolved into its own Filipino meaning though. The word lechon by itself does mean a fully BBQ’d “pig on a stick.” However, “lechon manok” is BBQ’d chicken. There are many vendors in Bogo City selling lechon manok. I usually don’t get it. I joked with Jessie after we got some the first time. It was very good but I said “Even the chickens are pygmies.” It seemed to humor her. They are usually very small. It is good, just get two.
BBQ In The Philippines is Part of Filipino Culture
BBQ in the Philippine is quite inexpensive. An entire pig roasted for the family cost around P3500 but that price will vary depending on the location and how large the pig is. Jessie tells me the smaller ones are actually better. I’m not lechon crazy like so many are. It isn’t bad but for me it just isn’t that great either. Call me easy to please but I still prefer Pizza Hut or baby back ribs from the Golden Courie. Both of which can be found at SM Mall in Cebu City.
However, I do love to go to the BBQ by the Bay as I call it in here in Bogo City. Jessie and I can go there for about P350 a visit. I’ll have pork chops and I use to get a beer along with that. I usually skip the beer now just to keep my sugar intake as low as possible. The beer is often not that cold too and I really prefer beer to be very cold. For me, beer taste bitter unless it is properly chilled, a little frost covering the bottle is perfect.
Jessie and I went to the BBQ by the Bay a few days ago. BBQ in the Philippines is usually cooked and served with a stick running through it. This stick comes in handy while eating the BBQ and it has other uses too. Jessie and other Filipino will usually have a small bowl of spices and peppers served along with their BBQ. They take the stick with the meat still attached and mash their spices up before dipping their food in it. That is what Jessie is doing when I took this picture.
When there is a breeze, going to the BBQ by the Bay in Bogo City is very nice. It is near one of Bogo’s three wharfs. I enjoy sitting on the wharf at night and often think of that old 60’s song “Sitting on The Dock of The Bay” while I’m there. Not long ago, I was there around 10pm. The moon came up late that night and cast a beautiful orange streak across the bay. There was a nice breeze, only Jessie and I were there. It is a serene and romantic setting. I also like to relax there at the end of the day.
There will be vendors there, some selling BBQ, others selling ice cream and still others selling whatever they can think of to sell. The first picture I ever posted on this website is from the Bay of Bogo.
If you run across a vendor selling BBQ in the Philippines, don’t be afraid to give it a try. Chances are you’ll enjoy it. Much of the culture of the Philippines revolves around BBQ in the Philippines.
Filed under: Living In The Philippines
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