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Indigay sa Lechon 2023: Battle of flavors, creativity

ILIGAN CITY (PIA)--The city's public plaza was transformed into a haven of irresistible delight as the mouthwatering aroma of lechon or roasted pigs filled the air.

This year, a significant revamp has taken place in the format of the highly anticipated competition. Instead of featuring lechon restaurants, this time, barangays took the spotlight. Councilor Lawyer Marlene Young started this competition in 2010.

Young noted that the competition had been held for 13 years, highlighting the prominence of Iligan Lechon as one of the most delicious lechon varieties in the entire Philippines.

Fifteen barangays engaged in a fierce showdown, each vying passionately for the coveted titles of "Best Tasty Lechon" and "Best Booth Design" at the extravagant 13th annual Indigay sa Lechon festival.

"The reason is para makita ug which barangay ang maayo muluto ug lechon kay siguro daghan pang undiscovered talents sa mga barangay [the reason is to really see which barangay excels in cooking lechon because there might still be undiscovered talents in the barangays]," said Mayor Frederick Siao.

One of the tasty lechons showcased during the Indigay sa Lechon 2023. (ADD/PIA-10/Lanao del Norte)

Triumphing with flavor

Barangay Buruun emerged victorious, snatching the awards. The officials of Barangay Buruun, dressed in Filipiniana attire, showcased their booth with its innovative design. Barangays Ubaldo Laya and Dalipuga followed closely, taking second and third place, respectively.

Barangay Buruun won the competition for the Best Tasty Lechon, taking home a P20,000 cash prize. Dalipuga and Tomas Cabili came in second and third, receiving P15,000 and P10,000 cash prizes, respectively.

Angelita Calleno from Barangay Buruun expressed her joy at their win and the opportunity to participate in the festival.

"Nalipay kaayo mi, way sukod gyud sa kalipay nga kami ang nagharos ang Barangay Buruun. Nag-work jud ang among paningkamot nga maka-particpate mi sa activity sa kapistahan ni Sr. San Miguel [We are overjoyed. Our happiness cannot be measured now that we have received the awards. Our efforts have paid off in participating in such activities in line with the feast of Sr. San Miguel]," she said.

She attributed their victory to the crispy perfection of their lechon, its exquisite seasoning, and its attractive presentation—a winning combination that set them apart from the competition.

Arnelio Toling and Jazzel Toling of Barangay Dalipuga showcase their tasty lechon during the Indigay sa Lechon 2023. (LELA/PIA-10/Lanao del Norte)

Love as secret recipe 

Arnelio Toling and Jazzel Toling of Barangay Dalipuga revealed the secret to their exceptional lechon, emphasizing their shared love for seasoning and their deep understanding of each other's culinary techniques. 

"Ang sikreto sa amoang lechon, ang among isip paghinugmaay sa pagtimpla ug magsinabtanany ming duha. Bahala naa mi mga problema ang timpla jud di mausab [The secret to our lechon is our mutual love for seasoning and our understanding of each other. Despite any challenges we face, the recipe remains unchanged]," said Jazzel.

Arnelio and Jazzel shared that they have been partners in both life and business for 16 years since 2006, a testament to their enduring commitment and harmonious collaboration.

After the fierce competition had concluded, the true essence of community and celebration shone through. Over 600 residents and tourists indulged in free lechon meals that were a testament to the exceptional skills and passion of the barangays.

In the midst of the savory lechon aroma, the Indigay sa Lechon festival truly united people, bridging communities and cultures. It was a heartfelt feast that symbolized hope, connection, and the resilient spirit of the Iliganons. (LELA/PIA-10/Lanao del Norte)

Some residents and tourists flock at Barangay Ubaldo Laya's booth to get free lechon meals. (ADD/PIA-10/Lanao del Norte)

About the Author

Lou Ellen Antonio


Region 10

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