By Dolly Yasa
BACOLOD City – Fifteen barangays in Moises Padilla, Negros Occidental town will showcase their respective versions of the roasted pig, commonly known as lechon, to highlight the town being free from African Swine Fever (ASF) despite the increasing number of areas in Western Visayas affected by the infection.
Mayor Ella Celestina Garcia-Yulo said while this will no longer be a contest, all barangays were encouraged to cook and make the “best presentation and tasty lechon”.
The Lechon Festival is part of the opening salvo of the Magayon Hinuptanan Festival on March 25 with the festivities running until March 28.
Yulo said the town, being the livestock capital of the province of Negros Occidental, has taken all necessary precautions in cooperation with the provincial government to prevent the entry of ASF via infected swine and other products.
“Now, we can enjoy ASF-free lechon,” she added.
Aside from the Lechon Festival, the opening day also features the Agro-Industrial Trade Fair, the 1st Mayor Ella Invitational Shootfest and the Magayun Hinuptanan Queen 2023.
The mayor said that everyone in the town is excited as this will be the first face-to-face staging of the festival after a 3-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The mayor said “Hinuptanan” means domesticated animals because the town is the livestock capital of the province.
Another festival highlight will be the street dancing competition by all barangays that are divided into two categories. Category A for the seven barangays in the población or town proper and Category B for the eight barangays outside the población.
The participants will be dressed in costumes representing various domesticated animals.
Another fiesta innovation, the Pamilya Extravaganza, is an adaptation of Family Feud and Quiz Bee combined where groups of parent-participants from each elementary cluster and high school will battle it out to be the ultimate Pamilya Extravaganza Winner. The parents will be given ‘Call a Child’, ‘Call a Friend’ and ‘Call a Teacher’ lifelines.
The fiesta celebration will be capped with a street party featuring one of the country’s popular bands, Rivermaya.