CEBU lechon is a hands-down favorite for many, even non-Cebuanos. So how about an event celebrating this irresistibly delicious dish?
A project of Megaworld and the Lapu-Lapu City Government, the Lechon Festival is on its second run, happening from Aug. 1 to 12 at The Mactan Newtown township in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu.
Organizers of the event are also taking advantage of the expected influx of visitors in Cebu this weekend for the Regent Aguila Ironman 70.3 Asia Pacific Championships.
“We are targeting locals and tourists. It’s an opportune time to show the world how special the Cebu lechon is. There are a lot of culinary stories that
lechoneros can share. There’s so much culture behind it,” said Tefel Valentino, vice president and head of marketing and business development of Megaworld Lifestyle Malls in a press conference last Tuesday.
At the Lechon Festival, foodies can indulge in different versions of lechon right off the grill at the Mactan Newtown.
According to Lapu-Lapu City Tourism Officer Hembler Mendoza, since the festival started last year, a lot tourists have eagerly anticipated the event, especially Ironman triathletes and their family members.
At least 2,700 athletes from 52 countries are expected to join the Ironman race in Cebu.
And just like last year, the Ironman coincides with the celebration of the Lechon Festival.
“Both local and foreign athletes look forward to this event. Even expats who are residents here really enjoy the activities,” Mendoza said.
Organizers will bring in eight small-time lechoneros from different parts of the province to showcase their own versions of lechon at the 500-seater Mactan Alfresco located inside the Mactan Newtown.
Participating are: Co-Z-Na from Alegria town which prides in organically raised pigs; House of Lechon from Carcar City; Mommy Chit’s from Mandaue City; Yobob from Cebu City; Pelyn’s Lechon Haus and Augusto Lechon from Lapu-Lapu City; Lechon King; and Ayer’s Lechon.
To accommodate all participants, there will be a schedule where only one or two brands will be showcased for the day.
This also makes sure they cater to a good number of customers.
Among the events is Lechon 1521, to denote the arrival of Magellan in Mactan Island.
In this activity, visitors can enjoy a price drop from the usual price of about P700 per kilo to P400 per kilo.
This will be available on Aug. 1 to 12, from 3:21 to 4:21 p.m.
The lechoneros will offer lechon pairings—a side dish, a diffent dish, or a certain beverage— to go with a serving of lechon.
Moreover, festival goers can witness the entire lechon process at Mactan Alfresco—pit to plate—from seasoning to roasting at the coal pit, to portioning and serving on their own plates.
A Lechon Parade was held on Aug. 3 where Cebu lechon makers exhibited their creations. The parade had lechon-themed floats, performers and marching bands.
There will be cultural performances on Aug. 4 and 5 and Aug. 11 and 12. Classic Pinoy games will also be held on Aug 3 to 5 starting at 5 p.m.
The Mactan Newtown is a 30-hectare township development that has its own beachfront.
Located along the M.L. Quezon National Highway, it is home to award-winning residential condominium and office towers, shops, schools, hotels, mall and commercial hubs, as well as leisure and recreational facilities.