Lechon stall owners in Talisay City notice fewer sales during Halad Inasal festival 2020
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Lechon houses in Talisay City are urging the public to drop by and buy their lechon (roasted pig) today, October 15, 2020, for the Halad Inasal Festival and the feast of the city’s patron, Santa Teresa de Avila.
According to 50-year-old Maria Alma Abay of Mila’s Lechon, people would immediately flock the lechonan after the Mass at the Santa Teresa de Avila Archdiocesan Shrine in Barangay Poblacion.
However, because of the restrictions set by the city government due to the threat of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, fewer people are allowed to go out with respect to social distancing. The lechon houses, thus, suffer and experience a significant drop in sales compared to the previous years.
“Sa una ig human sa misa hurot na ni among lechon. Karon gamaya ra kaayog mga tawo,” said Abay.
(Before, after the Mass, people would flock here and buy our lechon. Now, there are only a few customers.)
Police visibility could be a factor as some of the customers said they hesitated to go to their usual favorite lechon house because the police had set up tents all around the areas where people were expected to crowd.
The police constantly monitor the movement of the people to maintain social distancing and reprimand those who are not wearing masks or face shields.
“Maikog mi ba kay basin daghan nag tawo nya mabadlungan mis police,” said a parishioner.
(We hesitate because there may be a lot of people already and we might be reprimanded by the police.)
Some owners of lechon houses also say that the drop in sales is mostly because local tourists from Cebu City and other towns are not able to come to Talisay City to celebrate the fiesta.
Abay said they expect to lose up to P30,000 this year because of the quarantine restrictions.
They also hesitate to deliver through carriers for fear that their lechon would not reach the customer because of border issues, although border restrictions have eased since September 2020.
“Pero pwede ra man gyod sila mohapit diri mopalit bisan kanus-a. (But they can drive through and buy lechon anytime),” said Abay.
Similarly, a lechon house in Larawan Beach, which used to be the area where main activities for the festival is held, saw a significant decrease in sales.
The vendor, who refused to be named, said they would usually cook lechon all-day round during the fiesta as customers would just keep coming.
Today, six lechons are still waiting for customers that may never come.
The lechon houses are hoping that those who crave for lechon would drop by so they could still sell despite the current health situation. Their prayer to Santa Teresa de Avila is that they may be able to gain profit after months of suffering due to the pandemic.
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