"Parada ng Lechon" is a yearly celebration in the historic town of Balayan in the province of Batangas in celebration of the feast day of St. John de Baptist. History says that during the Spanish and American times, well-off families would parade a lechon in the town plaza going to the church every June 24th as their thanksgiving and veneration to their patron saint for all the blessings they have received in the past year. Through the years, the tradition had become one of the most celebrated festivals in Batangas.
Parada ng Lechon is a unique parade of decorated roasted pigs. This year, there were about a hundred lechon that paraded along the street leading to the town church. The roasted pigs were dressed according to the theme of the participating groups. It was truly fun to see lechons dressed as a basketball player, a beauty queen, a motorcycle driver, among many others.
Going to Balayan on June 24, you should expect to get wet, splashed and drenched with water and get "baptized" again. Hahaha! The town turned into a "war zone" with kids and adults alike armed with water guns filled with tap or cold water. Sometimes you'll also get to be poured with beer. That's how festive the celebration is!
Next time I join the Parada ng Lechon, I will make sure to bring my own water gun and join the water war! Hahaha!
The fun does not end with the parade of the roasted pigs. After the parade, everyone is ready to pig-out on the lechon together with all the beer and other drinks. Too bad, I wasn't able to have a taste of the lechon. Hahaha!
SOME TIPS AND REMINDERS
- Arrive early, the roads are closed for the parade, you will need to walk from the hi-way to the town center.
- The parade starts at around 9:00 AM.
- Get ready to be wet, waterproof your things and bring extra clothes.
- It's better if you use a waterproof camera.
- Have fun! Bawal ang pikon! :)
Balayan's "Parada ng Lechon" is truly one ultimate fiesta experience in the Philippines you shouldn't miss!
HOW TO GET TO BALAYAN, BATANGAS
Coming from Manila, take a bus bound for Balayan, terminals can be found in Pasay or Sta. Cruz, Manila. You may also take a bus bound for Nasugbu, tell the driver that you will get off at Palico; from there, ride a jeepney to Balayan. Another option is take a bus to Lemery. From there, take a jeepney going to Balayan. Travel time from Manila to Balayan is about 2.5 hours, fare is around 180-200 pesos.
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