So, one of our subscribers was kind enough to invite Michell and I up into the province to take part in a little lechon baboy (BBQ pig) family get together. Darryl is from the US and he has been with his better half for some time now. Right now they are in the process of clearing a huge lot of land up behind the town of Valencia (where it’s nice and cool and possessed of an awesome view), so his girlfriend is staying at her aunt’s home in the nearby province while Darryl shuttles back and forth from the US as he is still working.
Michell and I headed out on Sunday. We originally started up towards Valencia on the motorcycle, but seeing heavy dark clouds approaching, headed back and too the truck instead. The trip up to the mountain town/city takes about 15 minutes, and you can actually feel the temperature drop as you gain elevation. It’s not a big gain (being between 660 and 1,640 feet), but you can really feel the difference.
We texted Darryl when we got to the big church in Valencia, and he met up to lead us up into the hills a short time later. It started to pour (Darryl was on his scooter) and we blasted up the back roads that lead up into the mountain. Soon enough, we arrived, and sure enough, it was definitely the province. Darryl’s girlfriend’s family is deep up there and most of the neighborhood is related in some way. Preparations were well underway and there were platters of food (which was all homemade and damn good) all over the place. The karaoke was also well underway, and Darryl and I talked for a bit behind the house where the cook fires were. The pig was already done, and the BBQ were pretty lit as they had been cooking the lechon since the morning. Now, that’s a manly man thing – drinking brews and cooking whole animals on a spit!
There were a LOT of kids running around and at this point, I think it’s pretty safe to say that Filipino kids are the cutest in the world. Our hosts gave us some finger food and we wandered around and shmoozed. My pathetic bisaya was a big hit, and I soon found myself surrounded by Filipinos laughing uproariously at my attempts to string sentences together.
Thankfully, it was soon time to eat and everyone dug in. Now, if you have never seen Filipino’s rip into a party feast, you’re missing out. It’s pretty much a feeding frenzy, especially when lechon is involved. My strategy is just to lurk in the background until everyone has got their first servings and then pick through what is left. It’s….safer that way. 🙂
The aunt’s house wasn’t completed, and Darryl and his girlfriend are watching it for her (she is in Manila now) while their house up the mountain is being finished. Like I said, Darryl is still too young for retirement (and makes very good money at his job), so he travels between the US and the Philippines regularly to see his new family. But once his pension kicks in, I am pretty sure he will be making the move permanent.
A special thanks to Darryl and his massive Filipino family. Salamat kaayo!!
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