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HomeTravelFor Filipino Americans, Lechon Is at the Heart of Every Party

For Filipino Americans, Lechon Is at the Heart of Every Party

The last lechon I remember eating was one I chose myself in the backyard of my grandparents’ home in Concepcion, Tarlac, when I was 15 years old. I chose the fattest of two pigs in the sty and sprayed it off with the hose. The next morning, I was awakened by the squealing pig being taken to the slaughter. When it returned a few hours later in the bottom of my cousin’s tricycle, it was already flayed and ready to be roasted. 

When that lechon was presented at the fiesta for my Lolo and Lola’s 50th anniversary, the guilt of swine assassination made way to furtive acceptance: We are Filipinos. We roast and eat pig. This Is What We Do.

Sari-Sari Store

Where, then, do Bay Area Filipino Americans go when they need a whole pig for a party? In the Concord area, the answer is clear: Oriental Food Market. 

A few hours before the Pho family’s graduation fiesta, co-owner Sherrie Gaerlan welcomes patrons to the shop while keeping an eye on her…

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