The world-famous “Parada ng Lechon” of Balayan, Batangas, dubbed as the ultimate fiesta experience in the Philippines, will roar to life anew on June 24.
The yearly parade of hundreds of mouth-watering roast pigs originated in the old thanksgiving custom of the working class in honor of Saint John the Baptist in what-used-to-be the poor and depressed area of the Kanluran district (western Poblacion) of the town, famous also for its Bagoong Balayan.
During the Spanish and American regimes, families who were fortunate enough to receive significant blessings during the past year would parade a lechon in the town plaza every June 24.
Even during those early times, the sight of people parading lechons – coupled with the centuries-old practice of water dousing in places where St. John the Baptist is the patron saint – was quite a spectacle to behold.
As the years passed, as more and more poor people received blessings or became successful, more and more lechons were paraded every June 24, and a tourist attraction was born that has since become the pride and crown jewel of the town.
In 1959, the elders of the district organized the Hermandad San Juan Bautista (Brotherhood of St. John the Baptist) to oversee the celebration of what has come to be known as the Parada ng Lechon sa Balayan, Batangas.
The Hermandad revolutionized the way an old thanksgiving custom was observed. A one-day celebration became a two-week event, with various activities (from sports tournaments, street dancing, sing and dance contests, battle of the bands, bicycle race, marathon competition, ballroom dancing, beauty pageant, free concerts, game shows, fireworks show, etc.) as prelude to the Parada ng Lechon.
Hermandad president Meldos Castelo, also the town’s vice mayor, said that Balayenos are supremely confident that this year’s celebrations will break all attendance records as June 24 falls on a Sunday this year.
Vice Mayor Meldos Castelo – 0922-8130498
Ms. Anjilyn de los Reyes – 043-9212278