A Lechon Lover’s Guide to Enjoying the Inasal Festival of Talisay City

The scrumptious Cebu lechon takes the center stage in the Inasal Festival.

By: Peter Parcon | October 11, 2017
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Renowned chef and TV host Anthony Bourdain made no mistake when he said that the Cebu lechon is the best pig ever. Cebuanos are so proud of their lechon or roasted suckling pig that a festival is held each year celebrating this sinfully delicious meat dish.

Talisay City celebrates two festivals each year, the Halad Festival and the Inasal Festival. The Halad Festival celebrates the feast of St. Theresa de Avila, the patron saint of the city. On the other hand, the Inasal Festival promotes the specialty of the city, inasal or roasted meat.

History of the Inasal Festival

Inasal festival Talisay

The street dance competition is one of the highlights of the Inasal Festival. (Pasigarbo sa Sugbo Festival CEBU - Province)

Before we talk about what to expect during the Inasal Festival, let us take a look at how the festival came to be. Talisay City is one of the places in Cebu where the best lechon or inasal baboy (roast pork) is made. When he served as city mayor, Eddie Gullas established the festival to promote the newly-created city in 2001. The lechon became the main highlight of the annual festival of Talisay, which is celebrated every October 15.

The lechon-making industry in Talisay City has a 60-year history behind it. Talisay lechon is considered as among the best in Cebu. The deliciously crispy skin of the roasted pig is complemented by its succulent meat. The meat becomes tasty after the insides of the pig are stuffed with herbs and spices before it is cooked. When you eat Cebu lechon, you will have to set aside any lechon sauce you may have in the kitchen since it is already delicious on its own.

The first Inasal Festival was held in 2005 where over a hundred roasted pigs were paraded around the city. Some of the pigs were dressed in costumes while being brought around the streets of Talisay. The festival was aimed at enshrining the unique lechon-making industry of the city. At the end of the parade, the roasted pigs were placed on long tables in front of the city hall where they were eaten by the participating contingents.

Street dancing

Inasal festival Talisay

The streets of Talisay City come alive during the Inasal Festival. (Image: Pinoypinaypinas)

Similar to the Sinulog Festival, one of the highlights of the Inasal Festival is the street dancing competition. Students from different elementary and high schools in the city go up against each other in the competition. While the street dancing competition was temporarily stopped due to budgetary constraints, it was reinstated during the second term of Mayor Gullas. City officials intend to look for a better venue for the event in the coming years.

The choreography of the dance shows the different steps in making the famous specialty of Talisay City. The festivities in October will focus on religious activities and the newly-revived Halad Talisaynon Dance Festival. Choreographer Val Sandiego of the celebrated Sandiego Dancers was tapped to create a common dance step for the new festival.

Activities during the Inasal Festival

Inasal festival Talisay

Mouth-watering lechon takes the center stage during the Inasal Festival. (Jherica Travel and Tours)

While Carcar City can rival the taste of lechon from Talisay City, it all boils down to personal preference. Regardless of which one you find better, Cebu lechon is best enjoyed with puso or hanging rice. If you find yourself in Talisay City in the middle of the Inasal Festival, you can expect your stomach to start grumbling once the roasted pigs are paraded around the city. You will get to see the lechon dressed in suits, long gowns, or bathing suits. Some of them are even placed on top of a motorcycle.

You can also drop by the trade fairs and cultural activities held in the city. The city also holds a beauty pageant and nightly variety shows before the big day. There may also be some cooking demonstrations with lechon as the main ingredient. The Inasal Festival will also see floats going around the city featuring roasted pigs decorated with flowers and balloons.

Other Places to Visit in Talisay, Cebu

Inasal festival Talisay

The religious celebrations of the Inasal Festival center around the Sta. Teresa de Avila Parish Church. (Image: Cebu by Junn Ofredo)

Since you are already in Talisay City, you can also visit the following tourist spots in the city.

Crocolandia. Crocolandia is a park that is home to crocodiles, iguanas, mynas, Palawan bearcats, and other endangered animal species. The park has around a hundred species of animals on display. You may even be lucky enough to see them feeding the crocodiles, which is quite a sight to see.

How to get there: Ride a jeepney marked 42D to Barangay Dumlog, Talisay City. From here, you can ride a tricycle to Crocolandia.

Sta. Teresa de Avila Parish Church. Visiting the Sta. Teresa de Avila Parish Church during the Inasal Festival is a no-brainer. Aside from being the parish church of the patron saint of the city, it is also one of the oldest churches in the country. Its distinctive Greco-Roman architecture can pique the interest of culture lovers out there.

How to get there: Take a jeepney headed for Talisay City proper. The church is located close to the old city hall of Talisay City.

Igutan Cave. The Igutan Cave is ideal for adrenaline junkies looking to explore a cave close to metro Cebu. While the cave is only around a hundred meters long, the small passageways make it challenging to reach its main chamber.

How to get there: Take a jeepney marked 41D to Tabunok, Talisay City. From here, you can get on a motorcycle for hire going the Mananga River junction. The cave is located a few minutes away from here.

The Inasal Festival is just one of the many festivals celebrated in Cebu. However, what makes it unique is that it promotes the heart-stopping scrumptious meat dish that made the city famous in the archipelago.
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About Peter Parcon
After leaving spending 16 years of his professional life in the academe, Peter decided to try his luck in the world of online freelancing. For the past eight years, he has been creating content for clients all around the world. He can work on just about any topic - from tattoos to technology and food to finance. He dreams of visiting every island in the archipelago some day.
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Disclaimer: All articles in the Consumers Magazine of Yoorekka are for general information and entertainment purposes only. Although careful research has been made in writing them, Yoorekka does not make any warranty about the completeness and accuracy of all information presented in our articles. Our content is not intended to be used in place of legal, medical, or any professional advice.
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