Tagum City, Davao del Norte –Despite the cloudy weather, expectators patiently waited around the roasting area, hoping to take pictures and to root for their favorite lechon houses. The Pigrolac Pigdiriwang Lechon Competition is part of the UGMAD Festival which is a month-long celebration in honor of farmers and livestock providers organized by the City Government of Tagum.

Now on its 5th year, the competition has grown bigger with 13 participants for the professional level and one representative each barangay for the barangay level. Bonnin’s Lechon bagged the title and the Php 6,000 cash prize and the bragging rights. The lechon house is located at Prk. 2 Apokon which would have its own tarpaulin declaring the establishment as the best lechoner in town. It is followed by Jun’s Delicious Lechon which won Php 4,000 and Emma’s Lechon who went home with Php 3,000 both located at Bonifacio St., Tagum City.

13 professional lechoners putting their finishing touches on their entries in the 5th lechon competition at the Rotary Park of Tagum. Leo Timogan/CIO Tagum

The competition was held at the Rotary Park of Tagum wherein different stalls lined up to sell or display their plants, livestock products, paintings, and many more. The competition was judged by Mr. Eric Balgona, the resident chef of Punong restaurant 1 and 2, Ms. Amparo Lacandula, Ph D, director of Quality Assurance and Development based in USEP, and Ms. Rhea Ann Tio-Gallemit, Meat Inspector of NMIS from Davao city.

Dr. Jesus Edullantes, the City Veterinarian pointed out the importance of the said competition as a way to differentiate Tagum’s lechon from the neighboring cities. The competition also served as an essential tool in acknowledging the talents of the Tagumenyo lechoners.

The proud participants paraded their lechon before the judging proper. Their smiles showed their confidence that their lechons are the best. Leo Timogan/CIO Tagum

The said competition was open for professional lechoners while the barangay based lechoners will have their taste of the competition on September 16, 2017. Mr. Eddie Buemil, the president of the lechon oraganization in Tagum hopes for more success of the competition in the years to come. The increase in the participants this year is a testament that lechon culture in Tagum is definitely alive. Ziyarah Manalo/CIO Tagum

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Hi, I am Richard Diongson, a lifestyle blogger from the Philippines. I love travelling to different places, trying out different food every now and then. I love social events like gathering of bloggers, themed parties, showbiz personalities gathering, and the like. Four (4) Interesting (little-known) facts about me: A. It may not show but I love farm living. In fact I have farm back in the province. B. I am single. lol C. I don't know how to ride a motorcycle yet but I am very excited to learn now that I have decided to buy a new one. D. I am writer and a social media influencer. Pet Peeves: A. I really find bullying annoying and unacceptable. It is just not right. B. I hate people who don't show up during a scheduled meeting/appointment whether in or out of work. C. People who "get cheap on me".