I take our eleven year old son to Faith Academy for 5th grade PE classes twice a week (primarily so that he can play on sports teams as a part-time student). We ride a taxi home.
Today, I knew that I would need to pay some workmen who were installing a window air conditioner that we had purchased back in January, and I found myself with only a P1000 bill in my wallet (about $25). The workmen needed P350, and were unlikely to have change. So I decided to get some food on the way home, in order to break the P1000. First, Ezekiel and I bought six mangos (P60/kilo) from a fruit vendor on the corner of my usual place for catching taxis. This wasn’t actually a great price: they are P40 at the market. But it was nice to bring some mangos home for hungry kids’ lunch. Indeed, they gobbled them up, and then asked for more just an hour after lunch.
With Ezekiel holding the bag of mangos, our taxi driver drove us home along Circumferential Rd. on a whim, I decided to take the plunge and asked the driver to stop at a shop selling liempo. The subtitle on the sign read, “Tastier than Lechon.” Liempo is rotisserie-roasted pork belly. It looks like this:
It tastes like the tenderest pork you’ve ever tasted, wrapped in bacon. It isn’t actually wrapped in bacon, but it tastes like it, because the outer layer has been cooked and seasoned just the way bacon would be.
The sign wasn’t kidding. It is tastier than lechon — which is itself plenty tasty. Indeed, liempo is probably the best meat I’ve ever tasted. The only problem is that it’s a little pricey: P185 for a half-kilo piece. But I’ll probably get three meals out of it in this family of vegetarians.
The Philippines is widely held to serve the best pig in the world. I readily believe it. This is a good place to be a Gentile!