Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

No Gravatar

Photos by MJ Klein

Warning:  In this installment, I documented the preparation and roasting of a pig in the local village.  If such images disturb you, I recommend that you do not view them.

I talked with my friend Sonny, and we decided to throw a barbecue party for his relatives and friends in the village.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

On the land behind Sonny’s home, he has a piggery.  We selected one of his pigs to roast, Filipino style, over an open pit.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

A mother sow and her piglets.  Dont’ worry, we didn’t harm a hair on any of their heads.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

In the village that morning, there was a dense fog.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Before we get into the actual pig roast itself, I wanted to show you a couple of other things first.  This is the inside of Sonny’s store.  There is a small kitchen where food can be prepared.  That way the person running the store doesn’t have to close up to get lunch.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

The orange liquid in the bottles up front is gasoline.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

This is where I slept in Sonny’s home.  The mosquito net is a requirement in this part of the world.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Some men in the village (Sonny’s relatives) had gathered some wood, dug a pit and started a fire.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

They are boiling some water to be used to clean the pig before roasting it (after it’s been killed of course!).

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Here we see the men leading the chosen pig out of the pig pen and over to the area where they will dispatch it, and prepare it for cooking.  If you are squeamish, I recommend that you stop looking at the photographs now.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

One thing that surprised me is that while the pig screamed, it did not try to bite anyone.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

If you look at the pig’s mouth you can see that it is screaming for dear life.  Pigs seem to know that they are food animals and when you take them out of the pig pen they scream wildly.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

The men dig a hole in preparation for bleeding the pig (to catch the blood).  Notice that they have the pig’s feet bound; otherwise it would run away obviously.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

The gentleman who took charge of the barbecue is now going to bleed the pig.  This is your last warning about the content of these photos!

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Bleeding the pig is fast.  The whole thing was over in about a minute.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Once the pig expired, the men began the cleaning process, which started with a hot water bath.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Next, the men shaved the pig.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

I had never seen this done before.  The men removed the pig’s toenails, which are like a cap that fits over the foot.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

The men did a very thorough job of cleaning the pig.  Notice one man cleaning the pig’s ears.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

In the meantime, some of the village women began to arrive and start other cooking projects.  These brightly colored hot dogs were an addition to our barbecue party this afternoon.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Also present was fish.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Finally, the outside of the pig was pristine.  Now, for cleaning the inside:

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Some men had cut down (what I think are) banana leaves and placed them on the platform.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Now it was time to open up the pig and clean it out.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

The barbecue master cut around the genitals, and then made a small slit in the stomach.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

The idea is to loosen where the intestines attach to the body and be able to pull everything out without cutting into the bowel itself.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Here, he’s pulling the intestines out through the slit in the belly.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

The bowels should come out all together.  The inside of an animal is clean and once the blood has been removed (as in this case) gutting it is not such an unpleasant experience.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Now, he’s reaching up inside to pull out the heart, lungs and other upper internal organs.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

And they come out all together, quite easily.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

All the organs go into a pan for cleaning.  Nothing is wasted.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Now and incision is made in the front of the pig, to facilitate the next operation.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

In the meantime, a crew has started working on the organs and entrails and is cleaning them.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Filipino style pig roasts turn a pig on a spit (but without the cross members), over a fire.  The pig is attached to a bamboo pole running through it’s core.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Now we see the men fitting the pole through the pig’s body.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Eventually the pole exits the pig’s mouth.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Once the pole is through the pig, it gets another washing.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Now back to the clean leaves on the platform.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

When you roast a pig on a spit, it moves.  So you have to secure it to the pole.  Here we see the barbecue master nailing the pig to the bamboo pole.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

After nails are put in the front, middle and rear, a nail is hammered into the pole for an anchor point so the feet can be wired in place.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

More guests arrive.  It was hot that day!

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

More wire treatment on the front of the pig.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Once the pig has been secured to the pole, it can be stuffed.  Sonny made a stuffing using a local cactus plant and spices.  This stuffing was fantastic!

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

After stuffing, the pig was wired closed.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Now it’s time to get roasting!

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

The men haul the pig over to the pit and set it down on the “Y” shaped stakes that were prepared earlier.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

The height of the stakes had to be adjusted to get them just right.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Sonny himself checks out the arrangement with a few turns of the spit.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

In this photo you can see the cross member installed at the end of the spit, used for turning the pig.  People took turns handling the spit over the 4 hour period the pig was roasting.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Very tiring, the spit must be continually turned over and over, thousands of times in order to evenly roast the pig.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Now the fun begins.  One man brushes on a sauce while another man turns the spit.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

This operation went on for hours….

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Other things were being cooked at the same time.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Looking good!

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Several people took turns turning the spit.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Sonny whips something up here.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Most of the men were interested in the pig roasting operation.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Here we see the pig nearing the time to take it off the fire.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

During the cooking operation, the height of the spit had to be adjusted as the fire burned down.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

By now, smells of different things cooking filled the air.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

I like the cooking stands made of rebar.  Very practical.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Once it was determined that the time had arrived to take the pig off the fire, these men set up a table.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

More clean leaves….

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Then the entire spit was placed on the leaves for carving.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Here is the finished product!

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

And this is what we had to drink for the afternoon!

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Sonny undoes the wire stitches holding the belly closed.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Somehow, I missed Sonny having placed to large soda bottles in the body cavity with the stuffing!  When he pulled them out I was very surprised!  The bottles were a filler and kept the body cavity open, otherwise the skin would have shrunk during the cooking process.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Now the carving begins!  The barbecue master used 2 knives, often hitting one on the other to cut through sections.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

As you can see, the deeper parts inside the pig were undercooked.  The outer layers were just right.  The inner layers were further cooked before being served.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

The Filipinos use a type of sauce for this style of BBQ, and here you can see plates of meat with the sauce applied.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

More sauce going on….

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

And what self-respecting Filipino would eat spit roasted pig without some hot sauce?

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

As you can see, we had quite a nice crowd gathered for the party.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Filipino people eat a lot of rice, so naturally rice was a part of this BBQ party.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

This is a show of my plate.  Clockwise from the top left, we see boiled cabbage, fried chicken, and a hunk of that roasted pork with sauce on it.  You already know the pork was fantastic, but that chicken was also killer, and the cabbage as well.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Everyone formed a circle and it was nice being able to face everyone while we ate. (Photo by Salvador Rivera)

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

This area is known for corn, and I was served this wonderful puffed corn.  I loved it!

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

Even descended and we put more wood on the fire.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

I enjoyed a relaxing evening talking with the men.  Of course, we were drinking.  It was a perfect night.

Bushman In The Philippines: Santo Nino, Part 2

We hope you have enjoyed our Filipino style barbecue party!  We look forward to your comments.  You may use the icons below, or the Apture bar above for social media sharing.  Thank you for reading!

(Visited 144 times, 1 visits today)

12 comments

  1. Awesome post MJ. really enjoyed reading it. The pics are good too. Would be interesting to watch a video of it. Do you know here in Taiwan people have an annual pig slaughtering ceremony. Apparently it happens in Sanxia. I have never been but saw a video on it. Also very interesting.

    Cheers mate. Thanks for the interesting post.
    Paul´s last post ..Shek O (石澳) Beach – Hong Kong

    1. hi Paul. glad you enjoyed the post, and weren’t put off by the graphic photos ;). i have not heard of that pig slaughtering contest but i certainly would find it interesting. do you know when it happens? i’ll have to ask my wife about that. thanks for the info, Paul. take care.

  2. Great post MJ. That looked like an excellent day and a wonderful bunch of people. It was good you showed the entire process from beginning to end.

    The alcohol, Bacardi Gold! I had never heard of that. And the Ginebra made by San Miguel no idea until I googled it. Apparently a very good gin that is Dutch style???

    But what was in the Johnnie Walker bottle? Obviously some homemade stuff? Can you remember? Or maybe it is a little blurry.

    Thanks for sharing mate.

    Brunty
    Brunty´s last post ..Salil Shetty Amnesty International. You Are an Idiot!

    1. hi Brunty. i shot all those photos exclusively for the blog, hoping my readers wouldn’t be put off by the graphic nature of them. the Barcardi Gold is something i have never seen outside of the Philppines, and IMO it’s the best of all Barcardi rums (i’m not a fan of Barcardi rum – i find it typically devoid of flavor). we also found another gem the last couple days of my trip, a dark rum called “T5” which is dirt cheap and tastes like butterscotch. we have the Ginebra here in Taiwan too. it’s a famous gin from the Philppines. and yes the stuff in the Johnnie Walker bottle was some home-made hooch. thanks Brunty.

  3. Very interesting interesting pictures. Both my parents grew up in farming communities, so I’ve been told so much about the whole process of slaughtering pigs that it took your post to remind me … hang on, I’ve never actually seen it! 🙂

    What surprised me, was that they drained the blood into that whole in the ground – don’t they use the blood for black pudding or something like that?

    1. hi Stefan. i also had never actually seen the pig done in and slaughtered before, so i found it interesting as well. yes in some cultures and places i’ve been (such as Thailand) the blood is caught and used for food. this particular group of people did not eat the blood because of religious reasons. thanks Stefan.

    1. Don’t know about MJ, but after death I wouldn’t care. I don’t want my kidneys removed while I’m alive either, but I’ve filled out my donor card.

Comments are closed.