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.
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.
A mother sow and her piglets. Dont’ worry, we didn’t harm a hair on any of their heads.
In the village that morning, there was a dense fog.
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.
The orange liquid in the bottles up front is gasoline.
This is where I slept in Sonny’s home. The mosquito net is a requirement in this part of the world.
Some men in the village (Sonny’s relatives) had gathered some wood, dug a pit and started a fire.
They are boiling some water to be used to clean the pig before roasting it (after it’s been killed of course!).
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.
One thing that surprised me is that while the pig screamed, it did not try to bite anyone.
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.
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.
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!
Bleeding the pig is fast. The whole thing was over in about a minute.
Once the pig expired, the men began the cleaning process, which started with a hot water bath.
Next, the men shaved the pig.
I had never seen this done before. The men removed the pig’s toenails, which are like a cap that fits over the foot.
The men did a very thorough job of cleaning the pig. Notice one man cleaning the pig’s ears.
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.
Also present was fish.
Finally, the outside of the pig was pristine. Now, for cleaning the inside:
Some men had cut down (what I think are) banana leaves and placed them on the platform.
Now it was time to open up the pig and clean it out.
The barbecue master cut around the genitals, and then made a small slit in the stomach.
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.
Here, he’s pulling the intestines out through the slit in the belly.
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.
Now, he’s reaching up inside to pull out the heart, lungs and other upper internal organs.
And they come out all together, quite easily.
All the organs go into a pan for cleaning. Nothing is wasted.
Now and incision is made in the front of the pig, to facilitate the next operation.
In the meantime, a crew has started working on the organs and entrails and is cleaning them.
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.
Now we see the men fitting the pole through the pig’s body.
Eventually the pole exits the pig’s mouth.
Once the pole is through the pig, it gets another washing.
Now back to the clean leaves on the platform.
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.
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.
More guests arrive. It was hot that day!
More wire treatment on the front of the pig.
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!
After stuffing, the pig was wired closed.
Now it’s time to get roasting!
The men haul the pig over to the pit and set it down on the “Y” shaped stakes that were prepared earlier.
The height of the stakes had to be adjusted to get them just right.
Sonny himself checks out the arrangement with a few turns of the spit.
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.
Very tiring, the spit must be continually turned over and over, thousands of times in order to evenly roast the pig.
Now the fun begins. One man brushes on a sauce while another man turns the spit.
This operation went on for hours….
Other things were being cooked at the same time.
Several people took turns turning the spit.
Sonny whips something up here.
Most of the men were interested in the pig roasting operation.
Here we see the pig nearing the time to take it off the fire.
During the cooking operation, the height of the spit had to be adjusted as the fire burned down.
By now, smells of different things cooking filled the air.
I like the cooking stands made of rebar. Very practical.
Once it was determined that the time had arrived to take the pig off the fire, these men set up a table.
More clean leaves….
Then the entire spit was placed on the leaves for carving.
Here is the finished product!
And this is what we had to drink for the afternoon!
Sonny undoes the wire stitches holding the belly closed.
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.
Now the carving begins! The barbecue master used 2 knives, often hitting one on the other to cut through sections.
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.
The Filipinos use a type of sauce for this style of BBQ, and here you can see plates of meat with the sauce applied.
More sauce going on….
And what self-respecting Filipino would eat spit roasted pig without some hot sauce?
As you can see, we had quite a nice crowd gathered for the party.
Filipino people eat a lot of rice, so naturally rice was a part of this BBQ party.
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.
Everyone formed a circle and it was nice being able to face everyone while we ate. (Photo by Salvador Rivera)
This area is known for corn, and I was served this wonderful puffed corn. I loved it!
Even descended and we put more wood on the fire.
I enjoyed a relaxing evening talking with the men. Of course, we were drinking. It was a perfect night.
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!