It is not a secret that we Pinoys love our meat. Most, if not all, restaurants in our country offer a variety of pork dishes. Some of the favorite pork dishes of Pinoys are Lechon, Sisig, and Pork Barbeque.
Let’s take a deeper look at why meat is so loved by Filipinos.
A Whole Lot of Meat
The Philippines is the 10th largest consumer, 8th largest producer, and 7th largest importer of pork worldwide. Pinoys consume around 25 kilograms of meat yearly, including 15 kgs of pork.
Next to pork, the average Filipino consumes about 11.6 kg of chicken and 3 kg of beef or veal. To add, unlimited grilled pork restaurants are mushrooming around the country. Understandably, each Pinoy has their own pork recipe to boot. Given this scenario, the swine industry is one of the most lucrative businesses.
Lechon, a spit-roasted whole pig, is a traditional centerpiece during Christmas in the Philippines. In special events like fiestas and weddings, a Filipino family will use a whole pig for different pork dishes. The preparation will start one to two days before the gatheringand serve as a venue for family, relatives, and friends to get together. They will prepare and cook the dishes together and then serve them at the event themselves.
It’s In Our Blood!
Historically, meats are of ritualistic importance. Long before the country was called the Philippines, pork was already a well-favored food source. Pigs are known to be indigenous in our country. The word “baboy” in Tagalog resembles Indonesian and Malaysian names for pork such as “babi” and “bawi” respectively. This proves that pork is a pre-colonial food source in Southeast Asian countries.
However, Spain also played an important role in our deep-rooted love for meat. When Spain conquered the country, they carried a sword, a cross, and a jamon. Fernando Zialcita, an anthropologist, stated that the pork consumption pattern is the same with Austronesians, the Philippines, and Hawaii and our love for pork has been with us from the beginning rather than influenced directly by colonizers. Truly, our love for pork is rooted in our ancestors and passed from generation to generation.
The Filipino’s love for pork will remain because of the meat’s versatility as a preferred dish for nearly every memorable event with friends and family. Because of this, it is essential to find a good source of juicy, tender pork with the ideal meat-to-fat ratio when serving home-cooked dishes to our loved ones. This is a meal that they will surely love.
The History of Meat in the Philippines: Why Our Markets Carry Chicken, Beef, and Pork but not Horse or Crocodile. Pepper.ph. Retrieved June 7, 2022 from https://pepper.ph/local-meat-feature/
Pork Remains the Favorite in the Philippines. January 3, 2020. The Pig Site. Retrieved June 7, 2022 from https://www.thepigsite.com/articles/pork-remains-the-favourite-in-the-philippines
How Much Meat does the Filipino Consume? April 14, 2017. Rappler. Retrieved June 7, 2022 from https://www.rappler.com/business/166870-fast-facts-meat-chicken-pork-filipino-consumption/
This is the Philippines’ Love Story with Pork. December 1, 2018. Smile Magazine. Retrieved June 7, 2022, from https://smile.cebupacificair.com/pork-love-story/