Thursday, November 4, 2010

Litson! Litson! Litson!

I used to be a good person before I came to the Philippines. They've turned me into a murderer. In the spirit of Halloween, All Saints day and Dia del Muerte. I decided to take part in a Filipino food dish called litson. It's a pig roasted on a spit. Feeling inspired by my grandfather who was a butcher, my friend Adam who bit the head off of a lizard and spit it at me, another friend Joel who hacked at a chickens throat 6 times to try and kill it, and Jerimiah for breeding pigs, I wanted the experience of slaughtering a pig.
I was able to find a host friend that does this for other people on the side. Lando is a handyman that finds work where ever he can. When it's raining on our house, Lando is the man on the roof trying to stop the leaks, when septic issues arrive, Lando. If there is a big party coming up and the family needs help cooking all the food, Lando's wife (BeeBee).
I gave Lando the p4,000 to buy a pig and other supplies down at the market. A Filipino can get a better deal on a pig than a lanky white dude, so I didn't go. I can't even buy a mango without having to beg for the same price that everyone else pays (I won't get into this). He went down to the market at 3 in the morning, because that's when all the good pigs are still there.
Around 1 in the afternoon, some friends came by and we went over to the slaughter site, Lando's backyard. The little guy was only 3 months old. I guess that's all it takes to taste good.
I think the hardest part of the whole process was holding the pig down and tying up his legs, and then driving the knife into his throat. The phrase screaming like a stuck pig has some validity. It took about 5 minutes for the pig to finally die. We collected the pigs blood in a bowl while a knife was in it's throat for soup, and kept all the other internal organs for other various dishes. I didn't use any of them, but apparently they are worth decent money Maybe next time I will learn what to do with the rest of the pig.
The rest of the cleaning was interesting. We poured boiling water over the pig in order to separate the top layer of skin from the pig and some of it's hair. After that, we spent a bit of time shaving the pig, and cleaning the outside of the pig before we dove inside. Gutting the pig went swimmingly. I'm not going to get into too much detail. Lando did a great job of showing me around, and making sure I didn't get into anything that would cause a stink.
After the pig was cleaned, we shoved a bamboo pole through it's body in a way that could only be done if all it's insides were missing. Then, I got to show off my sutchering skills (Brodie you would be proud). I zipped the little guy up, covered him in coka-cola (to make his skin crispy and sweet) and then put him on the litson, and turned the pig for about 2 hours.
It tasted great, and I had a good time doing it (Shannon, if you're still reading at this point I'm proud of you!). And the whole process took about 5-6 hours. It was a little slow because I didn't know what I was doing, but I'll get faster.

On another note, I'm going to Manila in a couple of days to attend my swearing in ceremony. This is when I will go from being a trainee to a full on volunteer. Who knew it took so much work to just become a volunteer. After the conference, I will move to Pambujan, Samar where I will live for the next two years. I'm enjoying my last few days here with my host family. I have really come to love them. They are such great people. The Nicolaraios have really made me feel at home. It's hard to leave another home and another family again. It was hard enough the first time.
I'll keep you posted on my where abouts as the time goes by. Thanks for all your comments, and for taking the time to read my blog. It's a highlight in my day when I hear from people back home.

Love ya all!


  1. Coca cola, who knew? Sounds like a really interesting experience. I think more meat lovers should try it. Sounds like you found a good teacher, too.

  2. The most horrific sound I've ever heard was the sound of a pig being slaughtered. I like the fact that after slaughtering a pig successfully, you have become a MAN, a FULL fledged "volunteer" Congratulations on your bar mitzvah. Mozeltov! <3 u!

  3. Love hearing about your adventures. The boys love to hear the stories too - keep them coming.
    Trisha (and Ro and Grady)

  4. Don't think I will be eating pork anytime soon!
    Great story and congratulations on becoming a true Peace Corps Volunteer!
    I am proud of you!

  5. The picture series really completes the story. It started cute and ended delicious! Kinda wierd nobody else wanted in... ;)

  6. Oh that poor little guy! Sure does sound tasty. Love the Blog!