Lechon on display during the 11th Yaman Gensan – 4th Lechon Festival back in 2013

This 2018 is the 16th year of holding the “Yabong Maliliit na Negosyo” (YAMAN) Gensan, a month-long celebration, showcase and promotion of the various micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) of the city. It will also be the ninth time that Generals will get a golden opportunity to sample the finest specimens of lechon baboy in GenSan, with the 9th Lechon Festival this coming Saturday, July 28. As before, the event is being organized by the South Cotabato Swine Producers Association (Socospa), of which all the lechon houses of note, not just in Gensan but the province are members of.

All systems are go for the great public lechon feast on the weekend, as Socospa President Chester Warren Tan tells Minda News. According to him, no less than 35 lechon baboy from Socospa members in the area will participate in the morning Lechon Festival parade, with the specimens dressed up and decorated on their little floats, much like similar lechon festivals in other places of the Philippines, but with a Gensan characteristic all their own. The parade terminates at Gensan Oval Plaza, where just before noon the paraded lechon will then be shared in a boodle fight near the grandstand.

Hold your horses, though. The lucky generals who get a crack at the lechon are, according to Tan, pre-invited to the occasion, with Socospa coordinating with the Gensan LGU to select 50 residents from all 26 barangays in the city to come and feast. They will be joined by city officials and representatives of Socospa’s national counterpart, the National Federation of Hog Farmers Inc. (NFHFI). For a more epic scale to the “Lechon Fun Boodle Fight”, Socospa is planning to stretch the boodle line of tables along the streets for up to one kilometer long.

The reason for extending the boodle fight line was revealed by Tan during a press conference on the Lechon Festival at Gensan City Hall. This year’s boodle fight is a “dry run” for the one to be held next year in 2019, the 10th anniversary Lechon Festival. Socospa and the LGU is planning to make either a 2- to 3-kilometer boodle fight line at the time, thus gunning to get a Guinness World Record for Gensan. Tan plans to file the Guinness application at least 6 months before the 10th Lechon Festival starts during the 17th Yaman Gensan period in 2019. Other events for the festival this year include a Socospa-sponsored Fun Run and the 9th annual Livestock Swine Sector and Suppliers Night at KCC.

Yaman Gensan has for over a decade and a half shown a spotlight on the city’s many local businesses to spur their growth and development, with the Gensan Lechon Festival doing the same specifically for the hog-raising industry here. The Department of Agriculture Regional Office XII reveals that Gensan and South Cotabato together generate 120,000 heads of excess hogs every year, worth over P1 billion.

Image courtesy of Vigattin Tourism (blog)

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