Saturday, April 14, 2007 living is the life for me.

This entry may not be suitable reading for everyone. It details of the killing of the pig eaten at my birthday celebration.

I awoke early on the morning of my birthday. It was only 5:20 AM by the time I had finished my morning prayer and meditation.Cathy's papa was already awake as well. He had started fires for boiling water in the dirty kitchen and outside by the side of the house. My brother in law Eugene hadn't arrived yet and Alex was still asleep. Papa was ready to slaughter the pig that would be the main course of my birthday party.

When Eugene arrived, he climbed into the concrete stall that housed the pig. Papa was soon inside and they tossed the pig over the wall onto the ground. Alex was out of bed now and the three of them managed to tie the pig's legs. Papa was instructing the younger men but I don't speak Bisayan so I could only stand by and watch.

On the side of the house, there is a mango tree which, due to a typhoon early in it's life, grows in a misshapen, lopsided position. Papa was able to form a table of sorts on the branches on this nearly fallen tree by tying two bamboo poles between them.

Papa and Eugene carried the tied-up pig by the hind feet and ears to the mango tree. Alex held a stick in the pig's mouth-to keep it from thrashing it's head about, I imagine. Papa gave Eugene instructions on how to cut the throat of the pig. It didn't take long.

When the pig was dead, Alex began pouring scalding water onto the hair while Eugene and Papa scraped off the hair;at first using a knife and piece of flattened metal. After most of the hair was removed, they began using razors to scrape off the final bits.

Papa pulled down some large leaves from a banana tree to cover the table in the dirty kitchen then they placed the pig carcass on the table. Papa was nearly finished removing the offal by the time the cook arrived. He would butcher the pig to suit the menu he had planned for that evening. The cook works in the cafeteria of Silliman University and is considered to be an excellent cook.

At first, it seemed to me that the amount of food seemed less than what it should be, considering the size of the pig. I found out later that most of the finer cuts of meat would not be served at the party.....they would be saved for us to eat the next day.

It was a typical, Filipino party.....Lots of people, Tanduay and karaoke. Fortunately, there was nowhere I had to be the next day.


Dominique said...

Hi, Robert:

Just wanted you to know I'm really enjoying this series of posts.

RTS said...

Hi Dom,
Glad you're enjoying the series.I can't always get to an Internet cafe every day, so I've had to resort to pen and paper and post more than one day's work on a single visit.
I guess you won't make it here from Davao before I go home.