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SARANGANI, Philippines – The mountain village of Datal Batong in Sarangani province stirred to life with the vibrant Pinadapla Festival on Friday, August 25. The occasion was nothing short of a jubilant grand roasting, a distinctive tradition through which residents celebrated their 39th year as a village in Malungon town.
It was a celebration where everything was roasted evenly over glowing embers in style – cut in the middle with hinds or legs spread. That’s where the annual festival got its name, Pinadapla (sprawled).
Datal Batong, a barangay of about 3,000 families, is perched at almost 2,900 feet above sea level, along the boundaries of Sarangani and South Cotabato provinces.
People who travel to the mountain village usually do so using four-wheel drive vehicles, off-road motorcycles, or just enjoy a good and long horseback ride.
On Friday, the village’s center was engulfed by the delectable aroma of meat being roasted in charcoal pits. Residents and their guests gathered to enjoy the local culinary creations, which also doubled as entries in the village’s roasting competition.
The food was free for all, said Serafin Ramos of the Sarangani Provincial Information Office.
The Pinadapla showcases a unique style of roasting pigs, goats, chickens, or even cows – a different take on the usual local lechon.
The roasted banquets were prepared by every sitio (community) in Datal Batong, including tribal groups.
Roasted the Pinadapla way, each animal is cut open from the chest to the belly, spread outward, and then tied onto a rectangular frame of iron or wood.
Unlike the traditional way of cooking lechon on a bamboo pole, the Pinadapla way of cooking has all sides roasted evenly, making it tastier, crispier, and less greasy.
Basted with an assortment of locally available spices, it is then slowly cooked over embers.
Ramos said, “The charcoal gives the meat its noticeable taste while enhancing the crispiness of the skin.”
But what gives the Pinadapla its celebratory essence is the gathering of people interacting in a joyful mood over the mouth-watering spread of fowls, pigs, goats, and cows that were roasted whole.
“There are roasted chickens, pigs, goats, and cows – how can we consume all of that?” asked Malungon Mayor Tessa Constantino in jest as she thanked those who participated in the celebration. – Rappler.com