Edsa marchers armed with ‘chicharon’
STA. MARIA, BULACAN—Bulakeños who joined the Edsa People Power Revolution 31 years ago were not only imbued with outrage and patriotism but were also armed with pork cracklings or chicharon, among other baon (food provisions).
Numerous accounts describe chicharon as baon shared by people who marched against the Marcos dictatorship on Feb. 25, 1986 on Edsa, according to Jaime Corpuz Salvador, a local historian.
In the book, “Kasaysayan ng Kaluto ng Bayan,” the late food historian Mila Enriquez wrote that food brought by Bulacan participants in the civilian-backed military revolt that ousted strongman Ferdinand Marcos included sandwiches, cookies and chicharon.
A board member, Ireneo Ferrer, brought rice, salted eggs, chicharon, pork adobo, salted fish, fried chicken, boiled shrimps and dried fish wrapped in banana leaves, Enriquez said.
In 1986, former Gov. Roberto Pagdanganan was working for a corporation when he led the opposition against Marcos in Bulacan. Together with fellow Marcos critic, former Rep. Rogaciano Mercado, Pagdanganan went to Edsa on Feb. 23, heeding the call made by Manila Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin.
“We were among the very first to go there on Edsa and, yes, we brought chicharon. We brought food that could last for days, like chicharon,” Pagdanganan said.
“When someone got hungry, he or she would pull out a pork rind and eat that with rice. Chicharon kept us going for days,” he recalled.
After the ouster of Marcos, Pagdanganan was appointed acting Bulacan governor by then President Corazon Aquino. He also served as a Cabinet secretary and ran but lost in the 1998 senatorial race.
Mercado, who hails from this town, brought chicharon made in this town, a major producer of pork cracklings.
Lalaine Aguilar, Sta. Maria tourism officer, said the town government had moved its annual Chicharon Festival from the first week of February to Feb. 25 to highlight its connection to the nonviolent revolution.
Sta. Maria’s 10th staging of the festival will honor more than 20 chicharon producers of the town.