About Elarz Pambansang Lechon
The story behind PAMBANSANG LECHON”s (ELARZ) grand plan to build a national lechon brand and eradicate poverty.
Our company’s history started in 1941, Jose Lontoc of Taal, Batangas, married Leonor Rodriguez of Montalban, Rizal (daughter of Eulogio “Amang” Rodriguez who served as Senate President of the Philippines in 1952-1953 and in 1953-1963). The couple was given a piece of land in Leonor’s hometown and it was then that they thought to engage in hog-raising to produce pork meat for public markets.
Jose and Leonor Lontoc (c. 1960)
They coined the name for their enterprise by getting the initials of their surnames, “L” and “R,” and turning it into a word, thus ELAR was born. It was only natural for them to try to roast some pigs for the family, as it was, and still is, a Filipino tradition to have lechon at special family celebrations. It turned out so well that later, relatives and friends clamored for more. By word of mouth, the popularity of the lechon by ELAR spread and the demand from customers had to be met.
Through the years, Jose and Leonor perfected the roasting of the lechon aided by their passion for cooking. They discovered that the best lechon was produced by a combination of having the appropriate breed of pig, the proper feeding and caring for the pig, the method of slaughtering and dressing, and most importantly, the roasting. Jose, an engineer by profession, developed a mechanized system of roasting which turns the pig over the charcoal at a specified speed (depending on the size of the pig) to assure even cooking and avoid over- and under cooking. So in 1972, they formalized Elar Lechon which promised the best-tasting lechon to its growing customer base.
Jose and Leonor wanted to have a male child but instead had 5 female children. Among her children Melinda was the one who got married first and had two male children, Manjo and Manric. Jose and Leonor’s yearning for a male child was answered while the other four daughters got married and lived and worked separately from their parents.
As Elar’s Lechon grew, Manjo and Manric, who practically lived with Jose and Leonor most of their lives, learned the ins and outs of the piggery and the lechon business. Both grandchildren loved animals and went with their grandparents every weekend on their piggery farm. Over the years that the Elar brand was getting popular and with the supply of the piggery not sufficient enough, they started buying pigs from other provinces to meet the increasing demand. The Elar brand got bigger and bigger and they were buying pigs from several provinces. Manric realized that the pigs that come from the provinces (Native) quality for lechon was better than the commercial pigs that they produced. Furthermore, the quality of Native pigs were not the same because there was no standardization. And perhaps the most glaring of all was that a lot of middle men were taking advantage of the farmers.
To know more please check out www.elarzlechon.com History page.
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