Lechon has always been the centerpiece of the Filipino Christmas and New Year celebrations. But for a family hailing from Pasig, it's best to usher in 2023 with a spit-roasted "dinosaur."
"Flex ko lang yung pinsan ko si Apple Flores na nakakaluwag-luwag na at dinosaur ang handa nung bagong taon," netizen John Elbert Flores Hizon recently posted in public Facebook group Homepaslupa Buddies 3.0.
The photo shows Apple posing beside the freshly served "dinosaur," which is actually the good ol' baka and not the menacing reptile from Jurassic Park.
The post has tickled the funny bone of netizens, garnering over 209,000 reactions, 11,000 comments, and 74,000 shares. Several pages and media outlets also reposted the photo.
John, who lives in Trece Martires in Cavite, told PhilSTAR L!fe that Apple spent the holidays in La Union, where her family is also running a business.
Spit-roasting a cow has been a yearly tradition for Apple's family, and they always prepare a native one that's deemed to have more umami. Apple also told a separate publication that the process takes more or less than eight hours, and though their lechon baka was slightly overcooked, the succulent meat didn't last the next day.
But the lechon baka's "nakakatakot" looks really caught John's eye, he said, that he felt posting it in hopes of sharing good vibes.
"Biniro ko siya na pasisikatin ko siya," he told Apple.
And holy cow, that joke turned "legit," so much so that John's phone lagged and malfunctioned due to the sheer number of notifications he was getting, as well as message requests from strangers.
John noted how elated he's been when his simple post made tens of thousands crack a smile or burst into laughter. His outlook on life, he said, is to always find the good in everything, no matter how dire the situation may be.
"Libre lang 'yan, kaya i-share na natin," he said. "We’ll never know na 'yon din 'yong binabalik sa 'yo ni Lord."
What reinforced John's positive mental attitude is him and his fiancé being part of the business process outsourcing or BPO industry for nearly 10 years. In late 2019, they finally decided to go full-time as self-employed individuals, him an event planner and his partner a makeup artist.
But only a few months after making the big decision, COVID-19 halted much of their plans for the year.
"Wala kami halos events," John said.
Keeping his head above water, John and his partner thought of an alternative source of income: a pizza business that sells number- and letter-shaped crusts.
Like his viral post recently, little did John know that it will become a hit in their hometown as they're just budding entrepreneurs. They're also running an ukay-ukay store.
"Ngayon, sa estado ng taas ng bilihin, kinakaya naman," John said, "basta tuloy-tuloy lang."
In preparation for Chinese New Year on Jan. 22, the Year of the Water Rabbit, John said Apple is set to spit-roast another livestock to ring in good fortune—and perhaps yet another famous moment online.
"Sabi ko, 'Sana buwaya naman,'" he joked.