MANILA, Philippines – The pioneer who invented the popular sisig dish in the 1970s was hammered to death in her house in Angeles City in Pampanga early Wednesday.
Lucita Cunanan, a.k.a. “Aling Lucing,” the pioneer who brought fame to Angeles City in Pampanga with her spicy pork dish, succumbed to massive head injuries caused by the hammer.
“Bilang barangay captain tinignan ko, wala kaming nakitang forcible entry, maayos naman. Tinanong ko maid ng matanda, wala siyang narinig na sumisigaw (As village captain, I checked the area but saw no sign of forced entry. I asked her maid, and she did not hear any shout or sound of struggle),” Val Lagman, chairman of Claro M. Recto village in Angeles City, said in an interview on dzRH radio.
He said Cunanan lived with her husband “Mang Tino” and a household helper. Her children do not live with them in the house, he said.
Citing initial findings by police, he said Cunanan’s husband went out of the house at 4:30 a.m. to buy food. When he returned a few minutes later, he saw his wife hammered dead.
But he hinted police had “reservations” about Cunanan’s husband’s claims as there was no sign of forcible entry or sound of struggle.
Lagman also said a large necklace the victim would always wear was missing from the house.
“Di kami sigurado. May kaunting suspetsa naman (We are not sure, let’s just say we have our suspicions),” he would only say.
Cunanan’s trademark sisig was started in the mid 1970s when she served a unique blend of chopped pigs’ cheek, liver, onions, vinegar and calamansi.
She was featured on the website of the Department of Tourism, which narrated how her dish gained fame.
The DOT website credited Cunanan for whipping up the “popular classical dish,” usually a concoction of boiled and chopped pig ears and cheeks seasoned with vinegar, calamansi juice, chopped onions and chicken liver and more likely served in sizzling plates.
“It was Aling Lucing’s, owned by ’sisig queen’ Lucita Cunanan, that established the city as the Sisig capital in the country way back in 1974. Today, a variety of preparations include sisig ala pizzailo, pork combination, green mussels or tahong, mixed seafood, ostrich sisig, spicy python, frog sisig, Tokwa’t Baboy, among other dishes,” it said.
It added sisig has become a main fare for drinking sessions or even family dinners, and on occasion has become a centerpiece of local social functions.