Leticia O. Hizon, the woman behind Pampanga’s Best, passes away at 84

Published October 4, 2021, 3:56 PM

by John Legaspi

Leticia “Lolita” O. Hizon, the founder of iconic food brand Pampanga’s Best, has passed away on Oct. 3, 2021, Sunday. News about her demise was announced through a Facebook post made by the brand the following day.

Leticia Lolita O. Hizon (Photo from Pampanga’s Best website)

“The woman in the logo of the Philippines’ iconic brand has joined our Creator. Her smile, charisma, and love for people [have] made a mark in the food industry. Her original tocino remains the top food choice of every Filipino,” the brand said.

Established in 1967, Pampanga’s Best has been the go-to brand for many Filipinos when it comes to “the original” and “the special” tocino. According to its website, the creation of its food products started when Lolita, fondly called Apung Lolet, helped her meat vendor neighbor cook some unsold pork. From that, she came up with a formula, revising the traditional Capampangan pindang (fermented pork) recipe, resulting in a sweet-salty pork dish we now know and love.

“She called it ‘tocino,’ derived from a Spanish delicacy that is sweet,” the brand said. “Eventually, she refined the formula and the processing procedures that caused the birth of Pampanga’s Best Tocino–The Original version of what has now become a national favorite. So, what started out as just a neighborly gesture to help a friend has turned out to be the cornerstone of a business and a staple item in the Filipino breakfast table.”

Currently, the multi-million meat processing corporation’s product offerings include hotdogs, longaniza, ham, bacon, tapa, burger patties, corned beef, embotido, barbecue, and nuggets. With Apung Lolet’s works, she was able to help numerous Filipinos, whether it is by giving them delicious and nutritious everyday viand or a sustainable means of livelihood.

“Apung Lolet will forever be remembered by her husband, Angelo Hizon Jr., their 12 children, 61 grandchildren, 31 great-grandchildren, thousands of employees, countless friends, as the epitome of beauty, strength, generosity, faith in the Lord, and love for family.”

Rest in peace, Apung Lolet.