Wednesday, May 21, 2014

#Throwback: Pahiyas Festival of Lucban, Quezon

It was my first summer of being a "corporate slave" last May of 2011 and I was itching to go somewhere. After my first solo out of town trip to witness a passion play of Jesus' crucifixion at San Pedro Cutud in Pampanga, I was psyched to do more solo explorations. Being a loyal lurker at Pinoyexchange forums, I joined a big group of travelers who were planning to head there for a day trip. Since there were almost fifteen joiners of the tour, it turned out I will only need to shell out less than 350 pesos for round trip transportation from Manila to Lucban. There was no way in hell that I could turn down this opportunity.

pahiyas festival
Welcome to Pahiyas... 2011! (Time travel? lol)

The trip didn't take a while and we have arrived to the town of Lucban, located just 10 kilometers outside of Metro Manila. By seven in the morning we were already in Quezon and it was nice to see the streets already crowded that early. We were first headed to Kamay ni Hesus, a site that has been famous because of its miracoulous healing stories. Also, for breakfast, there were a number of options we have seen such as pancit habhab which is a type of noodle dish eaten directly from banana leaves without any utensils and sometimes added with vinegar to taste. Casava cakes and Lucban longganisa were also dime a dozen.

quezon lucban philippines

quezon lucban longganisa
yummy longganisa from Lucban

The San Isidro Pahiyas Festival of Lucban, Quezon is an annual celebration held every May 15th in honor of San Isidro de Labrador, the patron saint of farmers, for the town's healthy and bountiful harvest throughout the year. It dates back as early as the 16th century and the festival's name is said to be derived from the Filipino term hiyas which means jewel.

pahiyas festival san isidro labrador

lucban san isidro labrador

What makes this festival unique and colorful is that every house in this municipality is decorated with agricultural harvest such as fruits, vegetables, rice stalks, flowers and kiping, brightly colored wafers made of rice. These households compete for the title of "the best decorated house" so each of the townspeople are encouraged to be creative with their designs since there is prize at stake.

Also a big part of Pahiyas is the showcase of handicrafts and cultural treasures of the province. Straw hats, bags, fans and other items locally produced are on display. And also, just like in any Filipino fiesta, in every home you will be able to find a grand meal and it would be a great experience to be invited and join the banquet with the family.

pahiyas festival blog

pahiyas festival household

philippine quezon hats

philippines quezon products

pahiyas festival philippines

pahiyas festival competition

We didn't really have an official itinerary for the festival, but we just followed the long line of tourists who are also visiting for Pahiyas. It is said that the procession path changes yearly to also give opportunity for other families to participate in this event. The locals of Lucban are already used to the crowd that they even allow tourists to go inside their houses and take a photo with the decorations!

filipino girl smile

pahiyas festival filipino girl

pahiyas festival filipino children

I enjoyed my first Pahiyas festival experience, it's really one of the must-see events here in the country given that Lucban is quite near from Metro Manila and also showcases the warm hospitality and colorful culture of the Lucbanos, there's no excuse not to see it once in your life.

filipino travel blogger
the new endorser of local Lucbanon products, yebah!
#Throwback is a series of the many blog posts about travel and cultural experiences I have had way before I started blogging. Hope you enjoy! Still more to come :)

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