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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Pahiyas Festival: It’s More Fun in Lucban

IMG_5343 Philippines is known to have a colorful festivals celebrated from different provinces of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Aside from Flores de Mayo and Barangay Fiestas celebrated in month of May. 

Trip Ko ‘To have given a chance to experience one of the biggest and grandest festivity celebrated in the province of Quezon, this is the Pahiyas Festival.

About Pahiyas

Pahiyas Festival in the town of Lucban, Quezon is a brilliantly colorful celebration happened every 15th of May in honor of the farmers Patron Saint San Isidro de Labrador for a bountiful harvest. This is the only fiesta celebrated in the Philippines where residents mark the agricultural abundance by decorating their homes with flowers, fruits, and kipings (a thin wafer made of rice dough and dyed with tropical hues).



At the heart of fiesta is the grand parade composed of marching band, street dancing, ADgiants or Higantes, Parikitan (ladies wearing colorful costumes made of various indigenous materials), Sunduan (beautiful ladies and their escorts in Filipiniana costumes), colorful floats, and the main highlights of the event is the procession of the image of San Isidro and his Wife pass through the entire town and bestow blessings for another good year. As the end of the procession passing each home, there is a mad scramble to remove or tear down the decorations (a tradition called Kalas) which embodies the event joyful spirit. 

It’s 5am of May 15 when the entire family took off from our home in Laguna towards the town of Lucban. We took the Calamba-Sta Cruz-Pagsanjan route (Laguna Route) which is lesser in traffic than the usual Tiaong-Lucena (Quezon route). Roads in Laguna route are better and with less vehicles passing by the road particularly trucks and buses unlike in Tiaong-Lucena Route where buses bound to Quezon-Lucena and Bicol  also bigger trucks passes by this 2 lanes and rough roads which added to the traffic. Btw, another reason of traffic in the Tiaong-Lucena route is the fiestas being celebrated in the towns of Candelaria and  Sariaya  where they also have their own versions of Pahiyas. We arrived around 7:30am at Lucban and the traffic at this side is very light where we able to get inside the town proper and get a very nice parking space.

The other side of the town (Quezon Lucena Route) has a different story where a very long queue  of vehicles lining up to The Kamay Ni Hesus. So many people started walking from the Kamay Ni Hesus Shrine all the way to the town proper. Luckily, since we arrived early,  the place where we park is  Nanagas Village which is just a few blocks from the festivities.

It’s a bit cold and few rain showers when we arrived but the weather became hotter at around 11am till afternoon. Thousands of tourist, locals and foreigners alike roam around the streets of Lucban to witness every house decors. Most are enjoying taking pictures even inside each houses, windows and balconies.

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In this year’s festival theme ‘It’s More Fun in Lucban, several houses with Kiping decorations became more grandest. Lucbanuenos showed their greatest creativity and grandeur where new forms and sizes are seen for the first time in this years festivals. Some houses or decorations though are covered with plastic as few rain showers occasionally poured but every one ignored it as the mood is undeniably festive.  Just by being here makes you feel the joyous mood of the people and will admire the creativity and ingenuity as you pass each house.

As I have already been here and witnessed this celebration, I am determined to participate in Philippine Festivals since aside from the natural beauty we treasure, we have this festivities where we can say again that, It’s More Fun in the Philippines.

See more pictures below, thanks to PictoBuilder

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