Sister-in-law’s husband hails from Lucban, a small and quiet town in the province of Quezon, Southern Philippines. We were invited there one summer of 2009 to share in the celebration of the famed Pahiyas Festival, a festival held every 15th of May to honor the town’s patron saint, San Isidro de Labrador.
Traveling all the way here from Nueva Ecija took us almost six hours to get there. With three provinces to traverse, who would not get dizzy? We had to meet up with SIL at their Bulacan abode and off to Manila to meet her son who’s enrolled for a summer class then at UP Diliman. With SIL and her family in their car, they made perfect convoy for us and my other SIL. Bulacan, then exiting Manila via Antipolo, Rizal. This route by the way were dubbed by travelers as the backdoor route. I guess, this is way better, driving through the countryside with less traffic, and, yes, one will notice the change of air, and the majestic rural scenery. The view of the Laguna de Bay is beyond amazing. The kids had counted the names of the towns we’re passing through, until they got tired and fallen asleep:) Me, as well^_^.
Series of stopover looking for comfort room, one kid has to take take a breather because of dizziness (that includes me, too^_^), and finally lunch at Pililia, Laguna. Whew! Bulacan, Manila, Rizal province, Laguna…spanning 4 provinces! Tiring yet all worth it.
Finally reaching Lucban at 2 in the afternoon, the kids had rallied immediately to the narrow streets of the place. Every bits and places can be a beautiful subject of photography there. One will be enamored with the old world charm of the houses, the capiz windows, though some had been renovated and there were new buildings, too.
Overall, the Pahiyas festival is truly worth visiting, never mind the swarming of people that you get to bumped shoulder to shoulder on the feast day itself. It’s what they came for. The merriment that truly reflects the rural celebration. The rows of houses adorned with agricultural products such as fruits and vegetables, their native handicrafts like colorful hats and hand fans made of indigenous materials, and of course, the famed kiping. Kiping’s a rice-made decoration infused with vibrant colors and made into lanterns, flowers, that adorned each house.
I had a day full of food feast, the very famous Hardinera, a meatloaf dish very similar to embutido, but, I do not know, but the taste quite ubiquitously unique only in Lucban. Creaminessssss…
Tired and yet dizzy when we retired late at night in one of the local resorts there. The guys, and the nephews and nieces, and kids as young as nine years have been partying all night with their lambanogs. To fight off the cool wind of the night, as they say. I have excuse myself, never mind if my teeth chattered. Lucban is such a cool place because it sits on the foot of Mt. Banahaw.
Check out this travel tips from pahiyasfestival.com
If you are traveling from Manila, take the Calamba-Sta. Cruz-Pagsanjan, Laguna route. Travel time is lesser by 1 hour or about 30 km shorter than passing through the capital, Lucena City. If you are from the north like where we came from, you might wanna take the backdoor route via Antipolo, Rizal.
Parking space is difficult to find within Lucban during the Festival. Visitors planning to have their cars parked inside the town should go to Lucban early before May 15.
Lucban town proper will be closed to incoming vehicular traffic from the morning of May 15 until late afternoon. Motorists are directed to park their vehicles in designated parking areas outside the town.
Streets along the Pahiyas parade/procession route and other designated areas will be closed to vehicular traffic. Walking is the best way to go around town during the Pahiyas festival. Tricycles are banned to ply the streets during the day of the Festival.
Fans, hats, caps and other head and body protection are useful to protect you from too much sunlight especially from noon till early afternoon. Umbrella is also handy as weather is unpredictable in Lucban.
Expect heavy traffic especially in the late afternoon after all the programs and festivities has ended and visitors start to leave.
Visit and print the map of the place to familiarize yourself of the places, landmarks and venues where the events will take place.