Pahiyas Festival

6

Pahiyas is one the most extravagant festival here in the Philippines. It is celebrated every May 15 by the people of Lucban, Quezon to honor San Isidro Labrador who is the patron saint of farmers and to give him thanks for a bountiful harvest. This is the time when the small town transforms from ordinary villages into elaborately decorated houses.

Last Saturday, my family and I went to Lucban, Quezon for the Pahiyas Festival. This is my post-birthday celebration for the Festival is held the day after my birthday. It’s been my long time wish to see this colorful fiesta.

Pahiyas is one the most extravagant festival here in the Philippines. It is celebrated every May 15 by the people of Lucban, Quezon to honor San Isidro Labrador who is the patron saint of farmers and to give him thanks for a bountiful harvest. This is the time when the small town transforms from ordinary villages into elaborately decorated houses.

We drove 7 long hours to get here from Manila via SLEX, then Laguna, then Quezon which I do not recommend due to heavy traffic. Maybe the construction of the Skyway is the reason, or the fire we passed by Muntinlupa, I don’t know exactly. Without traffic, it will only take 3-4 hours to get here.

We arrived in Lucban at around 4PM and parked our van at a certain place because vehicles are not allowed to enter the crowded downtown. When we entered the streets it feels like we were transported into another dimension. We were amazed by the running Higante (giant), the beautifully decorated houses, the band playing on a stage, there’s folk dancing in the street, a lot of people smiling, It’s really a very happy place and everywhere I look, it’s all eye candy so I took the opportunity to take all the photos that I can!

One of the highlight of the Festival is the colorful decoration of the houses. The locals display their agricultural harvest such as rice grains, various, fruits & vegetables, flowers. and also some local handicrafts like hats and baskets. The most traditional and the most attractive decor is the Kiping–a colorful rice wafer which is molded into a leaf and dyed with vibrant colors. It is strung together to form all sorts of shapes like chandeliers and huge flowers. I learned that these Kiping are cooked and eaten as rice chips when the festival is over.
Here you can see the Higante (Giant), my favorite thing among all the decor. It looks like a giant doll and dressed as farmer. I’m not sure what it’s all made of but I saw its body is compose of wooden sticks with giant clothes. I saw a person inside that carries it. The Higantes walk around, they dance, they party with people on the street. They say that Higantes are there to give joy to the children but I can say that even a grown up like me can find wonder in their presence.

We roamed around town and checked out all the creativity going around. We got to taste the famous Pancit Habhab which is sold on the streets. We went to the Church. We were also invited by a friend who has a weekend house there and they treated us to a dinner at their place and we got to enjoy their local cuisine such as Beef Caldereta and the yummy Hardinera– a local meat loaf steamed in an oval pan.

We stayed till 8PM & left the town together with our friend for we are not familiar with the alternative route which is via Antipolo. It only took us 3 hours to get home. The Pahiyas festival is really an amazing experience! We had a blast:-)

written by juanix on 2010-05-27 in #world #locations #culture #san-isidro-labrador #pahiyas-festival #kiping #quezon #philippines #2010 #higante #colors #lucban #feast

6 Comments

  1. halfawakehaiku
    halfawakehaiku ·

    #5 of the squares is tops

  2. tallgrrlrocks
    tallgrrlrocks ·

    I love the way you related your experience. It's so heartfelt. The Kiping is so beautiful. And I like the Higante! :D

  3. juanix
    juanix ·

    wow, thanks so much tallgrrl :-)

  4. emilios
    emilios ·

    very nice artcle and colourful pics.

  5. saidseni
    saidseni ·

    So funny to see familiar things so far away... I think I should go to the Philippines... Nice location!

  6. zezefan
    zezefan ·

    OOOH, MY!

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