A Trip to Tayabas: Hometown Visit + Nayong Pilipino Traveling Museum ‘Masaganang Ani’
TAYABAS CITY – As a native of Tayabas, I got excited when I received an invite from Nayong Pilipino to cover their opening exhibit. After all, it’s my hometown, and it was a chance for me to revisit where I grew up and, at the same time, see family and old friends. I’ve been covering various events all over the Philippines and even abroad, but rarely do I get the opportunity to visit Tayabas, except for family occasions. Now, it’s time for me to put my hometown, Tayabas, in the spotlight.
Visiting Iconic Tourists Spots of Tayabas City
For Quezon first-timers, you must not miss adding these iconic tourist spots of Tayabas to your itinerary.
The Minor Basilica of Saint Michael the Archangel
Also known as the Tayabas Basilica, this Baroque-style basilica is the largest in Quezon Province. It was named after their patron Saint Michael the Archangel, and was built in the 15th century when it was only made of bamboo and nipa like other old churches in that period. The key-shaped church was then repaired and renovated and is now one of the most beautiful churches in the country today.
The Malagonlong Bridge
Malagonlong Bridge is one of the oldest and longest bridges built in the Spanish colonial era from 1840 to 1850. It’s a long stone arch bridge spanning 445 feet and is part of the National Cultural Treasure under Historic Bridges of Tayabas.
The Alitao Bridge
Another historical bridge to see in Tayabas is the Alitao Bridge. It was built by Don Diego Urbano in 1823. It’s also known as Puente de Alitao and is built over the Alitao River and remains to be passable until now.
The Orias Ancestral House in Tayabas
Tayabas is full of historical sites, and one you should also visit is the Orias Ancestral House. It was previously a chapel honoring San Diego de Alcala but is now under the care of the Orias Family. It’s so rich with history because besides being a chapel, it was once a clinic, a Japanese guerilla camp, and a shelter for flooded locals in Quezon.
Campo Santo de los Indios in Tayabas
Even a cemetery is considered a tourist spot in Tayabas. The Campo Santo de los Indios is one of oldest cemetery chapels in Quezon Province. It’s characterized by its Gothic architecture and belfry towers on each side. Also, it’s a National Cultural Treasure of Tayabas.
Hagisan ng Suman Festival in Tayabas
If you prefer experiences more than attractions, Quezon has plenty of them. In Tayabas, particularly, there’s a Hagisan ng Suman Festival, a much-awaited event during Mayohan Festival. In English, it literally translates to “throwing native rice cakes.” I was invited to witness the said festival and participate in it. The event starts with a procession of the image of San Isidro Labrador. Suman is believed to be a ritual gift in Tayabas; thus, many locals cook it as they believe that sharing blessings will bring prosperity to their hometown. This year, the city government gave away 11,000 pieces of suman, much to the crowd’s delight during the said event. It was a fun experience that showcased Tayabanses’ pride.
Masaganang Ani Exhibit
The highlight of my visit to Tayabas is the Masaganang Ani Exhibit, which is part of the Mayohan Festival, commemorating the bountiful harvest of Tayabas.
The exhibit showcases Nayong Pilipino Foundation (NPF) over 150 artifacts on display at the Casa Comunidad de Tayabas in Quezon Province.
Occupying the historical building is the collection of ethnographic artifacts from various ethnolinguistic groups, from textiles, farming tools, ritual items, hunting and warfare, and domestic objects, which the Foundation has treasured and cared for in the last five decades.
While we can visit attractions and attend events, it was even extra fun to have an exhibit be part of the Mayohan Festival. This way, more locals can learn about our colorful history in their hometown. No need to travel far because instead of people going to museums in Manila, they brought the exhibit in Tayabas for more people to appreciate.
NPF Executive Director Gertie Duran-Batocabe said that the exhibition is a celebration of Filipino creativity as it spotlights the unique and skilled craftsmanship of indigenous groups from different “Nayon” in the country.
“It is time for the Filipino craftsman to tell his narrative,” she said.
NPF has been doing its mandate of promoting culture and heritage; hence the agency launched its traveling museum project early this year. It aims to bring ethnographic collections closer to the general public.
“This is our fifth exhibit this year, and I can say that it is the most exciting because it is happening during the most festive time in the City of Tayabas,” said Duran-Batocabe.
The exhibit, which will run until June 15, 2023, was made possible through the NPF’s partnership with Oplan Sagip Tulay (OST) Tayabas and the Local Government of Tayabas.
Also, admission to the exhibit is free. For more information about NPF’s upcoming exhibits, follow Nayong Pilipino Foundation on Facebook and Instagram.
My trip to Tayabas was extra special because I got to revisit some of our historical sites, experience the Hagisan ng Suman celebration, and discover new things at the Masaganang Ani exhibit. I know that there’s so much to look forward to in Tayabas, so I’m definitely coming back to discover more about my hometown and share my explorations with travelers seeking to travel to provinces like Tayabas.
How to go to Tayabas
Planning to go to Tayabas? It’s fairly easy. You can take any JAC Liner, JAM, or Lucena Lines bus from Manila to Quezon. Get off at Diversion Road, and take a jeep going to Lucban. Tell the driver to drop you off at Tayabas. Travel time is approximately 4 hours from Manila.
Know other iconic attractions and events to see in Tayabas, Quezon? Let us know in the comments!
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Read: Weekend Getaways: Long Weekend Holiday Destinations Near Metro Manila.