It was early morning yesterday when we left the Samsung Headquarters in Fort Bonifacio together with fellow bloggers and writers form various publications for the Pahiyas Festival 20210 Photo Shoot-Out sponsored by Samsung.
Enroute to Lucban Quezon, we had a short stopover in Sulyap Gallery Cafe in San Pablo City. The Restaurant / Gallery is located in the former Cocoland Hotel offering famous tagalog cuisine and a gallery of paintings and antique collections. Inside the compound, you can also visit an old Spanish Colonial house which was restored piece by piece to match the original dismantled house from Tiaong Quezon.
While in Sulyap Restaurant, the Marketing Manager of Samsung’s Camera Division presented the new set of Cameras which includes the Samsung NX10, Samsung ST60 and others. They also introduced several stylish and ergonomically-designed compact digital camcorders like the Samsung SMX C200 and Samsung SMX F400.
Due to heavy traffic, the original itinerary was not followed and we headed straight to Lucban instead for the highlight of the tour. We arrived in Lucban at around 3pm and as expected we had an almost 1 kilometer walk towards Dealo Koffee Klatch since the tourist bus can no longer enter the crowded downtown.
The participants converged in Dealo Coffee Klatch for our local lunch and festival orientation. We all enjoyed the Pancit HabHab, Pork Pastel, Beef Caldereta and my favorite Hardinera – a local meat loaf much like embotido steamed in a llanera (an oval pan commonly used for leche flan). After the huge meal, we roamed around town to visit and checkout the colorful houses and to have some pasalubong shopping.
For the first timers, seeing the huge influx of local and international tourists can really be overwhelming.The Good thing about this year Pahiyas is it’s on a Saturday so working travel whores shouldn’t have to worry about work the next day.
For the unfamilliar, residents of the selected streets around town decorates the fronts of their homes with produce from local farms, kiping (colorful rice wafers) and other assorted handicrafts. The festival is held every year on May 15th and its intent is to honor San Isidro Labrador who is the patron saint of farmers. This festival attracts local and foreign visitors who look forward to experiencing this annual fiesta.
Apart from being a competition, decorating the facade of their homes is simply a local tradition. Some of the farm produce they use are rice grains, chayote, string beans, carrots, radish, eggplants and various fruits. To provide a contrast to the native green vegetables on display, they also hang Lucban Longganisa and suman (rice cake wrapped in banana leaf) on the facade of their homes. Local handicrafts like hats and baskets made from buntal are also used to decorate the homes.
The main component of the decorations has to be the kiping – a rice based wafer which is molded into a leaf and dyed with a multitude of colors, typically fuchsia, emerald, orange, yellow, blue and red. In each house, Kiping is strung together to form chandeliers and flowers to add colors in their house decoration.
The Festival can be traced all the way back to the year 1500. The local farmers who lives in the shadow of Mt. Banahaw like Tayabas and Sariaya are also holding a similar festival to give thanks for a yearly fruitful harvest. This soon evolved into the Pahiyas Festival of today as the people began to decorate their houses with their harvest.
It was a great initiative for the marketing team of Samsung (Camera Division) to bring tech, photo and travel bloggers to Pahiyas Festival since this Festival has been a favorite destination of photographers in this time of the year.
Unfortunately I was not able to tryout their new Samsung NX10 but I got the chance to try their PL100 digital camera. What I liked with the PL100 camera is its 1.5” LCD located on the front of the camera which is perfect for cam whores. It allows you to pose and take your own portrait photo with your desired position and background.
The traffic, long hours of travel and the super cold Bus can be unforgiving but overall, our Pahiyas Festival Experience is truly an amazing experience. Many thanks to Samsung Philippines Marketing Team for the wonderful Pahiyas Festival experience.