Pahiyas Festival 2011 – The Terminus of All Roads

I arrived in Lucban the night before the 15th of May together with Manila based Print Media people and the Quezon Provincial Tourism Officers. It was actually a 4 day San Isidro Festivals Cultural Trail – showcasing San Isidro Festival in different Towns of Quezon Province but I was only able to join them for the Pahiyas and Arañat Baluarte in Gumaca, Quezon since I have an 8-5 work… Boooo.

lucban pahiyas 2012
Lucban San Isidro Festival 2011

Considered as one of the most colorful festival in the Philippines is the Pahiyas festival in Lucban and this is why this town is flocked by photo enthusiast every 15th of May. It’s been estimated that the number of photos taken at Pahiyas is equal to the number taken in the rest of the country on the same day. Moral of the story? Don’t forget your camera!

Longanisa for Sale
Longanisa for Sale

This festival is dedicated to paying respect and gratitude to San Isidro, the patron saint of farmers. Now, what happens when a bunch of farmers get together to have a celebration? Great, fresh, delicious food.

pahiyas designs
Flowers or Vegetables?

This Summer season, Lucban is the best place to sample the best food that the Quezon Province has to offer. Green produce, plenty of wonderful fruits, and don’t forget the spice and garlic. Mmmmm. Longganisang Lucban and the amazing pancit habhab. Lucbanin food is among the best in the country.

Rice Decorated House
Rice Decorated House

As for the town itself, Lucban is the summer capital of Quezon Province since the town is right at the foot of Mount Banahaw. During the Festival day, every house is decorated with fruits and kipings, vegetables and bamboo. Small shops are filled with local handicrafts and products and of course there is the pansit hab-hab! This is my favorite as you can already see since I’ve brought it up twice now.

garlic lucban longanisa
My favorite Lucban Longanisa

Just like last year, humidity will kill you, thanks to our host for providing us an extra shirt, umbrella and a bottle of drinking water. If you are planning to visit next year, make sure to put your empty water containers in the trash bin to support the towns effective cleanliness campaign. One surprising fact about this town is that the town is a “No Plastic Zone”. Even 7eleven will wrap your grocery in a brown paper bag or they will encourage everyone to bring a reusable eco-bag for your own convenience.

Suman for Sale
Suman for Sale

While walking around to visit the decorated houses, I met some friends, high-school classmates, fellow photographers and fellow bloggers and Yes… I know what you’re thinking… Its a small world!

Pahiyas with Cousins
Pahiyas with Cousins

The only downside is the traffic during the festival is a bit much. You can walk faster than a jeepney will get you anywhere, but that’s a good thing too because there are photo ops on every step of the way. The fiesta not only brings out the colorful locals but also tons of colorful visitors too.

Enjoying Pancit HabHab
Enjoying Pancit Hab-Hab

Even though the restaurants are full and there isn’t much space to just relax, the camera will keep you busy and if you plan ahead by bringing your own food and drink…you will save yourself plenty of stress. Of course, if you want the pancit habhab, you just have to do what I did and wait for it like everyone else.

If you forget to bring a lunch you will be okay but one thing you don’t want to forget is your camera. This is the time to take amazing photos and if you don’t have it and you love photography like I do, you will be incredibly unhappy – that is until you eat the colorful rice cakes called ‘kiping”. They are wonderful solace – those along with the Mardi Gras like atmosphere.

Many thanks to Quezon Provincial Governor David JayJay Suarez for letting us rediscover Quezon’s colorful festivals. For inquiries on Quezon San Isidro Festivals you may reach the Quezon Provincial Tourism Office at 042-373-75-10 or email at

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