My Pahiyas Festival 2014 Experience

Colorful Pahiyas 2017

Two weeks ago, I was invited by Heritage Festival Inc. to join a Heritage tour of Laguna and Quezon Province and our itinerary includes a visit to Lucban Quezon for the Pahiyas Festival. We visited Lucban the day after the Pahiyas Festival day but we were still able to witness the colorful decorated houses. Starting this year, Lucbanin’s shares this festival until the weekend for those who cant make it on May 15.

A smiling kid in one of the Pahiyas Decorated houses
A smiling kid in one of the Pahiyas Decorated houses

The San Isidro Pahiyas Festival is one of my absolute favorite Filipino fiestas. Lucban itself is a town worth visiting any time of the year, but this is when the locals have an opportunity to show off and compete, in a friendly way, in order to win the attention and admiration of one another and all the visitors who flock to the famous Pahiyas Festival. This year was not my first Pahiyas, but it was just as memorable and exciting as the first time I went.

Colorful Pahiyas Festival 2014 Entry
Colorful Pahiyas Festival 2014 Entry

Pahiyas Festival 2014

Pahiyas is held on the 15th of May every year in Lucban, Quezon Province. It’s a harvest festival, which is held in honor of San Isidro de Labrador, the patron saint of farmers. A procession brings an image of the saint through town, and the town dresses up to impress him on his way through.

Huge flower made from Kiping
Huge flower made from Kiping

The decorations range from the unique form of sculpting, called “Kiping”, made with rice flour and shaped into all kinds of massive flowers and chandeliers, to beautiful lights displays. Each family tries to out-do their neighbors, so the results are always impressive.

Lucban San Isidro Labrador Fiesta
Lucban San Isidro Labrador Fiesta

My Kind of Street Party

Lucban this year was in great form, as usual. Everyone was smiling and walking around the streets to view the incredibly decorated houses. There were more beautiful handicrafts available for purchase than I could possibly bring home (and yes, I bought another native hat).

Replica of Farmers at one of the Decorated houses in Lucban
Replica of Farmers at one of the Decorated houses in Lucban

And the food! Local dishes like puto seko and tikoy, as well as the delicious Lucban longganisa – I know enough these days to eat in small portions so I can taste everything before the festival is over.

Ginataang Manok
Ginataang Manok

After roaming around the procession route where most of the decorated houses are located, we headed to the second floor of Dealo Koffee Klatch for our dinner. We sampled some local specialties called Kinulob na Baka, Ginataang Manok, Pancit Habhab and Hardinera.

Hardinera
Hardinera

Kinulob na Baka is one of my favorite among the dishes served, its made of beef that is slowly cooked with vinegar, yellow ginger, garlic, black pepper and a bit of sugar.

Kinulob na Baka
Kinulob na Baka

I really tried not to eat too much but I was still stuffed and wanting to eat more before we left the place:(

Higantes this year were also incredible (as usual) and although they are no longer walking in the streets, I saw some of them beside the decorated houses. These are the giant people made of a kind of paper maché. Apparently some of the Philippines Mobile Brands helped with some of the giant clothing this year!

San Isidro Labrador at the center of Pahiyas Decorated House in Lucban
San Isidro Labrador at the center of Pahiyas Decorated House in Lucban

All in all, the atmosphere of friendly playfulness and celebration is worth experiencing on a regular basis. Our Pahiyas Tour was organized by Tina Decal in partnership with Filipino Heritage Festival Inc. Tina Decal is a renowned tour operator specializing in Southern Tagalog Heritage and Food. I’m glad I went for the 2014 Pahiyas. It was a great reminder that people really are, for the most part, creative, fun, and friendly.

You can join Heritage Pilgrimage Tours by contacting these numbers (632) 788-2809 – (632) 523-9692 – (632) 330-2215 Mobile phone (63916) 478-8163 (63949) 938-8140 (63905) 318-1000 or email – heritagemonth@yahoo.com.ph.

Filipino Heritage Festival Inc.
G/Flr. Museum of the Filipino People
Valencia Circle, Luneta, Manila
www.HeritageFestival.ph

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