Saturday, May 15, 2010



One extravagant festival that everyone is excited to see is the Pahiyas Festival in Quezon, formerly known as Tayabas. It is the second largest province in the Southern Tagalog region. Nevertheless, people go to Lucban because of its extravagant preparations which by tradition started during the 16th century as a way of thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest. The Pahiyas Festival is celebrated every year on May 15.

The feast of San Isidro Labrador is celebrated in Lucban, Quezon. It has the reputation of being the fiesta to end all fiestas. Tourists and locals alike flock to this small town at the foot of Mount Banahaw to enjoy the extravagant displays of the bountiful harvest in the houses that line the procession route.  The Pahiyas Festival is a pride for all Lucbanons to keep their culture and religion alive. The highlight of the event is their rice - based delicacies which they serve to their guests and the kipings which are used to  decorate their house during the fiesta.

DAY 1....

Iggy and I left for Lucban on the 14th of May. Iggy and his partner, Rommel, had work to do... a photoshoot for a pre-nuptial where the couple wanted to feature the Pahiyas Festival as their background. The photoshoot was scheduled at 6:00am... on the 15th.... The day of the festival. We got to Lucban almost dinner time and there were so many people walking all over the place. The plaza had a band playing, most of the Lucbanons were busy preparing what they would be selling the next day... the houses were all being dressed up for the competition... There was a breeze that night so --- walking around was not that bad at all.

Since our room was not yet available we decided to have dinner at CAFE SAN LUIS and do an ocular of the town for the next day..

.. our first meal in Lucban

Lucban Langonisa with Egg  100 php

Sisig 200 PHP

Since this is my first time to experience Lucban at night... here are some of the shots I took.. LUCBAN looked so colorful with all the lights and the decorations at night !! Seems like everyone was busy trying to finish all their decorations for the big day ahead... below is the facade of BUDDY's house... ( the famous BUDDY's Restaurant )... with scaffolding and all...

 I couldn't stop clicking my camera.... I was so excited on what to expect to see the next day..

DAY 2....

I woke up really early to take some shots of the resort/hotel were we stayed before Iggy and the group go back to the town for our photo shoot... The place were we stayed is ...BATIS ARAMIN... it is not located inside the town but 4 kms. outside the town.

During the day of the fiesta... no cars are not allowed inside the town... so Iggy, Rommel, Cha and I took a tricycle to enter the town for the photo shoot...

The decorations are a form of thanksgiving to the patron saint San Isidro and it is said that houses along the route will be favored and blessed in the coming year. The homeowner's livelihood dictates what goes on display. A rice farmer will have chandeliers of kiping ( ground rice powder formed into leaves and tinted in bright colors) along with rice stalks and grains on the facade. The leaves used in this festival include coffee leaf, talisay, cocoa , and saba ( from the banana family ).

During the Pahiyas Festival, each household tries to outdo each other in terms of creativity. Farmers show off their best produce of fruits and vegetables. There are miniature fruits and vegetables strung together in the most orginal fashion.  Every year there is a competition being held for the best dressed house. After the competition, all the decorations will be thrown away to the people on the streets to catch.


PANCIT HABHAB - it is noodles made from rice flour. These noodles are sold and served on a piece of banana leaf on the streets. It is eaten straight from the leaf, no spoon or fork is needed.. They call it the habhab way.

LUCBAN LANGONISA - made of ground pork with fat, oregano extract, paprika, salt , pepper and lots of garlic.

BROAS - famous cookies of Lucban, Quezon.

and... KESONG PUTI... ( yummy!! my favorite )

Other street food you would like to sample ....


- ask a local for the best places to buy pancit habhab, longanisa Lucban, buntal hats, broas, puto seko and other products. Do not just buy from the nearest vendor, especially from the ambulent vendors --- while they are very persistent, their prices will be inevitably higher, since most of these vendors are just reselling products from other stalls.

- Set up a meeting place and time with your fellow travelers, like the plaza or church, just in case you get lost in the crowds and your cellphone batteries run down unexpectedly and you have no way to contact each other.

- Always be alert with your valuables.

- Dress for the sun and heat. Take along with you a bottle of water.

The important thing to prove that you have been to Lucban for the pahiyas festival is seeing the colorful kipings ( you can bring some home as souvenirs if you wish ), buy a couple of langonisang Lucban and taste their pancit habhab.


There are many ways to get to Lucban. If you are coming from Metro Manila, you can take the South Luzon Expressway ( SLEX ) then take the Calamba exit. Turn left and go to the Calamba crossing. At the intersection ( Calamba crossing ), turn right and go straight passing Los Banos - Bay - Victoria - Pila - Sta. Cruz -  Pagsanjan. From Pagsanjan, turn right and you will pass by Cavinti - Lousiana -  and finally Lucban. However, during the festival, private vehicles are not allowed to passed the national highway so you will need to park your car in a certain place and walk.

Another alternative route is via Lucena City. From SLEX -- Calamba exit turn right and proceed to Lucena City. Then turn left and go to Tayabas ---- then Lucban, Quezon. This was the route we had to take on our way back to Manila... They closed so many streets inside the town of Lucban and the traffic with the cars and the tricycles was really bad!!

So, what are you waiting for, put on your best and favorite sneakers/rubber shoes,  bring a water bottle with you,  your camera , hat and umbrella.............


1 comment:

  1. thanks for featuring my hometown. i am really missing home, since i've been residing in italy for a long time. i haven't seen our Festival for like..16 years! it's getting more fabulous each year. i miss the kiping, pancit habhab and all the foods. i'm sure you enjoyed your stay there.