is a colorful feast in honor of San Isidro Labrador, the patron saints of farmers, as a thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest. Houses along the old streets of Lucban are artistically decorated with agricultural harvest, and of the very unique highlight of the festival, the "kiping". It is a wafer made up of rice that comes in different colors. The Lucbanons come up in different designs every year, as they showcase their artistic talents in decorating their houses.
This year's Festival is so special, as it marked as the very first trip that i joined with the NACCI (Nature Awareness and Conservation Club, Inc.)
. I was so excited, that i barely slept on Sat night, hahaha. We almost missed the trip, coz we made a buzzer-beater arrival at Shell Edsa at exactly 515am, whoa so early, right. Assembly time was 5am, but we had the hard time on catching a taxi from Taft. I was so nervous during the taxi ride, coz John (who is so friendly and nice, well all of them from NACCI, esp Patrick), was already texting me. When, we arrived, i was stunned, coz i saw 2 buses, whoa, there are a lot of joiners in the Pahiyas Trip. We
paid for Php 888, which includes roundtrip aircon bus service, plus a buffet lunch, with side-trips to Laguna. Fair deal, right. So John escorted us to our seat, well, what will i expect, we came late, so we'll be given the seats at the back.
As we arrived at Lucban, 2.5 hrs later, we were greeted by the beauty of Mt. Banahaw, also known as the "Holy Mountain" to some. We rode by a tric, to get us to the entrance of the festival area. Manong was really kind, he even helped us find a restroom, and gave us the directions on getting around Lucban. There were a lot of tourists in the place, and it was strikingly hot, so we immediately scouted for cheaper hats to cover our faces from the heat of the sun.
Finding the path to the church seemed like eternity as there are tourists going to and from. The streets were narrowed by vendors, an ongoing procession/parade, and with all the vehicles that caused the traffic jam. Good thing, we were just in time for the 9am mass. The Lucban church is an old church, jampacked with a lot of people, so it
was really really hot inside. I just sat on the floor coz my soles were already aching, well maybe because, I went malling, the day before.
After the mass, we went down the streets to witness the Kiping-designed houses. Wow, they are really colorful. I can imagine how hard they worked to cook those rice wafers, and design them into different shapes and decorations. Every house has different designs, all in honor of San Isidro. It was a very hot day, and the streets were really full with visitors, so i really had a hard time on taking pictures. I thought it was just the stretch of the street that is decorated, but i was wrong, as we arrived at the end of one street, we'll find out that there is another. Whoa, it was really a feast to the eye, seeing all those colorful decorations.
One of the best decorated houses that ive seen was, the one w/ the elf and eagle on it. I think it tells a story of a man, or an archer(?) i think. Too bad, there were a lot of electrical wires that obstructs the very nice design. Another one, is the
house decorated by egg trays, sprinkled with rice. It was so artistic.
As we trek down the busy street, we also took the chance to buy pasalubong items. Lucban products are being sold along the streets which include the Apas and Broas which can be bought 3 for Php 100.00. There are also other products, like buri slippers and fans, dried flowers, fruits, and the famous Lucban Longanisa.
We just managed to finish one half of the festival area, but we were already tired, and we have yet to find Koffee Klatch to have our lunch.
A few blocks away from the festival area, we've seen the resto along Quezon St. A funny thing happened during our lunch time. We've wasted, i think 10-15 mins, waiting in line for our food, only to find out that it was the wrong place. I was kind of wondering, why i can't see familiar faces from our group, and there were already no food to serve on the counter. My bitchy self had already taken over, only to find out that our reserved buffet lunch was on the second floor of the building, and not on the line, where we've
waited for 48 yrs. Ha ha ha. So, it turned out, that it was fine after all.
It was time to hop on our buses, and proceed to Laguna for our side-trips. We were walking in group with John, when suddenly, we lost track of them in the market place. I thought, we don't know the way out, so we called them to go back from where we are. After minutes of waiting, we were again on our way out, supposedly. But then, we've realized, after years of walking, that we're just getting to another busy street, and not to the exit. It turned out that they don't know the way out, ha ha ha. At least, we've come to see the other half of the festival area, where the houses are more beautifully decorated than the half that we went thru.
Sad. A day trip is really not enough to see all the wonderful houses. The parade of the giants and the street dancing will be held late afternoon. Too bad, Lucban is far, that we have to go home early.
Pahiyas Festival is celebrated annually. So, expect me to be there, and have a longer
time there, for the coming years. More Pics : Pahiyas Festival
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