Saturday, May 21, 2016

Pahiyas Festival in Lucban, Quezon

I hail from the province of Quezon and my parents have lived and earned their living from copra here ever since I started schooling in the 1970s. I regularly come here for vacation and to visit my folks and in fact I am now here, writing this post. Despite being a true-blue Quezonian, I had never witnessed the famous Pahiyas Festival in the town of Lucban, till this year. 
Pahiyas is a harvest festival held yearly on the 15th of May to honor San Isidro Labrador, the patron saint of farmers. My family traveled to Lucban from Manila last Saturday, May 14, in time for the festivities on Sunday. 
We left Manila on an AB Liner bus bound for Guinayangan, Quezon 
at 9 a.m. We were supposed to arrive in Lucena at 12:30 but because there was heavy traffic in San Pablo City, we reached the Grand Terminal in the capital city of Quezon at 1:30 p.m. We had a nice lunch of beef bulalo in one of the eateries at the terminal and afterwards boarded a jeepney bound for Lucban. We left at 3 p.m. and reached our destination exactly an hour later. After alighting from the jeepney, we boarded a tricycle that brought us to 
Oreña's Inn Hotel and Resort where I had reserved 
for a room a month before.

Oreña's Inn
Orena's Inn looks quite old already but our room was freshly painted and in fact still smelled like it. I hate smelling all kinds of chemical but there was nothing I could do but fret. Ugh! What's more annoying was that I had told the owner a month ago that we would need one or two extra beds or mattresses because the only room left available then was good for 4 persons and we were 6 in all. But I was told when we arrived that there was no more extra mattress nor bed. Good thing each of the two beds in our room was huge enough for 3 persons. One thing the kids liked about Orena's Inn, though, was that there were two swimming pools, one for children and the other for adults. So we were able to enjoy  cooling down in between trips to the "bayan"  or town center
for the Pahiyas and to have our meals.
After we had placed our bags in the room, we went out and rode a tricycle going to "bayan" to look around and have some snacks. All of us fit in one tricycle and 
I paid a P10-fare for each of us.

Going around town, we saw that the folks were still decorating their houses for the next day's Pahiyas. There was a "tiyangge" or flea market around the old church, where all kinds of stuff from clothes and shoes to food items and housewares could be bought.

The famous yema cake could be be found anywhere.
Various 'pasalubong' items like broas, peanut candies, barquillos, etc.  
for sale in may stalls

We then saw Mustiola's, one of the popular restaurants in Lucban that I had read about, and we stopped by (*Note: I'll be writing a separate post for the Lucban restaurants where we'd eaten).  It's an old house converted into a restaurant. There's even a place that seemed like a tunnel and we decided to get a table there. We felt like being transported to Intramuros! There, we ordered Pancit Lucban (popularly called here as "habhab"), pizza, French fries and a pitcher of blue lemonade. The food was good, especially the pancit Lucban. Also, Mustiola's prices are easy on the pocket. I only paid less than P600 for all our food! We were all full and still had some leftover that we took "home" to the Inn.  After walking around the town a little more and buying some food that we could have for dinner, we went back to Orena's and a little 
later called it a night.
The next morning, Pahiyas day itself, I was so excited to finally 
witness the festivities. We got up early and after prepping up started to walk going to the "bayan". Yup, we walked as all types of vehicles except for single motorcycles were allowed entry to the town center that day. We did some 15-20 minutes of walking under the heat of the summer sun. No complaining, though. Haha! Once at the town center, brekky first at Loop's Pizza, where we had Longganisang Lucban, fried egg and fried rice. Afterwards, it was time to go around and take pictures of the houses that participated in the Pahiyas Festival. We learned that the local government awarded the best-decorated house with a whooping P150,000! No wonder the residents obviously took pains beautifying their homes.

Kiping are those edible colored leaves that are made from rice and used by the locals to decorate their homes for the Pahiyas Festival.
Walking all around, buying stuff, and posing and taking pictures could be tiring and made us hungry. No worries, though, 'coz food was everywhere. 
Here are some street food we enjoyed:

Pancit Habhab, P10 per order
Pilipit, P7. each.
This sweet treat is not so sinful, after all. It's made from squash!

 Kiping, P10. each order.

Pipino Ice, P35. per cup.
This is cucumber-flavored shaved ice. Sweet and refreshing. Healthy, too!

After around an hour-and-a-half of walking around, we went back to the Inn to take a rest and take a dip at the pool. We went back to the town center  around 4 p.m. to  eat and resume making a round of the rows of decorated houses. We saw Chito's, which is a charming restaurant made so attractive by its display of multi-colored umbrellas on the street that shielded the tables put out in front from the sun. Not only was this eatery lovely, the food was so good, too, 
at very reasonable prices.

After Chito's, we walked around the plaza again and took more pictures of houses. Some of them, I've already snapped at earlier but they looked lovelier under multi-colored lights so I took shots of them again.

Afterwards, we went back to Loop's where we had breakfast, and ordered 
pizza that we ate for dinner at the Inn.

I think we waited for 45 minutes before we got our orders ready.
 The kids went swimming at the pool after dinner and then it was time for bed. The next day, we rose early to have breakfast and buy some stuff to bring home to Manila. We went to Abcede's Restaurant but it was still closed. We went to Koffee Klatch but there wasn't much food available so we went again to Chito's. No regrets, though. The food here is really good! After breakfast, we went around the plaza to buy "pasalubong". At stores selling Longganisang 
Lucban, the lines were long! 

Lucban Longganisa making

Shopping for souvenir items near the church
After completing our food and souvenir shopping, we headed back to the Inn, packed our things and checked out at 12 p.m. We boarded a van bound for Lucena City and arrived at the terminal in front of the SM Mall less than an hour later. We had lunch at SM and afterwards boarded another van going to our hometown in San Francisco (also known as Aurora), 
and arrived at exactly 6 p.m. 
 Pahiyas Festival - what an experience! I hope to be back in the future to again eat those delicious food and see the wonderful sights.

No comments:

Post a Comment