Lucban Pahiyas Festival 2012: Fiesta to end All Fiestas

    Philippines has a lot of festivals that showcase colorful and rich traditions, culture and religious festivities. One of the best perhaps is the annual "Pahiyas Festival" in Lucban, celebrated in honor of San Isidro Labrador, the patron saint of the farmers.

    Photo: Pahiyas Festival 2011, Timpalak Pahiyas

    Pahiyas is scheduled every May 15 (this year it falls on Tuesday) and we could expect thousands of visitors all over the world to witness how Lucban will transform its houses from simple into most decorative and colorful set-up. Lucban is one of the country's prime tourist attractions prompting the Department of Tourism to list down Lucban as a tourist town and a cultural heritage site.

    Lucban is a quiet farming town that sits on the foothills of the sacred Mount Banahaw. It literally explodes with a kaleidoscope of colors, gastronomic feasts and religious fervor during the annual Pahiyas Festival.

    Lucban is commended as one of the cleanest and most peaceful community in the country. Its cool, fresh and invigorating climate earns her the singular distinction of being called the Summer Capital of Quezon Province. The town's natural scenic spots and colorful lifestyles add to the charm that entices both foreign and local tourists to visit the place.

    Photo: Mt. Banahaw de Lucban

    Pahiyas Festival is also the celebration of the feast of San Isidro de Labrador. According to legends, San Isidro magically plowed the field of Lucban and blessed the town with good harvest, and it is believed that he continue to do so.

    Photo: The Basilica at Lucban,Quezon

    Every year, a procession of the image of San Isidro happens during the festival and it is said that the houses he passes by will be especially favored in the coming year. The locals also display their harvests and crops to be blessed by the priest during the procession.

    Photo: Locals displays their harvest and crops
    as Pahiyas main attraction

    Each house would compete for the Grand Pahiyas Prize. As recently announced, the Grand Prize for this year's "Timpalak Pahiyas"  is a whooping Php 100,000.00! And when the day turns into night, the brightest and the most lighted house wins the “Kutitap Award”, transforming the entire town into a Christmas village in the middle of May.

    Photo: Rice stalks is used to decorate the house

    Photo: Harvest of Lucbanin is displayed on Pahiyas

    Photo: Pahiyas Festival attraction

    One of the most traditional and most looked after decoration is the "kiping". The kiping is a leaf-shaped wafer made of rice, colored and meticulously made by the locals of Lucban. Kiping can be made into a chandelier like decoration called as an ‘aranya’ or as huge flowers which add charm to the houses. It can be cooked and eaten much to the delight of tourists and visitors of the festival.

    Photo: "Kiping" is the main attraction of  Timpalak Pahiyas

    Lucban  also benefits from this event through the "TIYANGGE SA LUCBAN", an agro-industrial fair showcasing Lucban's products. This fair features foods native to the town like the delicious Lucban longganisa, puto seko, broas, tikoy and other delicacies; ornamental plants like dapo and cutflowers; handricrafts such as buri/buntal hats, bags and a number of other cottage industry products.

    Aside from the Lucban Pahiyas, people who go to Lucban also visits the famous "Kamay ni Hesus" which is located on a hill at the facade of Mount Banahaw.

    Photo: Kamay ni Hesus, a sacred and peaceful garden in Lucban

    Here are some of  the activities for the upcoming Pahiyas Festival 2012:

     1. PARADE - featuring higantes, marching and lyre bands, street dancers, floats, Sunduan (lovely ladies and their escorts in Filipiniana costumes) and Parikitan (ladies in unique costumes made of indigenous materials).

    2. FLOAT DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION - a mobile Pahiyas decorative

    3. ADGIANTS (HIGANTES) - giants mascots that run, walk, dance, bow and roam around town to the excitement of both the young and old.

    4. CULTURAL SHOWS -  featuring rondalla music ensemble, cultural dancers, singers, fashion shows, film/video showing, art and photo exhibits.

    5. LIVE DEMONSTRATION of kiping-making, coconut dehusking, longganisa-making and other unique activities native to Lucban

    So if you are planning to go to Lucban, do it ahead of schedule.

    All hotel bookings are full two months before the festival. Make sure to travel going to Lucban as early as possible. You can start to travel by early morning of May 15 say 3-4 AM (fr. Manila) so by the time the sun is rising you are already in Sta.Cruz (via Laguna), or in Candelaria (via Lucena). 

    TIP: No need to hire a tour guide.
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