Pahiyas festival girl Lucban Philippines

Philippines: Pahiyas Festival in Lucban; Kamay Ni Hesus

Date: May 15th 2014

I had to wake up really early to board a bus going to Lucena. I boarded one from near Araneta Center and made up for lost sleep for much of the journey. At around 8am, I woke up when the bus was moving very slowly along the highway.

We reached Lucena Grand terminal and from there, boarded a jeepney going to Lucban, where the Pahiyas Festival was on in all its colourful glory.

Lucban jeepney Lucena station
It was going to be another 30 minute ride from Lucena to get to Lucban

The jeepney stopped a bit far out from the Lucban village/town. We were asked to get down and to get to Lucban proper, where the Pahiyas festivities were taking place, we had to take tricycle taxis! So a third ride later, again, we were dropped outside the village/town. Now we had to walk.

Shakeys on wheels Lucban Philippines
Shakey’s had this enormous bus serving food
Sleeping child being carried Philippines
It was very hot and we had to walk a bit
Lucban Pahiyas festival entrance
The roads had been blocked and vehicles could not enter
Decorated house Pahiyas festival
Right away I could see the decorated houses

Pahiyas festival older women Philippines
Pahiyas Festival being a harvest festival, people decorate their houses with vegetables, fruits, rice grains and other produce
Pahiyas festival decorated house
The Pahiyas Festival in Lucban is also noted for how colourful the decorations are
Decorated balcony Pahiyas Lucban
The best decorated houses win prizes
Decorated tall house Pahiyas festival
This was probably the tallest house I saw all covered up
Stuffed carabao Pahiyas festival
At the bottom, the house owners had placed a rather big carabao (stuffed), whose head was being controlled by strings pulled from residents on the upper floor
Children posing with Carabao Lucban
The kids were loving it (taken using the GoPro)
Pahiyas festival girl Lucban Philippines
Lots of posing going on
Decorated houses Pahiyas festival Philippines
Word of advice to photographers: if you wish to capture the houses in its true glory, come really early in the morning
Kiping rice leaves for sale
These are the edible kiping. Made of ground rice, and despite all the colouring, they are rather tasteless
Kids looking out window Pahiyas Lucban
And everybody uses kiping as a decoration
Couple selfie Pahiyas festival Philippines
Lots of selfies were taken this day
Pahiyas festival house designs
Some houses were trying out different designs
Stuffed people Pahiyas
More stuffed figures. Their hands were being tugged by strings.
Hare Krishna Iskcon band Philippines
This was some Philippines branch of the Hare Krishna/Iskcon singing a rather melodious chant which had everyone grooving
Longganisang Lucban sausages Pahiyas festival
This is on the other hand is Lucban longganiza, a popular sausage from this region
Pahiyas festival celebrations Lucban
I like this photo
Crowds in front houses Pahiyas festival
I couldn’t even take a clear photo of these houses because of the crowds in front of it
Sunflower design Pahiyas festival Lucban
I took this shot in a split second…
Sunflower tourists Lucban Philippines
… because otherwise it would look like this
Lucban village Pahiyas crowd
I don’t know how many houses were taking part in the contest, but I sure as hell couldn’t see all of them
San Isidro Pahiyas festival house decoration
San Isidro is the patron saint of farmers in whose honour Pahiyas festival is celebrated
Colourful balcony decoration Pahiyas
That’s some really nice work done on decorating the balcony
Vegetable decoration harvest festival Philippines
Some houses used a lot of vegetables for decorations
Marca vinegar house decoration Pahiyas
Corporate brands had taken over some of the houses too
Girl rice grains Pahiyas Philippines
Hello girl
Pahiyas festival Lucban corner panorama
A panorama
Lucban house Pahiyas festival tourists
Same house? Or two?
Vegetables harvest festival Pahiyas Lucban
I just kept walking around the many blocks
Decorated homes Pahiyas festival Philippines
Lots of bananas and coconuts used in this one
Harvest decorated house Lucban Philippines
Now this was impressive!
Hat decorated house Lucban Philippines
One of the more interesting designs I saw
Umbrellas sunny Lucban Philippines
If you couldn’t make out from the umbrellas — it was scorching hot!
Colorful hats Pahiyas decoration
Green, yellow and red were most prominent colours
Pahiyas 2014 house stall Lucban
Aside from kiping, the only thing I constantly bought were juices and water to keep myself hydrated
Corner houses Lucban Philippines
One side a participating side, the other not participating
Pahiyas float Lucban Philippines
Variety in decorations always garner attention
Pahiyas festival GoPro
I would use my GoPro every once in a while
Yellow green red house Pahiyas
Another tall house all done up
Crowded streets Pahiyas festival Lucban
Some stretches of the road were just too crowded
Empty street Pahiyas Lucban
Which made sights like this all the more welcoming to me
Tourists posing Pahiyas statue Philippines
Generational interests well summed up by this photo. A man poses by a traditional female figure, the young girl poses with characters from Frozen (a hit Walt Disney movie for those unaware)
I didn't know what fruit this was
I didn’t know what fruit this was
Church of Saint Louis Lucban Philippines
Church of Saint Louis, the main church in Lucban
Church hall Saint Louis Lucban-philippines
Prayers were in full strength
Pahiyas festival tshirt Lucban
Pahiyas festival t-shirt on sale
Lucban market Philippines
I guess I was in the public market now
Tourists visit house Pahiyas festival
During the festival, some houses are open to visitors and you can just go in. I went inside this house, but didn’t take any photos from inside (that would be invading their privacy)
Yellow wall hanging banana Lucban
By now I had seen enough house decorations
Leaving Lucban Philippines
I really didn’t feel like walking around more because the heat was getting to me and I felt I had seen enough

Here’s a brief video I took while walking around:

Lucban village stream Philippines
I had to walk all the way back to the main road
Carriage carabao Lucban Philippines
That’s a real carabao pulling this float
Traffic Lucban Philippines
There were still some making their way to Lucban, but many making their way out
Southern Luzon State University Lucban
Southern Luzon State University

I boarded a jeepney and made my way to the next stop — Kamay ni Hesus (“hesus” is Jesus, pronounced in Spanish).

Kamay ni Hesus entrance Lucban
Kamay ni Hesus is a popular attraction at Lucban
Kamay ni Hesus hill Lucban Philippines
It’s basically a statue of Jesus atop a hill
Garden of Eden Kamay ni Jesus Lucban
I entered the Garden of Eden
Garden of Eden Noah Ark replica Philippines
And yes, that is a replica of Noah’s Ark
Steps Kamay ni Jesus Lucban Philippines
I began the climb up.
Climbing Kamay ni Hesus hill Lucban
You walk up in a criss cross manner
Crosses kamay ni hesus lawn Lucban
I guess the climb is to represent making your way up to heaven
Kamay ni Jesus statue Lucban Philippines
And when you finally reach heaven, Jesus welcomes you with his open arms. Kamay ni Hesus means “Hands of Jesus”.
Lucban view from Kamay ni Hesus
The view from up here
Trees Lucban Philippines
Lots and lots of trees
Lucban from Kamay ni Jesus Philippines
I guess that’s where I spent my morning
Kamay ni Christ statue Lucban Philippines
Goodbye Jesus
Climbing down Kamay ni Christo Lucban
Time for me to head back down to earth

And that was it. My day at Lucban was over. I boarded a jeepney going back to Lucena Grand terminal. I had picked up lunch from a Jollibee at the bus depot before boarding the bus back to Manila. It was a long journey, getting stuck in traffic towards Manila and finally arriving back at the hostel only past sunset. I was tired and lacking sleep, but I guess it’s a good thing I forced myself to get out of bed early. Pahiyas Festival was a bit of a cultural experience that was sorely missing in all my travels across the Philippines, so it was good that I chose to visit Lucban.

This is also the second last post in this series. Kind of makes me sad to know there is just one final post left to write about in this Philippines series πŸ™

Previous post(s) in this series:

Philippines 2014: Manila Chinese Cemetery

Philippines 2014: Corregidor Island tour

Philippines 2014: Bargain shopping in Manila; Paseo de Santa Rosa & Solenad

Philippines 2014: Japanese tunnel; leaving Davao for Manila

Philippines 2014: Scuba diving for the first time, at Samal Island (Davao)

Philippines 2014: Philippine Eagle Center, Davao

Philippines 2014: Attractions at Eden Nature Park… and getting lost

Philippines 2014: Sky Cycle at Eden Nature Park, Davao

Philippines 2014: Leaving Cebu for Davao; Davao City sights

Philippines 2014: Tumalog Falls; Oslob church, Cuartel

Philippines 2014: Oslob – Swimming with whale sharks

Philippines 2014: Trek to Mount Pinatubo crater lake

Philippines 2014: The itinerary this time around; UP Diliman and Maginhawa

My Philippines journeys: 2011 series | 2013 series

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