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.
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.
Shakey’s had this enormous bus serving food
It was very hot and we had to walk a bit
The roads had been blocked and vehicles could not enter
Right away I could see the decorated houses
Pahiyas Festival being a harvest festival, people decorate their houses with vegetables, fruits, rice grains and other produce
The Pahiyas Festival in Lucban is also noted for how colourful the decorations are
The best decorated houses win prizes
This was probably the tallest house I saw all covered up
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
The kids were loving it (taken using the GoPro)
Lots of posing going on
Word of advice to photographers: if you wish to capture the houses in its true glory, come really early in the morning
These are the edible kiping. Made of ground rice, and despite all the colouring, they are rather tasteless
And everybody uses kiping as a decoration
Lots of selfies were taken this day
Some houses were trying out different designs
More stuffed figures. Their hands were being tugged by strings.
This was some Philippines branch of the Hare Krishna/Iskcon singing a rather melodious chant which had everyone grooving
This is on the other hand is Lucban longganiza, a popular sausage from this region
I like this photo
I couldn’t even take a clear photo of these houses because of the crowds in front of it
I took this shot in a split second…
… because otherwise it would look like this
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 is the patron saint of farmers in whose honour Pahiyas festival is celebrated
That’s some really nice work done on decorating the balcony
Some houses used a lot of vegetables for decorations
Corporate brands had taken over some of the houses too
Same house? Or two?
I just kept walking around the many blocks
Lots of bananas and coconuts used in this one
Now this was impressive!
One of the more interesting designs I saw
If you couldn’t make out from the umbrellas — it was scorching hot!
Green, yellow and red were most prominent colours
Aside from kiping, the only thing I constantly bought were juices and water to keep myself hydrated
One side a participating side, the other not participating
Variety in decorations always garner attention
I would use my GoPro every once in a while
Another tall house all done up
Some stretches of the road were just too crowded
Which made sights like this all the more welcoming to me
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
Church of Saint Louis, the main church in Lucban
Prayers were in full strength
Pahiyas festival t-shirt on sale
I guess I was in the public market now
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)
By now I had seen enough house decorations
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:
I had to walk all the way back to the main road
That’s a real carabao pulling this float
There were still some making their way to Lucban, but many making their way out
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 is a popular attraction at Lucban
It’s basically a statue of Jesus atop a hill
I entered the Garden of Eden
And yes, that is a replica of Noah’s Ark
I began the climb up.
You walk up in a criss cross manner
I guess the climb is to represent making your way up to heaven
And when you finally reach heaven, Jesus welcomes you with his open arms. Kamay ni Hesus means “Hands of Jesus”.
The view from up here
Lots and lots of trees
I guess that’s where I spent my morning
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
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