Lucban, Quezon is known for its appetizing longganisa, and other delicacies or pasalubong that we can’t find in the city. But aside from that, tourists from other parts of the Philippines, and even those across the globe, are also fascinated by its Pahiyas Festival.
Every 15th day of May, Lucban celebrates the feast of San Isidro Labrador, the patron saint of the farmers. As a way of giving thanks to the Lord for a fruitful harvest, they offer their harvest and decorate their houses with kiping (brightly-colored, leaf shaped wafers made of rice powder and water) and produce. The decorations keep the whole community inviting and fun as they celebrate the festival.
What makes the Pahiyas Festival different from the other festivals in the Philippines? It may not have street dances and the usual programs that other festivals have, but Pahiyas showcases the creativity and artistic talent of Lucban's community. It does this through its decorations and a sense of bayanihan (a communal unity and cooperation) – both contribute to a great, community-wide art installation.
The Pahiyas Festival started during the time of our forefathers. Before Christianity came to Lucban, there were offerings made to idols or household deities. When Christianity was introduced by the Spanish, the people of Lucban started to make offerings to God instead. It is believed that the Pahiyas Festival came to be at the same time that the Catholic Church rose in Lucban.
The Pahiyas Festival also makes a big impact on Lucban when it comes to its economy. The festival gives more opportunities to vendors, increases tourism, and increases the sales of its well-known longganisang Lucban.
A downside to the festival, though, is its environmental impact – the government has a hard time cleaning up all the trash that people leave behind.
If you're thinking of seeing the Pahiyas Festival yourself next year, here's how to get to Lucban:
If you have your own car, you can take the South Luzon Express Way (SLEX) and pass through the towns of Calamba, Los Banos, Bay, Vistoria, Pila, Sta Cruz, Magdalena, Majayjay to get to Lucban. You can also take a different route, where you enter the towns of Pagsanjan, Cavinti, and Luisiana after Sta Cruz.
If you’re taking public transportation you have two options: the Manila-Calamba-Lucban route or the Manila-Sta Cruz-Lucban route.
If you choose to take Manila-Calamba-Lucban, take a bus from Manila going to Sta Cruz, Laguna and get dropped off at SM Calamba. From SM Calamba, take a passenger van going to Lucban – the passenger van terminal is located at the parking area in front of Starbucks.
For Manila-Sta Cruz-Lucban, take a bus from Manila going to Sta Cruz, Laguna then take a jeepney going to Lucban. The jeepney terminal is located at Barangay Pagsawitan across DLTB bus terminal. – Rappler.com