#SharePH: Lucban in the time of Pahiyas
QUEZON, Philippines - I am 21 in a rain-drenched town of munchies that can easily satisfy anyone’s appetite any given time of the day. I am 21 in a simple town that transforms overnight into a festival of colors and a circus of cultural events come the month of May.
Yes, I am 21 in a town that gives me the bragging rights when someone asks, “Taga-saan ka kuya?” (Where are you from?)
“Sa Lucban po, Bayan ng Pahiyas.” (Lucban, place of Pahiyas)
Much has been said and written about the town of Lucban. From the ever garlic-stuffed Lucban langgonisa (sausage), which is always best served with the town’s very own suka (vinegar), to the sweater-weather that made the town the “Summer Capital of Quezon” - Lucban, Quezon has been an interesting subject for bloggers and backpackers alike.
But the top reason why one should visit this place comes in the month of May, when various festivals put red in Filipinos' calendars - each festivity trying to get a niche on travellers' busy schedules.
Every 15th of May, you must find yourself all the time in the world - for that, my friend, is the day Lucban’s very own Pahiyas Festival is celebrated.
A town of colors
Never short of harvest on that particular date, Lucban turns into a town of colors. A showboat, one might say, for every décor displayed on the houses of the Lucbanins boasts their ‘taunang ani’ (annual harvest) in honor of the patron saint of farmers, San Isidro Labrador.
It is an event that attracts not only tourists but big time sponsors as well. This now alcohol-soy-sauce-telecom-beverage sponsored festival has become somewhat a mainstay when it comes to articles and blogs that tackle culture, festivities, parties, and of course - food porn.
For just one day, Lucban becomes a melting pot of both culture and personality. Locals and tourists alike share one thing in common the moment they visit Lucban in its colorful transformation - the need to have something to share among their peers.
Starting with the morning thanksgiving to the patron saint of harvest through a walk at the streets with the colorful payas, the day will eventually test the mettle of your beloved GoPro or DSLR because of the decors in the town. Rice crispies, locally known as kiping, paint the town in different colors that contest your kid’s large pack of Crayola.
Best enjoyed with family or friends, your head scratching dilemmas because of the flood of people will eventually fade by the time you appreciate the beauty and craftsmanship of the Lucbanins when it comes to design.
Living up to the hype and title of being the “Art Capital of Quezon," Lucbanins show off their talents by fashioning the best arangyas and kipings in town. And yes, made out of rice crispies shaped like leaves, the kiping is the most sought-after product in Pahiyas for pasalubong (souvenirs).
Of course, the evening delight is lighting up the ‘kutitap’ lights of the houses. Even under the moonlight, the colors of Lucban boast their vivid lights that contest the stars of the 15th.
The night-long street parties and different local brands of poison in the form of lambanog (coconut wine) complete one’s Pahiyas experience. Different acts in the music industry, courtesy of the major sponsors, now become mainstream acts during the night of the festival. The program proper is but a prelude to what one really wants to experience here in the province - a joyful stay away from the smoky metro.
Whether it be floods of hashtags and posts including various obligatory Pahiyas selfies in various social media sites, or the trendy ‘pasalubong’ of broas, longganisa, apas and the ever sold out Pansit Lucban - everyone wants to share a piece of their experience in the annual festivity of the town.
This is only fitting, for Lucban gives visitors the experience any writeup cannot fully describe. I am 20 in a town I have always been proud of, but I cannot even put into words the real atmosphere Pahiyas offers. There is more than just fancy words and vivid photos when it comes to the event.
Lucban’s Pahiyas is a festival for everyone seeking a different brand of good time. It is a festival of colors that paints a blank canvas, a recipe that feeds one's hunger for art and joy, blended in one heavy meal.
Be sure to put it on your bucket list and have the time of your life in Lucban's Pahiyas Festivl. - Rappler.com
Archiebald Capila is a Rappler Mover in Lucban, Quezon.
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