By Marie Francia
When the townspeople of Lucban, Quezon start adorning their homes with a splash of colorful kipings (leaf-shaped wafer made of rice), flowers, fruits, vegetables and other agricultural stocks, then you’ll know that a week filled with merriment and cheer is about to begin.
The Pahiyas Festival is hands down one of the most vibrant feasts in the country. It paints the town with a flamboyant vibe that is highly contagious and can even last weeks after the gaiety.
From the word hiyas which means jewel, the festival is really meant to celebrate the beautiful harvesting season every 15th of May. This vigorous fete is the town’s way of saying thanks to the patron saint of farmers, San Isidro de Labrador for the bountiful year. This year, the festival falls on a Tuesday and the local government plans to make it look like it’s the weekend!
It’s not hard to love this energetic town especially during the festivity, but there are a lot of things to consider before making your way down to Lucban,
Here are tips and guidelines on how to party in Pahiyas without a hitch:
How to get there:
Lucban is among the first few municipalities you’ll step into when you reach the Province of Quezon. It is close to Laguna and can be reached around 3 to 4 hours from Manila.
Take the Calamba Exit at the South Luzon Expressway. You have to pass through the towns of Calamba, Los Banos, Bay, Victoria, Pila, Sta. Cruz, Pagsanjan, Cavinti and Luisiana. Lucban is the first town in Quezon you’ll reach via this route.
Where to park:
Once you get to the town proper, you have to park a few kilometers away from the center of activities. Apart from it being too crowded with locals and guests, the town proper will be closed down for parades and other happenings. The best way to go around town is by walking.
Paid parking spaces are your best bet. There are designated parking lots outside of town. Just make sure to get their early as it gets congested hours before the actual feast begins.
Kamay ni Hesus Healing Church has a wide parking lot space that you can consider.
It’s still summer so expect the sun to get as harsh as it could be. Don’t forget to bring a sun hat which can double as a protection from the harmful UV rays and as a perfect match for your #ootd.
There are also after-sun sprays you can use to alleviate the sticky, icky feeling of being under the sun for hours. They can really be useful when your patience goes down from 100 to nil.
And drink lots of water, too!
What to do:
Do as the locals do and be part of the town-wide carnival.
Here is the schedule of activities you can join in on May 15:
6:00 AM Holy Mass followed by the Pambansang Prusisyon
8:00 AM Timpalak Pahiyas Daytime Grand Parade
2:00 PM Afternoon Grand Parade
6:00 PM Timpalak Pahiyas Kutitap Contest
Check out their website www.pahiyasfestival.com for more tips and suggestions.
Celebrate the Pahiyas Festival 2018 with us! Share your updates and experiences here on #ChoosePhilippines. Feel free to comment below or upload your stories!
Image by Diana Marie Pablo