Mount Banahaw in Quezon
To be honest, I’ve never been to any festival or fiesta in my entire life. Yes, yes, what a loser of me but that’s the reality. I’ve always wanted to experience going to a fiesta because I know that in Philippine culture, this is one of the events that many Filipinos (and even foreigners) anticipate. So when the opportunity came from Samsung, I immediately agreed to be part of their group to test their cameras during the Pahiyas Festival.
San Isidro de Labrador (St. Isidore, the Laborer) of Lucban, Quezon
All I knew about Pahiyas Festival are the colorful houses but I didn’t really know what it’s all about. When I was there, I learned that the Pahiyas Festival is a tribute to San Isidro de Labrador (St. Isidore, the Laborer). This is also the time that Lucbanons show their produce by decorating their houses with their own harvested produce. So basically, the whole Pahiyas celebration is a thanksgiving festival for the abundant harvest and hopefully they’ll be blessed for the next year’s harvest. By the way, the Pahiyas Festival happens every May 15.
Families watching the parade
Not all streets have houses decorated because it will be too expensive for a family to spend decorating their houses for the festival every year. So the local municipalityl decided that each street will have their chance every other year. As you know, they have a yearly competition for the most beautifully decorated house every year so it’s good that they have more time to prepare.
You will see that the most common thing that they decorate their houses with are kiping, vegetables and other produce that the family has. Kiping is a local delicacy which is made of ground rice flour shaped into cabal leaves which are dipped into color pigments. You can actually eat the Kiping either by grilling or frying it.
Carabaos were also part of the parade. I guess that this is because of the carabaos participation in the harvesting process.
The whole Pahiyas festival experience was very tiring (because we had to walk and no vehicles can go inside the festival proper). Even though it was a busy day for us, it was worthwhile. The view of the Mount Banahaw is breathtaking and the temperature there is not very humid. Surprisingly, it felt like I was in Tagaytay. The locals say that it’s the highest part of Quezon that’s why the temperature there is much cooler compared to other places in Quezon.
The experience of going to the Pahiyas Festival is an enjoyable experience. Finally, I can say that I have been to a fiesta!