Pahiyas Festival is a colorful feast celebrated every 15th of May by the people of Lucban, Quezon, in honor of the patron saint of farmers, St. Isidore the Laborer. It is the farmers' thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest. This festival showcases a street of houses adorned with fruits, vegetables, agricultural products, handicrafts and kiping, a rice-made decoration, which afterwards can be eaten grilled or fried. The houses are judged and the best one is proclaimed the winner. Every year, tourists roam the municipality to witness the decoration of houses.
Activities and Events
- Pahiyas Festival Grand Parade – The most awaited event of the townspeople.
- Mayor’s Basketball Cup
- Larong Pinoy (‘Carrera de Bao’) – A relay using footgear made of coconut shell.
- Lucban Longganisa Festival – Longest Tie of Lucban’s Famous product: Longganisa.
- Mutya ng Lucban and Ginoong Lucban
- Medical Mission
- “Lalahan ng Buntal” – A Weaving of Buntal Relay.
- Gayak Carosa Float Parade – Parade of carriages pulled by carabaos with fabulous decorations of the town’s products.
- Band Show
The festival's name came from the Filipino terms “hiyas” (jewel) and “pahiyas” (precious offering). This feast is an ancient farmers' harvest celebration that dates back to the 16th century. According to legend, San Isidro Labrador magically plowed the field whenever he went out of the church. This is the story that the Spaniards passed on to the Philippines from Mexico during their colonial period. Since then, the Pahiyas Festival has been a source of excitement for the locals and visitors of Quezon Province.
The highlight of the festival is a procession of the image of San Isidro Labrador, to ensure the people's bountiful harvest in the coming seasons. The procession features a pair of giant papier mâché figures of a farmer and his wife. This is followed by the image of the patron saint and his wife Sta. Maria de la Cabeza, who carries a basket with triangulo biscuits, which are given to the children during the procession. This culminates with the generous sharing of food among the townspeople.
All the locals' houses are decorated with agricultural harvest (fruits, vegetables, rice grains, rice stalks, flowers, and ferns) and colorful rice wafers, called kiping. These thin wafers made from rice dough are usually arranged in two or three layers of chandeliers called aranya. The locals use different kinds of leaves to add flavor and color to the kiping. They also produce various tastes and textures by using different ingredients such as kabal, coffee, talisay (umbrella tree), cocoa, and banaba leaves.
Each house tries to outdo each other in decorations in an annual competition as they vie for the honor of being recognized for their creativity. After the competition is over and the awards are handed over to the owners of the winning house, the decorations of the house will be thrown to the huge flock of people as free treats. For the other houses, after the festival, those kipings that were used as decorations are cooked and eaten as rice chips. Also during the festival, the people display their harvest in front of their homes so that the parish priest can bless them as the procession passes by.
How to Get There
Here is a list of terminals where you can spot buses offering trips to Lucena, Quezon.
Ride a bus from the following stations above going Lucena, Quezon. Drop off at the Lucena Grand Terminal. From there, choose a jeep that has a trip to your destination. Travel time will take more or less 4 hours from Manila. Have a happy trip and take care!