I've passed by Lucena a number of times but never really had a chance to roam around the city even once. And when I learned about the city's weeklong celebration of Pasayahan sa Lucena (Chami Festival), I made it a point to visit the city to learn some on what the festival is all about.
Armed with my cellphone's Google Maps application, I left the house at 9:30 AM last Saturday, May 28, 2011. The programme I found on Facebook said the Grand Tricycle Parade would leave the assembly area in Quezon National High School at 1 PM. With further research, I learned that the parade would pass by Merchant Street, turn right towards P. Gomez Street, proceed to Old Manila South Road then head straight to SM Lucena.
It was almost 1:30 PM when I reached the Lucena Grand Central Terminal so I decided to go straight to SM Lucena which was the end-point of the parade. I learned, though, that there's no passenger jeepney that goes straight to SM from the terminal. I had to go to Bayan first then ride another jeepney going to SM. Those were two short rides of minimum fare each. Made me wonder why they wouldn't have jeepneys that will take passengers straight from the terminal to SM.
In Bayan, the jeepney terminal going to SM was near Merchant Street, and the parade wasn't even near Merchant when I got there, which was a good point. I haven't had breakfast nor lunch yet so my plan was to grab a quick meal when I reach SM. I got to the mall a little past 2. I roamed the vicinity and asked around where the parade would be heading. One guard told me it would go directly to the event area at the third floor. Huwat? I thought it was a tricycle parade. The tricycles would go inside the mall? To the third floor?
I went to the third floor and found a small Pasayahan stage ready for GMA 7 stars. Further found out that the celebrities performing there were in the parade itself. And that explained that the tricycles were not really going up the third floor. But oh noes! The guard must have thought I was waiting for the celebrities! But whatever...
I had a fastfood breakfast/lunch/meryenda, and yes, it was my first meal of the day at 2:30 PM. If only I had a host. LoL! But come to think of it, I really wasn't able to sample their famous "chami." I passed by a karinderia selling chami but my stomach is really sensitive I'm afraid to eat anything I'm not used to when I'm traveling. I'll save chami for next year na lang when I already have a host. LoL!
By 3 PM, I went outside to where the parade would pass by. The sun was oh so shining and it's a good thing I brought with me the bush hat my niece Angel brought in Tutuban for me. Anyway, after waiting for some time, the beautiful tricycle floats arrived.
The Tricycle Parade is a contest among Lucena's different barangays. Each one has to make a tricycle float with the theme of whatever it is that their barangay is famous for like farm crops or fishes or boats or whatever. Also included in the parade were winners of different contests held during the weeklong celebration, as well as the personalities that made Lucena proud (e.g. someone who won a national beauty title). But of course the contest remained with the tricycle floats.
It rained hard towards the end of the parade so the GMA 7 celebrities locked themselves up inside their vans, so less chaos. People only got to see Dennis Padilla and someone-I-don't-know for celebrities.
I took video clips using my Kodak Zx1 and put them together by cutting and pasting like that (I'm no good with video editing, sorry). You can watch it below.
I believe the Dalahican float (the boat) won first runner-up and the Market View entry (tilapia) was the champion.
It was a fun Saturday, indeed. Despite the rain and long bus rides, getting the feel of the fiesta atmosphere distinct to festivals like these is an enough reward.
Pasayahan sa Lucena started in 1987. It became a big success reason for it to be held yearly. The Chami Festival started in 2006 to feature Lucena's very own native delicacy.
How to get to (SM) Lucena:
- from Alabang, ride a Lucena Grand Central Terminal-bound bus (ordinary fare is P147 as of this writing)
- at the "Grand," get on a jeep headed for Bayan (P8.00) and tell the driver to drop you off at Pretty 99
- walk a few steps to the east towards the jeepney terminal
- ride a jeepney going to SM (P8.00)