Pahiyas Festival is celebrated by the people of Lucban, Quezon on the 15th of May every year. It is in honor of their patron saint San Isidro Labrador (St. Isidore the Labourer), who is also the patron saint of all farmers.
Lucban was described as a quiet farming town, and the Pahiyas Fetival started in the 16th century to celebrate a bountiful harvest and to give thanks to their patron saint.
The Lucbanons during the early Spanish times used to give an offering to an anito asking for a good harvest. After harvest season, they would gather their produce in a church and they would eat and drink together. Their belief is that this kind of merry-making would please their gods and in turn bless them with good harvest the following season.
The celebration has evolved overtime and has become the famous festival foreign and local tourists flock to during the summer month of May.
Residents on the designated streets would decorate their houses with agricultural products as well as the famous kiping (leaf-shaped decorations made of rice). Judges would go to each house and the best decorated house wins.
Not all of the houses in Lucban decorate their house during the festival. A certain route is determined and only the houses along the route are obliged to do so. However, some people with houses outside the route choose to adorn their houses out of free will just for fun.
And why the route, you may ask? Because it costs a lot to decorate the houses that it would be so hard (financial wise) for a homeowner to shell a big amount every year.
Most homeowners allow tourists to enter the house, look out the window to have pictures taken with the decorations. Some houses yeterday, however, were closed. An indication that the owner didn’t want any uninvited guests.
Almost all of the houses were grand, but, of course, some were more festive than the others as they try to outshine one another for the coveted title of having the most beautiful decoration this year.
Below are photos of the houses that I found so appealing.
This street was the most-packed yesterday morning, and the house in the foreground was most photographed (also shown third pic from top).
And Jollibee also has a house in Lucban!
Popo was dancing in front of the house, to the delight of kids and kids-at-heart, when we passed by.
This man was having a last-minute touch-up.
St. Louis de Toulouse (Lucban Church), home of San Isidro Labrador, the town’s patron saint.
It was bustling with activity yesterday. So glad I had a more quiet time visiting the place in 2010.
In front of one of the corner houses along the Pahiyas route, a band was playing. I couldn’t actually understand a word in their songs, but they repeat the word “haribon” over and over.
We left a little after having lunch of the town’s famous pancit habhab (because there’s no fork you have to eat it directly from the palm-sized piece of banana leaf) and buco shake. We didn’t wait for the parade anymore cuz Kenneth still wanted to drop by Kamay ni Hesus.