Summer or dry is the most awaited season the country. Why, because this is the best time to go island hopping and frolic in the white sandy beach under the clear blues skies. But..hey did you know that there are so many reasons why you should spend summer in the Philippines aside from beach hopping?

One of the activity that I highly recommend is to immerse in Philippine Culture by attending festivals. There are numerous festivals in this country and I am happy to say that I have attended “some” because there are still so many that I haven’t attended. One of the most famous festival celebrated every 15th of May, is the Pahiyas Festival. The Festival  is celebrated in honor of St. Isidore the Labourer, who is the patron Saint of farmers in Lucban, Quezon Province. It is observed and participated by all the members of the locality and this festival showcases a street of houses which are adorned with fruits, vegetables, agricultural products, handicrafts and kiping, a rice-made decoration. Each house are judged and the best one is announced as the winner for the year. The Pahiyas is quite famous thus becoming a tourist attraction. In fact, attending this festivity was also listed in my bucket list. Anyway if you want to know more about the Pahiyas Festival, I would rather direct you to the best source, so that you get more accurate information. Simply follow this link  to their website: http://www.pahiyasfestival.com/2017/history-of-the-pahiyas/

Back to my Pahiyas story, I personally suggest that you read all the information in the website I have included above, especially the schedule so that you won’t miss anything.

It was years ago, in fact that was 5 years ago when I first attended the festival. I was with a friend and we just thought of going there without any plan. The funny thing was, 5 years ago, we decided to commute on our way to Lucban and in 2013 commute in the Philippines was never fun ha ha ha… We left very early from Cavite and off we rode jeepneys, buses and tricycles to reach the area. That time we thought we were the crazy ones, because we decided to use the public utility vehicle, well only to realise that it was the best decision we had made! There were so many tourists and each drove their own car, the narrow streets leading towards the plaza became a parking lot and eventually the baranggay officials had to close the only street leading to the center, thus all guests were required to leave their car 1km away and either ride the tricycle or walk. Since we commuted we do not have to worry about parking or getting out of the area anytime.

The first thing that we did is to take a look at all the houses that were adorned and dressed with bounties from the farm…All houses were colorful, lively and simply amazing.. my eyes were filled with so much beauty that it hurts and I am dazed. I don’t know were to look first or which street to explore. Anyway, we both decided to create a map out the area so that we won’t miss any house. I will share a secret, look for less crowded street and start from there, you’ll have more time to take photos without photo bombers around, do not go with the crowd. Also this festivity is well covered by the media, so if you want to be seen in television look for those houses featured by news tv, who knows the newscaster might even interview you.

There were performances in the streets, you will see happy faces and colorful Kiping… therefore we didn’t notice that we have been walking for over 3 hours until our feet hurt and our tummy grumbling 🙂 We were too busy taking photos left and right…talking to home owners about their displays.

My friend was hungry and complaining already, she wanted to eat rice for lunch and we cannot find a restaurant that isn’t filled with tourists. My feet also hurt, I had to think and do something about the situation, so I told my friend that we will just enter a house and ask the owner if they have something to offer, anyway, its a fiesta! Fiesta in the province especially here in the Philippines means everyone even a stranger is invited to dine in one of the houses. I composed myself, smiled and entered a house that was open, the lady of the house invited us in upon seeing us by the door. Without thinking twice, I came in, my friend behind me very embarassed, said good morning to the lovely lady and the men inside the house! We were offered local delicacies like Suman and Pancit too! Probably you would want to ask if I ate? Of course I did, was so hungry to say no to free food offered to us! 🙂  While eating, the entire family conversed with us… I later fund out that we have common friends! Can you imagine that? One of the men is the nephew of the Lady and he was actually a colleague of my college friend, such a small world. We all ended up trading stories about the festival, my friend and more…. I had my fill of stories, found new friends and my tummy was satisfied above all… I cannot help but thank St. Isidore for the blessings on that day.

Later on, we continued exploring the houses, waited for the parade of Pahiyas Queens, announcement of the winner for best adorned houses and of course we also attended the procession and the mass later in the evening. We left Lucban quite late but that was ok because we had fun, met new friends and above all it was a wonderful experience, one that is worth sharing over and over.

Now, that’s the reason why I am writing this story, I also wanted you to experience one of the most colorful festivals in the Philippines. To convince you further here are the photos I have taken 5 years ago…..even now I can can still remember the vivid colors, the happy and lovely faces of people around me and most of all the blessings. Enjoy the the colorful photos and let me know how you feel after reading this story and looking at the pictures.

Houses adorned with Kiping and fresh harvest, if you think this is too much take a look at the succeeding photos.

Photographers everywhere, its very difficult to take a picture of a house without them photobombing lol

So much colours that I feel bursting with it.

I was actually thinking if the owner of this house commissioned the fire department to help them decorate their 3-storey home.. they need a ladder or a crane to dress this house up

Rainbow coloured Kiping adorned this house

Lucky enough that we arrived early, the streets and the houses weren’t crowded yet.

Guarding their windows, well actually they were waving and greeting us but got tired after several hoursCan you spot whose real or not?

The locals are so friendly and accommodating, even these kids they were entertained by tourists who were amazed with the adornments, for them it’s just another year of Pahiyas , but for me it was AMAZING! 😀

Our lovely and generous host, this is Tita who owned the house and fed us although we just met for the first time, with her nephews and grandsons… a whole funny and lovely bunch of people. Happy to have met them

The vegetables might have been very flattered, tourists flock to take a picture of themI was tempted to pick one of those fruits displayed and eat it ha ha ha

Higantes parade before the mass started in the afternoon

Giving praise and thanks to St. Isidore

Now, we’re you convinced by these photos and my stories? Have you made up your mind to attend the festivity on May 15th? I hope you were, don’t miss it. It will be one kind of an experience😀 Cheers!

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