Archive for pahiyas festival

kaleidoscope

Posted in architecture, artifacts, culture, events, food, locales, people, tradition, travel with tags , , , , , , , , on June 14, 2009 by mijodo

kaleidoscope of colors

To say the least, there was much anticipation in getting to Lucban, Quezon afterall it was fiesta time (May 15).  And next to the Sinulog Festival of Cebu, the Pahiyas Festival has been drawing the most tourist crowd according to tourism officials. Tens of  thousands should be swarming the narrow streets of this town, about 5 hours from Manila.

Our driver, took the less popular route, by getting through the hills of Antipolo and Tanay, Rizal, and proceeded to the coastal towns of Laguna. With a brief stop at Lumban where jusi and pina cloth has been its  industry product for years, our family’s reliable Revo went directly to the first town of Quezon – Lucban.

It was not supposed to be the easiest company to have during this road trip, after some heavy domestic problems. But Mom was an eager tourist, ready to sample what this town could offer. This time, Mom and I had a nice ride, no family spats, no recurring “I told you so’s”, just the crackling of our laughters, somehow wiping out all the recent emotional crises, we just had.

As the car drove towards the town, we knew right away that it was a busy day as commuters packed the jeepneys and buses reaching the area. Our car could not parallel park on the usual avenues thus the driver had to drive it to the designated parking lot.

Mom, a family friend (Nang Bina) and I went to explore the numerous homes, fancied up for the occasion on the feast of San Isidro Labrador, Lucban’s patron saint. It indeed was just like what one gets to watch on tv, and read on the papers, many of the homes are wrapped in a cornucopia of colors.  Each participating house creates its own florid design, a veritable kaleidoscope made out of  farm harvests and the famous kiping – rice based wafers, dyed in assorted color, used either as a petal or leaf in creating ariticial floral pieces.

The tradition of presenting the town’s harvests as part of its decoration is a way of thanksgiving to the Almighty and San Isidro for continually blessing the town’s people with such bounty. Banana leaves, rice grain and the stalks, garlic bulbs, sayote and talong, stringed together are just some of the ingenious  and inspired ways the people of Lucban have fashioned to make the tourist smile and feel good about this town. Well, the P100,00 promised to the best decoratedd house from the local government can be a good incentive too.

The people of Lucban were warm and accommodating during the festivities.  They would let people go up even to the second floor of their houses so that travellers could have some pictures taken at the windowsills which usually were the focal points of the facade adornments.  There was a need for public restrooms though for tourists who might not necessarily know of anyone in the locale. Yet the owners graciously welcomed us to use their bathrooms. We were  just wondering a little why on the very feast day, at noon, many of the owners did not have significant food prepared for their respective personal guests, not that we strangers would gatecrash.

But of course, we had to sample the peculiar way of eating Lucban’s pancit habhab which had to be fetched by mouth directly from the banana leaf make-do plate.  We grabbed a bite from the numerous and crowded restos in the area. The pancit habhab was very similar to that of the usual pancit canton, although less spicy.  Mother and Nang Bina liked it a lot. I enjoyed more the fried lumpiang ubod.

After some photo opportunities, we went to the church where many activities were being  prepared until the early evening. But we knew our time had come to leave the area and head back to Manila, and we just had to get a kilo or two of the popular longganisang lucban as pasalubong. Amidst more laughters and good conversation inside the car, I got to see my Mother who had been adversarial and combative just a month ago in a different view – a vital and vibrant part of our small family. It was just a matter of focusing where one could get to really see the beautiful colors and shades of a person, again just like in a kaleidoscope.

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