It’s that time of the year again when a throng of tourists armed with straw hats and fancy cameras terrorize the quiet town of Lucban, Quezon for the Pahiyas festival. This year, I was one of them although I was way too cool to wear a straw hat so I ended up with a sunburned face instead. My A3200 point-and-shoot is on the D-list of digital cameras but that did not stop me from trying to be as artsy-fartsy as the rest of the DSLR-toting crowd. A wise person once said, if all else fails, idaan na lang sa epal. So here goes.
Pahiyas is an annual festival held on May 15 to celebrate a bountiful harvest and give thanks to San Isidro Labrador, the patron saint of farmers. Each year, Lucbanons go all out in decorating their houses with their signature kiping, buri hats, rice stalks and grains, and various kinds of produce.
A procession is held in the afternoon which starts and ends at the Lucban church. It features the statue of San Isidro Labrador, local marching bands, contestants in the town’s beauty pageant, old ladies in full makeup, horses, carabaos, giant papier mâché figures, a couple of TV celebrities and floats of various corporate advertisers including a telecommunications company, soft drink and beer manufacturers, a newspaper and a steel corporation.
And nothing relieves the exhaustion of making your way through the suffocating crowds all afternoon like a bottle of cold beer at the end of the day and toploading on a jeepney back to Lucena.
(P.S. Congrats to Monica on her first toploading experience! Here’s to hoping your mother doesn’t kill me.)