An explosion of colors. Festive chattering of people. Food…endless supply of food.
These are the main reasons why I kept on coming back. Pahiyas in Lucban Quezon for me is an all too familiar affair. It’s just been 2 years since my very first Pahiyas Festival and I have been attending consistently to this date. Nothing new to it, actually, but the feeling of home will always keep on calling me back.
This year, I was not able to attend the Pahiyas Procession. Because of work, I had to leave Manila around 9 in the morning. And guess what? I arrived at Lucban 5 in the afternoon. ARGH.
No regrets, though. As soon as I disembarked from the farthest point the Jeepney could take us (roads were already blocked for the parade and bazaar), we walked the food-studded path to the city. Our first stop was Pancit Habhab only for 10 Php! For those of you who are not familiar with it, it’s sauteed rice/egg noodles placed on a banana leaf for consumption. Wait…number one rule is you can’t use any utensils. Eat your way through!
We also came across Inihaw na Longganisang Lucban (12 Php ea.). With soda on 1 hand, Habhab and Longganisa on the other, and our backpacks to where they should be, we headed towards the city proper.
I have lost all hope at that moment to meet my favorite Pahiyas attraction, the Higantes. However, to my surprise, 2 of them were parading perpendicular to the street we were walking on. We finally caught up with them and the fan-girl that I am, I waved madly until one of them noticed and leaned “Hi!” to my camera. HAPPY!!!
My partner’s relatives are from Lucban, by the way, which means we got a place to crash in for the night. We reached their place and after paying our respects to the elders, we were once again invited to eat. Remember this: you are not to refuse any offer to eat! That would be considered as rude. My tip, eat in small quantities. You’d be able to last the whole festival. ＾□＾
There was a Display of Lights competition that night sponsored by Meralco and the local government. Though ecstatic about the festivities, I dozed off but was awakened by exalted cheers and hoorays. Turns out, I was knocked off a full hour and the competition was over with the house I’m sleeping in at that time, winning second place! The bliss and pride emanating from the whole household was overwhelming 😀
We roamed around after that. We saw one house with higantes, falls, and 2 flying kites! It was to my great disappointment that it did not win any major prices, though.
If you are wondering if there is more to Lucban other than the Pahiyas Festival, then the answer is two thumbs way up. Lucban is a town situated at the foot of Mt. Banahaw. This is the only place near Metro Manila that I know of, that considers water heater still a necessity during summer. Seriously, the water from the mountains was brutally cold!
Anyway, if you happen to attend Pahiyas next year, visit River Camatian. At first you may be disappointed with the site of kids playing around the nearer end of the river but go further uphill until you reached the deserted part. The water is colder, cleaner, and you’ll have a lot of chances to commune with the outdoors. Talk about tiny, furry, interesting insects, plants, and the like. Cool, huh?
Remember and never forget: clean as you go. Please!
A good place to eat aside from the ever famous Buddy’s would be the Old Center Panciteria. Their Pancit Habhab is to die for! One reason I could think of would be because they have been making egg noodles since 1937 and have been in the business ever since. Their Lucban Longanisa is also worth a try. Definitely bigger than the ones you see in Manila!
What I love about this place is you get to enjoy cheap food in the comfort of being in an air conditioned space. But prepare to be served after eternity. I guess because the restaurant has just opened and they didn’t probably have an idea how delicious their dishes are, they didn’t hire too many people to handle the hungry crowd. Yeah, serving time can go for as long as 1 hour.
If you are the cowboy type, try Pagka-Inn. They may not have air conditioning, but the food is heavenly. Their Pancit serving is bigger and have more sahog. One of the things that caught my curiosity was their Chami sa Ketchup. It was good but for the acquired taste.
Before we went home the next day, we dropped by Kamay ni Hesus to see life-sized statues influenced by the catholic faith. Actually some of them were bigger than life itself! There was even a Noah’s Ark replica which serves as a Retreat Center. Very clever and artistic!
You see, Lucban is more than just the Pahiyas. If you would look further, you would see a town rich with creative people, natural wonders, and quality products worth exporting and recognizing worldwide!
The next time you visit, make this a challenge as well. Look forward to Pahiyas and then look further and discover after Pahiyas. GARBO LUCBAN!!!
How to go to Lucban through Public Transportation:
1. From Cubao, ride Jam Liner to Lucena Grand Terminal – 218 Php
2. Once in Lucena Grand Terminal, ride the jeep going to Lucban – 30 Php
3. Alight on the TricycleTerminal. Should you wish to walk and explore, you’re welcome to do so 🙂
How to go to Kamay ni Hesus from Luban Town Proper: I say Ride the Trike!!! It’s just nearby 🙂
**Here are my photos from Pahiyas 2014 ( ￣)y―oo0O0O〇○**