Pahiyas Festival is one of the famous festival in Quezon, to honor San Isidro Labrador. It is the farmers' thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest with a grand display of colorful rice wafers, fruits, vegetables, and handicrafts adorning every house in the town. Check out WikiPilipinas for more info. I was really curious and looking forward on what to see the night before the feast as they say that those who participated in house decorations for Pahiyas festival, are also putting lights for people to see.
How to Reach Lucban, Quezon
There are two ways:
1. From Manila, take a bus to Lucena (e.g. Jac Liner Bus, Lucena Lines). Terminals are located in Cubao and Buendia. It is approximately 3-4 hours travel time. Drop off at Lucena Grand Terminal then ride a jeepney to Lucban. Travel time from Lucena to Lucban is around more or less 45minutes.
2. From Manila, take a bus to Sta. Cruz, Laguna. From Sta. Cruz, ride jeepney to Lucban. They said this is cheaper and some people take this route on the day of Pahiyas because of heavy traffic on the above's first route.
Arrival in Lucban, Quezon
From Puting Buhangin / Kwebang Lampas in Pagbilao, Quezon, (see this post) off we went to Lucban! We went back to Lucena Grand Terminal which seems to be your gateway to different towns of Quezon. We just rode one jeepney until we reach Lucban! The town seems so busy and a lot of police officers were roaming around to provide security.
We were dropped off few walks from Southern Luzon State University. I texted my contact on the accomodation so he could pick us up and probably have a shower and rest first before seeing Pahiyas at night.
Our Accomodation - Why you should not stay here
Only few hotels are available in Lucban. And during Pahiyas, it was hard to book unless it's a year before the event. Especially that 15th May of 2011 is a Sunday, hotels were already fully booked when I called. I didn't lose my hope when I read a blog once that this guy named JR from Lucban offers homestay accomodation for a cheap price. When I texted him, he was very eager to respond to almost all my questions, back then he offered homestay for Php 1500 good for 4 pax. He told me it's a two double deck single bed but only a fan room with a communal cr. I'm thinking, of course this is just a "homestay" indeed so I think I should not demand more with amenities. With a cheap price, I accept it right away and deposit a reservation so this trip would come to a reality. To lessen the expenses, 2 of my friends joined too, so we're up to 6. I texted JR and he said its okay to add 2 more without a charge. He seems a nice guy, and even told me he'll tour us around and would be treating us for dinner. Just in my thought, sobrang bait naman nya. (How kind of him)
Upon meeting up with him, he brought us to J&J's Apartment and Dormitory. I was literally clueless of what to expect. I stayed with some homestay on my other trips and I was ultimately happy with it like my stay in Tambobong beach (communal cr) and Camiguin Island. Sadly, with my stay in Lucban, I was very disappointed. :(
He then brought us to a dormitory, He left and told me he'll be back to give us a map so we could locate the streets where house decorations are in place. Yes, he is right with the two double deck room, but the smell is not so nice. Smell like it wasn't used for years. In short, amoy baul. And we only have one pillow for all of us, no curtains and a creepy old cabinet with a chair. And there's no electric fan here. I was kind of frustrated but I was just being calm and I thought I can still manage. I texted JR and told him, kuya bakit wala kaming electric fan? (Why we don't have electric fan?) He told me "nagkaubusan na daw" (Electric fans were already in use and there's nothing left available for us). When the caretaker went up, they're already asking for our full payment at once. When asked where's our fan, they told me I need to pay Php 200 for the electric fan. I texted JR due to my frustration, saying, "Kuya, bakit di mo naman sinabi na kailangan pala magbayad ng Php 200 para sa electric fan". (Why you didn't tell us electric fan is of another charge?) He didn't say sorry about it, and just told me "Opo maam kailangan ninyo po magbayad ng php 200 para sa electric fan". What's with him saying nagkaubusan?! When I paid another Php 200, right away the caretaker gave us a fan.
Mosquitoes are just around the corner and my health is very much important to me . Am I being difficult for demanding an electric fan? I was just furious that even though it is cheap, the cleanliness/safety is at stake, and as a guest who paid for a stay, we deserve at least a good sleep. And mind you during our stay, he didn't tour nor treat us for dinner like what he told me in his text.
If you think I'm just being meticulous or what, the picture will speak for itself. The communal cr is not so nice too. But hey, I can take this all up. I was sad that I invited my friends (one way of promoting tourism hehe) and they're getting this, feeling ko napahiya ako. I'm thankful though that my friends are not choosy when it comes to accomodation. I can sleep on the floor, I can sleep without pillows, I do not mind a communal cr all I want is just a clean space because at least I pay for it, that's all. Take note: if you're reading pinoyexchange forum, I'm not the only one who stay here and felt bad about it.
communal cr and an old cabinet in our room
Another dormitory beside us seems new, when I asked the owner, she told me their rate. It's a brand new apartment turned dormitory, that during Pahiyas, students go back to their homes so it's the owner's chance to have the place rented during Pahiyas/summer. Their rate is just the same with where we're currently staying. I just need to validate, if J&J's dorm is cheaper, and its not.
Anyway enough of it, I don't want to ruin our short weekend getaway, so after taking a bath, we went outside to explore the town of Lucban!
J&J's dormitory is in the village infront Southern Luzon State University. The house decorations is still 10minutes walk from it, so we just move forward and enjoy. We saw this drugstore with kipings around that's so cute and colorful.
In the first place, what is a kiping? Kiping is a leaf-shaped decoration used every Pahiyas which is made from rice and paste. It is designed with bright colors and it is edible but actually tastes nothing for me (walang lasa).
A lot of advertisement are around, like in the next picture. I had a chance to take pictures with beautiful girls hehe.
A lot of stalls, night market Divisoria-style so buy till you drop!
Pahiyas Festival would not be complete if we would not check out some of their renowned delicacy like pansit habhab and lucban longaniza. Our feet led us to Buddy's restaurant, one of the famous restaurants here in Lucban. The place is full packed indeed! Pansit habhab is Lucban's acclaimed yummy treat for everyone. It is known for its style of eating, placing the pansit in a banana leaf then eat it without using any plate or utensils. I'm in love with Buddy's pansit hab-hab. :) We also ordered Lucban longaniza, lumpiang sariwa, etc. Foodtrip!! We paid around Php 150/head for our meal.
i love pansit habhab from Buddy's
Outside Buddy's, some of Philippine's famous bands were playing, rocking the whole town, which was so much fun! We really wanted to stay because we love gigs but we still need to check out the house decorations - our main goal. :)
Pahiyas: The Night Before
Here's my share of Pahiyas Festival at night. I left my borrowed tripod in our accomodation, I wished I brought it here, my bad.
fireworks display along the way
CHECK OUT MY SERIES!
Part1: Trip to Quezon Day 1 - Kwebang Lampas / Puting Buhangin aka Lukang Beach in Pagbilao
Part2: Trip to Quezon Day 1 - Night Before Pahiyas Festival in Lucban
Part3: Trip to Quezon Day 2 - Kamay ni Hesus & Colorful Pahiyas Festival in Lucban
2D/1N Trip to Quezon during Pahiyas Festival - Itinerary and Expenses