Today, May 15, is the feast of San Isidro Labrador, the patron saint of many Catholic communities in the Philippines and no doubt, a lot of fiestas are currently being held in his honor. It is however the annual celebrations in the town of Lucban, in the province of Quezon, which has gained renown for having the biggest and most colorful fiestas on this particular feast day. This is the called the “Pahiyas”, where every year, houses lining the parade route are decorated with the freshest harvest of vegetables and other crops.
I had the chance to visit, witness and experience the Pahiyas back in 2010. Here’s a slideshow of pictures I took on that day.
In recent years, the Pahiyas has experienced a surge of tourism due to its relative proximity to Manila and word-of-mouth promotion which has been very much facilitated by information technology. Tourists from Manila typically leave an hour before sunrise to make it to Lucban at around noontime. A lot of tour providers offer transport services going to Lucban during the Pahiyas, but directions and helpful tips are found all over the Internet for those who intend to go DIY.
I’d recommend visiting this unique and colorful fiesta at least once. Bring a camera.