Pahiyas Festival 2008

PauTravels in one of Lucban's houses adorned by farm produce for the Pahiyas Festival 2008

Every 15th of May, the town of Lucban in the province of Quezon, on the Luzon island of the Philippines, celebrates the feast of their patron saint, Saint Isidro Labrador.  San Isidro is the patron saint of farmers.  And during this time of the year, this farming town holds one of the most famous festivals in the country, the Pahiyas Festival.  The Pahiyas features the town’s houses adorned colorfully with the households main produce ranging from rice, fruits, vegetables, and other handicrafts.  One common decoration during this festival is kiping, colored leaf-shaped decorations made from rice.

And after years of planning to attend this festival, this year my wife and I were finally able to go.  Originally, we planned to go using my car but due to some car trouble, we had to opt to take the commute to get there.  From my wife’s place in Calamba, we took a bus bound for Sta. Cruz.  And in Sta. Cruz, we transferred to a minibus en route for Lucban.  The minibus is a hybrid of a jeepney and a bus.  The trip from Sta. Cruz took about an hour and a half drive through the towns of Laguna via some zigzagged and narrow highway.

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Philippines, How Much Have I Seen of You?

My home country, the Philippines, is an archipelagic nation of 7,107 islands that is situated in the South East Asian region.  It is a tropical country bounded by three bodies of water, the Pacific Ocean to the east, the West Philippine Sea to the west, and the Celebes Sea to the south.  It is basically composed of three island groups: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

The country’s population is pegged at 88 Million, 90% o which are Roman Catholics.  A smaller percentage of the population is composed of Muslim Filipinos who generally reside at the southern islands.  The Philippines also has a long history of Spanish colonization, 333 years in total.  This is still evident with Hispanic architecture left.  The Philippines was discovered by the Portuguese explorer, Ferdinand Megallan under the Spanish flag in 1521.  Then it was also under the US Commonwealth rule for 40 years.

The Philippines is also composed of a diverse group of people with hundreds of different dialects though English is a second language.  And each of its 7000+ islands has a distinct characteristic on its own.  And on this journal, I’ll be listing down the different places in this country of mine that I have visited and possibly my experience with Philippine culture.  And I’ll be linking any blog that I’d be writing for each destination.

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