Monday, May 17, 2010

A Flaunting Festival for Farmers

The Tagalogs consider San Isidro Labrador as the patron saint of farming. Once a year, in the vicinity of this saint's feast, farmers pay homage to San Isidro's generosity by celebrating festivals commemorating the bounty of the past year's harvest. In Lucban, Quezon this is evident in the town's flambouyant Pahiyas, celebrated exactly on May 15.

It has been a tradition to parade the image of the saint through the streets of Lucban. The path of this procession, particularly the facade of homes fronting the chosen street route, will be elaborately adorned with fruits, vegetables and other plant products, as welcome and gratitude to their great provider. Every year the town people would get to flaunt the richness of their produce, from forest crops to products of their industries. Lucban residents have developed this into an art, and each household would try to top the previous year's displays. The results are fascinating and very colorful, drawing tourists and visitors year after year.

This year's bounty is plentiful judging from the magnificent plant art prepared by each household. But because of technology, some other materials have found their way into the composition. But still ever present are the traditional materials like rice. kiping, coconut, buri, vegetables, fruits, etc. Pahiyas 2010 is still a festival worthy to be called a tribute to the hardships of farmers and their beloved San Isidro.

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