Saturday, May 18, 2013

Pahiyas First Time or Nth Time Makes No Difference

The crowd filled streets of Lucban
Very colorful row
All sombrero house
I am becoming a Pahiyas regular. It was in 2008 when I first attended the Lucban feast.  The second time was in 2010.  Third was last year making me present every other year.  But I am again back in Pahiyas mode this year, accompanying some friends who are first timers.  We attempted to make it a day trip riding a Lucena bound bus from EDSA at 7 am.  It took more than 5 hours for us to reach Lucena.  We ate lunch in Catalino restaurant between Lucena and Tayabas, before taking the bus-like jeep going to Lucban.  It was already 230 when we entered the very busy streets of the festive town. 
Mini kiping flowers
My favorite made out of squash flour
Coco husks
As usual, decorations were all out, cladding the house facades with kiping, pandan, banig, bamboo, fruits, leaves, husks and even recycled items. The streets are literally overflowing with color and awed crowds, not missing the chance to take memento pictures and souvenirs. My companions and I joined in, scrutinizing all the detail and ingenius crafts employed. Cameras were flashing and snapping everywhere.  The elaborate ones had constant mobs in front of them, but we squeezed our way through them, to make our experience complete and authentic.  It included us sampling some of the offered delicacies, like kakanins and the famous longganisa.

Bounty of red fruits
Bungang ipot fruits
Into a chain
One of the things we tried tasting was this Pahiyas's ubiquitous fruit.  I suspect it is kapulasan or the native rambutan-like fruit, but the Lucban residents called it by another name which at the moment escapes my memory (something like lugang?).  The fruit adds a very bright crimson color to the displays.  My friend nibbled on the tender but succulent flesh and could not help squirm because of its very sour taste.   I wonder if the locals harvested the fruits for eating or just for pure aesthetics. We saw more than 20 house using fruit bunches as their primary decoration material, probably because the wild trees are in fruiting season.

A beer sponsored house
But aside from the red fruit, the expected usuals are again back in full force, like anahao, buri, bungang ipot, hagimit, kaong, balete, karagumoi, takipan.  Indeed this side of the Banahaw slopes are blessed with natural bounty.  Two hours later, we left Lucban with bayong bags filled with pasalubong. The bus ride home was spent reviewing the jpeg images stored in our cameras and of course the memories of first time seeing Pahiyas.  As for me, I added another year of experiencing the unique Quezon festival.  I look forward to being back again in the next one, may it be next year or the succeeding ones after that.       

1 comment:

Elmer I. Nocheseda said...

I alway see something different everytime I go to PAHIYAS.try to see it at night. it has different magical appeal. I was surprised when I saw it. try to visit it a day before and see them how they work on the decors.I learned a lot of palm leaf weaving by simply watching them. see it also a day after and have some decors and food for the taking. i was given an old rarely seen salacot, and a blessed unusual palaspas.