Pahiyas Festival of Lucban, Quezon

It is always amazing for me to witness local festivities in my original country, the Philippines. I had the opportunity to be in one last May 15th, and it was in the town of Lucban, province of Quezon, a few kilometers south of Manila.

In honor of their patron saint, San Isidro, the people of Lucban celebrate a harvest festival known as Pahiyas, which always attracts foreign and local tourists alike. Why? It’s so different from other harvest festivals because the houses are decorated with all kinds of farm produce designed in so many beautiful ways. The unique base decor is called “kiping,” or flattened dried rice delicacy made in various colors and beautiful designs. People gather in front of every house of their choice for photo taking and some chatting. You can make friends as you talk to people, many of whom are farmers or sellers of farm produce.

The Pahiyas is a thanksgiving festival for a bountiful harvest, a tradition shared by many Filipinos in all parts of the country. The celebrations may be varied, but the spirit of gratitude to God is always the same.