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2019 Pahiyas Festival: Quezon’s Most Colorful Event Edit

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Colleen Cabili  • Contributor
Opinions expressed by Explora.ph Contributors are their own.

Every May 15, the people of Lucban decorate their houses with vibrant and vivid designs made from indigenous products natural to Quezon. To top it off, each house is set up with an anok, a scarecrow made from rice straw, coir, or sawdust.

Photo by Vien Franco.
Photo from instagram.com/mikkherr.

What sets this festival apart is the use of edible decorations. Houses are covered with layers upon layers of colorful paper-thin rice wafer called kiping, which are molded from different kinds of leaves like banaba, cacao, and coffee. These are either grilled or fried. 

Photo by Isavel Velasco.
Photo by John Louie Briz Yco.

Aside from the floats and pageants, another must-see during the festival is the parade of carabaos. Widely recognized as trusted companions in farming, they are often painted and adorned with harvest and kiping for the event. Some of them are even taught tricks that they’d proudly show off during the procession!

Photo from instagram.com/caloy_ventura.
Photo by Markytour777 from Wikimedia Commons.
Photo by Andy Nelson.

Pahiyas Festival got its name from the local word payas, which means “decoration.” The image of San Isidro de Labrador is paraded in town and ends in the parish church. Children then rush to random houses to perform the finale of the tradition called the kalas, a competition where they struggle against the owners to tear the decors down and run away with them.

Are you joining the fun in Lucban? Check out the directions below! You can also head over to Explora to learn more about Lucban and Quezon Province. 

Batis Aramin


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How to get to Lucban, Quezon

By public transportation

From Cubao or Kamuning in Quezon City, take a bus to Lucena Grand Terminal (4 to 5 hours). From there, hop onto a mini-bus or a jeepney to Lucban (30 to 45 minutes).

From Buendia-Taft or Pasay-EDSA, take a bus to Lucena Grand Terminal (4 hours). From there, take a mini-bus or a jeepney to Lucban (30 to 45 minutes).

By private vehicle

Take the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) and exit at either Santo Tomas or Calamba. If you’re taking the former, follow the Lucban-Tayabas Road once your reach Tayabas. The drive can take 3 to 4 hours depending on the traffic. The latter is a much shorter route and cuts the travel time to 2 to 3 hours.

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