I was so excited when I finally made it to the Pahiyas Festival. It was a wonderful experience. The festival was held on May 15 and celebrated every year as a thanksgiving to San Isidro Labrador, the Patron Saint of the Farmers, for the agricultural harvest for the year.
This is done by displaying artworks in houses of selected streets for the year. A bountiful display of fruits, vegetables, and all kinds of farm produce.
This festivities is held for a week which attracted local and foreign tourists. The popularity of Pahiyas Festival has contributed to the progressive tourism industry of Lucban, Quezon.
I highly recommend a visit to the Festival. Stay in Lucban for a day to fully enjoy the celebration. To give you an idea on how the festival looks like, I am posting some of the pictures with my tips and in my travelogues. It is truly amazing!
I am posting here a couple of photos of the church of Lucban in the province of Quezon in the Philippines. No matter how many pictures I take, all of them have a trace of its old age. It is interesting to note that this is the third church after it was rebuilt.
In the Year 1595, the first church was built but was ruined in the Year 1629. The following year, the second church was constructed in a span of ten years. The church was destroyed by a fire in the Year 1733. The third church was not built until after five years.
Come see this old church. It is worth a visit!
The site is barely a year at the time of posting but both local and foreign tourist have started visiting the site. The huge statue of Jesus Christ is on top of the hill. You will be climbing 292 steps to be able to reach the statue that can be seen many miles away.
Before reaching the top, you will be passing (while climbing) the statues of the 14 Stations of the Cross. You will also be delighted with the life-size carving of the Last Supper. Before you decide to go up the steep mountain, you may want to visit the church right at the foot of the hill. There is a healing mass that is held on Mondays and Saturdays.
This is one of those experiences that you may not forget. Hope you can make it to the top.
The Municipal building of Lucban is situated at the main road which is Quezon Boulevard. A busy street leading to the town proper. Most of the celebration and festivals, including the popular Pahiyas is being organized and coordinated with the municipality.
I have posted a couple of pictures to give you a closer look of Lucban.
Just like any other street in the Philippines, most streets of Lucban are narrow and congested. Bigger to small streets are full of jeep, tricycle, buses and private cars, not to mention the normal way of local people's travelling....by walking along the road.
You will enjoy walking though as you will have a glimpse of the houses and simple life of the Lucbanins.
If you are on top of the hill beside the statue of Jesus, you will have a chance to see the view of the town of Lucban and its green landscape. It is a refreshing feeling
I am posting here some of the nice views that I am sure you will enjoy. Come see the place yourself, it is worth visiting.
Take a close look of this Tower. Notice that it is old, built in the year 1738 - that is why it is unique.
I posted here some photos of the bell tower which catches my attention during my latest visit in the town of Lucban in Quezon province.
Please continue browsing my tips about the whole of Lucban church - the inside and out.
The pictures I am showing here were taken inside the old church of Lucban. It just remind me of the other few old churches in the Philippines.
You can see the image at the altar although it is a bit dark. I also took a picture of the float that is decorated and used during the procession. There are more to see inside the church but I will let you discover them yourself when you visit this unique church of Lucban.
The traditional Pahiyas adornments consist of colorful rice wafers (kiping in the dialect) shaped into flowers, petals and lanterns. Every household along the Pahiyas route (which is changed every year by the festival organizers) try to come up with the best ideas using these decorative materials to wow guests, and judges.
The best decorated homes are awarded prizes - aside from cash, the awards are a source of bragging rights for these households.
But more than these 'earthly' concerns, the significance of the whole celebration is thanksgiving - to God and to the patron saint of farmers St Isidore of Labrador - for a bountiful harvest.
Visita Iglesia & Via Crucis are usually done by the Catholic locals during the Holy Week. However, even on ordinary days of the year, many people go to the Church and life-size Stations of the Cross at Kamay ni Hesus Shrine in Lucban.
Kamay ni Hesus is a big compound developed by supporters of Fr. Joey Faller, famous healing priest of Lucban, Quezon. There is a Healing Church where regular healing masses are held, and beside it is a hill called Via Dolorosa, Grotto of Healing & Way of Purification. One can go up through the 292 steps on the left ascent or the 278 steps on the right ascent. Although there are lesser steps on the right ascent, the way is more steep. Climbing up becomes easier while praying and stopping by the life-size Stations of the Cross until the 50-ft image of Ascending Jesus Christ is reached at the top. If you make the Via Crucis,you have to start going up through the left side. There are two Stations on each level, so after reaching the next station, you have to continue going up through the right side, go up next on the left side, and so on. Halfway up the hill is a grotto of Mama Mary where you can lift up your prayer intentions.
For a virtual Via Crucis, you may visit my website: http://lolac.multiply.com/photos/album/155
Other places for meditative prayers are: Luklukan ni Maria with various life-size Marian images and Depictions of the 20 Mysteries of the Holy Rosary, Angels Hill and Garden of Eden.
The Parish Church of Lucban, Quezon is named after St. Louis, Bishop of Tolouse.
The Franciscan missionaries built the very first church in 1595 using indigenous materials. It was ruined in 1629; in about 10 years (from 1630 to 1640),the 2nd church was built. Unfortunately, it was razed by fire in 1733 so another structure was constructed and completed in 1738. This is the same structure of the present church. Efforts have been made to preserve the church exterior, but some changes have been made to the church interior.
The first time we went there, it was raining and the church was closed when we arrived. When a funeral hearse arrived, the doors of the church were then opened, but I couldn't take much pictures inside in deference to preparations being done for necrological mass.
I'm glad we were able to visit it again. I'd like to share with you some pictures taken inside the church.
The rainbow-colored "kipings" adorning the houses would give the photo-entusiasts' finger a-clicking at a fast rate. Bring enough memory capacity of your digicam plus a full-charged battery.
The color explosion is awesome as you view the shots later in the computer.
If you are a old church lover like me, don't forget this very old church of Lucban.
This is the parish of Saint Louis, Bishop of Tolouse. Very old church that was first constructed in 1595. This is one of the purpose of Spaniards why they invaded Philippines to teach Christianity and construction of Churches after their invasion in 1521 begun on various location.This Church was was ruined by fires in different occasions so underwent renovations. The present church was completed in 1738.
Since we couldn't go to Lucban on the actual date of Pahiyas Festival, we went there the day before. We went around the streets, and enjoyed watching the different decors being set up in the houses along the Pahiyas route. The Lucbanins are so friendly and ever-willing to accomodate "strangers" like us who simply want to watch them and take some pictures. Some even engaged us in interesting conversations, relating how their families have planned to adorn their houses, while showing us around their houses.
I noticed that the families really put in a lot of effort into the Pahiyas Festival. The wealthy spend a lot of money and hire artists/craftsmen in conceptualizing and executing grand designs; even the more humble homes put up "kiping" decors mixed with farm vegetables and forest fruits and fronds.
The different government and non-government offices participated in the Float Parade held on Pahiyas Eve. Jeepneys and pick-ups were adorned with vegetables, flowers, forest plants & leaves; some even had nipa huts and landscape motif with a statue of St. Isidore as centerpiece. All participants were in a festive mood as they paraded, to the delight of locals and tourists who watched from the sidewalks. It drizzled a bit, but it didn't dampen the spirit of the people.
The floats paraded on the Pahiyas route, where homeowners were still busy decorating their houses.