Make sure to download Our Awesome Guide for information, food, and pasalubong tips when in Lucban, Quezon! 🙂
The Pahiyas Festival is one of the most popular fiestas in the Philippines, held in honor of San Isidro Labrador, Catholic Patron Saint of Farmers. It is celebrated annually every May 15th (regardless of whether it falls on a weekday or a weekend).
The festival is a thanksgiving feast for a beautiful harvest. Kiping (colorful decorations made from dried rice paste) are used to decorate the houses along with various fruit, vegetables, and flowers.
#TeamOAP (Team Our Awesome Planet) visited this year and put together these helpful tips for you to use next time you visit Pahiyas.
1. Travel Tips
Be sure to leave Manila by 3am. Take the route to Lucena to avoid traffic in the neighboring towns that are also celebrating their own Pahiyas Festival.
Parking is located outside of town. This means you need to ride a tricycle or walk to get to the route.
Tip: Look out for heavy traffic if you decide to leave the festival by 3pm, when the parade is just getting started.
2. What to do at the Pahiyas Festival
Hear the morning mass at St. Louis Parish Church. Mass starts at 6am and is followed by a procession that leaves the church at 7am.
You can start the tour by following the well-decorated path that starts and ends at the church.
Every year, the procession route changes to give way for other houses to participate in the decorating.
Trivia: It usually takes about seven years before the procession passes by the same house again.
Lucban is known for their low-priced and beautiful buri hats, made by the local women.
The main decorative piece of the festival is the kiping, a dried, leaf-shaped rice paste the comes in a variety of colors.
Kiping is edible, and you can buy it from the locals selling along the route for P10. It tastes like bland kropek (shrimp crackers); they add sugar or salt for flavor.
The houses make excellent backdrops for your next Facebook and Instagram pics. 😉
We love the intricate details they put into decorating the house. Even the small decorations are lovely to photograph.
One of the best souvenirs from the fiesta would be a picture from inside the decorated houses.
Tip: Don’t be shy to ask permission from the owners; most of them don’t mind and will even invite you to eat with them. 🙂
The parade starts at 2pm and will end until it makes a full circle back to the church.
We were lucky enough to be hosted by this lovely family. Thank you, Chase and Tita Lynn for letting us experience an authentic Pahiyas feast! 🙂
We had a wonderful view of the parade from their window…
One of the attractions of the procession is the Parade of the Parikitan (Gowns).
Designers in town are challenged to create beautiful dresses that incorporate the spirit of the fiesta.
The crowd is always excited for the parade of the carabaos (Philippine water buffalo).
Trivia: The carabao is one of the main symbols of the Philippines and a farmer’s best companion, as they help with farming chores.
Last is the parade of higantes (giants). These towering creations bring joy and laughter as they try to scare and chase after the crowd.
Even after the parade ends, the crowd is still lively…
During the fiesta, don’t miss the chance to dance with the crowd while the street band repeatedly chants “haribon-haribon”. 🙂
For dessert, try the Pilipit (P7), a popular street food made of kalabasa (squash). Its original shape is a figure 8, but sometimes it resembles a donut.
It’s sweet and sticky–a good choice for merienda.
Don’t forget to eat Pancit Hab-Hab served on banana leaves.
Tip: It’s a tradition to eat it with a bit of vinegar and directly from the banana leaf using only your mouth (no utensils). P10 only.
When passion fruit is in season, grab a drink for only P6.
Tip: You can bring home passion fruit concentrate but you need a cooler and ice so it won’t spoil on your way back to Manila.
The best pasalubong so far is the Lucban Longganisa (small, P80/dozen).
Lucban longganisa has a garlicky taste, and you can find the locals hanging them outside their house. Our favorite though is the simple grilled longganisa on the streets. Dip in vinegar for added taste. 🙂
Fun Fact: They don’t use preservatives–just oregano, garlic, and atsuete.
If you stay until 6pm, you’ll get to see the houses slowly light up with Christmas lights. 🙂
3.Where to eat in the town?
Check out Our Awesome Guide to help you get around town. 🙂
If you’re looking for a different way to eat longganisa and not just for breakfast, try Abcede’s Longgaburger (P50) and their other longganisa dishes.
Acede’s Menu: Menu 1, Menu 2, Menu 3, Menu 4
You can also buy longganisa for pasalubong here…
Quezon Avenue, Lucban Quezon
Facebook: Abcede’s Resto
…or head over to the original Buddy’s just around town.
99 Avenida Rizal, Lucban Quezon
Mustiola’s is known as the best karinderia in town featuring Quezon cuisine. The yellow Spanish painted house isn’t hard to miss.
They serve delicious and satisfying home-cooked meals at affordable prices. Budget is about P110 with drinks.
San Luis Street, Lucban Quezon
Their specialties include sinantomas and halo-halo, which are available during the afternoon. However, we were not able to try them because we arrived during breakfast. 🙁
Mustiola’s Menu: Menu 1, Menu 2
We asked the locals where the best Pancit Hab-hab is and most of them told us to try Center Miki Factory: Old Center.
Center Miki Factory has been making pancit hab-hab since 1937. Available in fresh and dried versions, it is a very dense and flavorful egg noodle. They don’t serve pancit hab-hab the traditional way. 🙁 But you can buy dried noodles for pasalubong here.
Center Miki Factory: Old Center
85 San Luis Street, Lucban, Quezon
During the festival, Chef Joel gave us a taste of his rendition of pancit hab-hab–yakisoba style–available only during Pahiyas. Nigazz Ramen House is so small, you might accidentally miss it.
Chef Joel S. Perea was the Maitre D’ and manager of the French restaurants La Girolle and Brasserie Girolle in Manila. His French restaurant background inspires his style of cooking ramen.
Fun Fact: I bet you’re all curious, but no, this is not a racist ramen joint. Nigazz is the name of the owner’s son.
They have no bestseller because for Chef Joel every one of his dishes is the specialty. We like the broth and the al dente noodles. They give you a big serving even if you just order the small size. Budget is P198/ramen. We suggest you pair your ramen with their freshly squeezed passion fruit juice P65.
Nigazz Menu: Menu 1, Menu 2, Menu 3
Nigazz House of Ramen
22 Avenida Rizal St.
Mobile: +63 919 844-5391
Besides the tiangge, you can also buy pasalubong from the best brands–Abcede, Dealo, Eker and Ely, and Old Center.
The favorite go-to pasalubong place is Eker and Ely for their longganisa.
You could also try other bestsellers such as pili nuts, puto seko, pancit hab-hab, meringue, and ube.
The shop tends to be busy during the festival so you may want to try their other branch, Apo ni Eker, not far from the original shop.
Eker & Ely
Quezon Avenue, Lucban Quezon
Mobile: +63 927 584-1911
Facebook: Eker and Ely Longganisang
Apo ni Eker
62 Rizal Avenue, Lucban Quezon
Facebook: Lolo Eker & Lola Ely Lucban Langgonisa and Pasalubong
Mobile: +63 939 917-8056
If you’re looking for a more out-of-the-ordinary souvenir, check out Lucban-born artist Erick Dator’s kiping and pahiyas-inspired artworks. The prices of his paintings range from P5,000 to P300,000. We heard you could get a special price during the festival day. 🙂
Mabini St. Daang Kastilyo, Brgy Palola, Lucban Quezon
Mobile: +63 918 584-2455
Facebook: Erick Dator
5. Pilgrimage to Kamay ni Hesus
Kamay ni Hesus is a popular pilgrimage site because of the healing miracles of Fr. Joseph A. Faller (http://www.joeyfaller.org/). He regularly conducts healing masses every Wednesday and Saturday at 9.30am.
Most of the pilgrims climb a small hill to pray and reflect on the 14 Stations of the Cross.
If it’s your first time there, you can visit the church and pray for your three wishes. They say you will be blessed accordingly.
Kamay ni Hesus Church Mass Schedule
Mondays to Fridays (9.00am – Regular Mass)
Wednesday and Saturday (9.30am – Healing Mass)
Saturday (5.00pm – Anticipated Sunday Mass)
Sunday(7.30am, 9.00am, 10.30am, 11.30am and 4.00pm)
Schedule of Confession
(before 9.30am Healing Mass)
First Friday Confession (8.00am, 4.00pm)
Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament Adoration (1st Friday and 4.00pm Saturday)
BONUS: The Checklist
- If you’re coming to the Pahiyas Festival on a private vehicle, be sure to leave early. If you arrive here anytime in the afternoon, you’ll have a very hard time finding a parking spot.
- Be careful with your things. There’s a lot of people in the festival, so always be alert. Don’t use backpacks. Secure your belongings in a zippered satchel or fanny pack.
- Bring your camera.
- Lucban has very cool weather because it’s located at the foot of Mt. Banahaw. It usually rains in the area giving it a very green and lush landscape. Bring an umbrella! It’s considered a blessing if it rains.
- A no plastic policy is practiced in the city; bring those eco-friendly bags to carry your pasalubong and other knick-knacks.
- Bring cash; expect long lines at the ATMs.
- Remember to have fun and enjoy!
What to Bring:
- Drinking water
- Light clothes
- Comfortable shoes
- Hat or cap
- Satchel or fanny pack
- Wet wipes
We love the Pahiyas Festival! It was our first time to attend and we really enjoyed our experience.
The trip might be long, but it was worth our time. It was awesome to explore and witness this unique Filipino tradition. We hope we can attend the next one!
If you’re looking for the best food and heritage tour guide for Quezon and the Pahiyas Festival, you should check out the Grand San Isidro Festivals Tour by our long time friend Tina Decal. She helped us discover yummy local treats in the area. Thank you, Tina!
Grand San Isidro Festivals Tour
Mobile: +63 916 276-8300
Telephone: +632 728-8234
Live an Awesome Life,
Abi, Sean, and Boom
Our Awesome Planet Team
Disclosure: We went around the Pahiyas Festival at our own expense. We stayed at Samkara as guests of the hotel. We wrote this article with our biases, opinions, and insights. Read Our Awesome Planet Complete Disclosure Policy here.
P.S. Our accommodations were at Samkara Restaurant and Garden Resort.
The place looks beautiful with a lush garden surrounding the area. They offer shuttles that can drive you back and forth to town during the fiesta; travel takes around 10 minutes. 🙂
We stayed in the Kalawili room, which is their basic one. Fitted with a queen sized bed, the room was spacious enough to move around and we never felt cramped at all.
And even if there was no air-conditioning, we had no need for it as the weather was cool almost all day long. The comfort room was clean and had a hot and cold shower. The view from our patio overlooked a rice terrace and fresh water stream–perfect for unwinding.
Weekend/Holiday room rate is P4,000/net.
The pool is fed directly from a fresh water cold spring and is a perfect place for the family to relax and bond.
If you ever find yourself in the Lucban Area, checkout Samkara Restaurant and Garden Resort.
Samkara Restaurant and Garden Resort
Sitio Malinao, Brgy. Igang, Lucban, Quezon Philippines
Mobile: +63 947 922-0081
Tip: Make sure to book a room at least a month early if you plan on staying during The Pahiyas Festival.
One thought on “PAHIYAS: Our Awesome Guide to the Pahiyas Festival in Lucban, Quezon! @TourismPHL”
Kinda defeats the purpose of giving tips and guides if the post was made AFTER the festival. We have to wait until next year for these information to be useful again.
It would have made more sense if the article was angled more as a post-event coverage.
Just my two cents.