Tuesday, May 17, 2011

My Pahiyas 2011 Experience

Sunday, May 15, 2011 - Pahiyas Fiesta in Lucban

It was 3:00 AM, I was waiting for fellow travel bloggers at HM Bus Terminal in EDSA, Cubao. We decided to take the backdoor route (Manila-Pagsanjan-Lucban) to Lucban - it's shorter, cheaper and a great escape from the heavy traffic on the day of Pahiyas.

By 4:00 am, we're finally complete so we boarded the bus bound to Sta. Cruz, Laguna. It was a 2 hour commute from Cubao to the jeep terminal, the fare was only P148.50.

"Dito na po ang sakayan papuntang Lucban (we're now here at the terminal to Lucban)", said the bus conductor. To my surprise, everyone in the bus stood up and unboarded the bus, apparently we're all heading to Pahiyas Festival.

our ride to Lucban

A long line of passengers filled the small terminal of green jumbo jeeps (fit for top load ride) bound to Lucban, Quezon. When we got there, a jeep full of passengers is about to depart. I asked the conductor if we could top load the jeep, he smiled and said, "oo naman (of course)." So we traveled by jeep to Lucban, the venturesome way.

passing through the Pagsanjan Arc
awesome expereince kahit masakit sa puwet

The view on top of the jeep was spectacular. The cool morning breeze made us shiver. And its fun to dodge those low lying branches. It was my second jeepney topload ride already but I was as ecstatic as my first time ride. We paid the conductor P45.00 for that awesome topload ride. We arrived in Lucban at around 7:30 am.

we finally reached Lucban

Traffic jam welcomed us upon our arrival. Our tricycle couldn't get into the town proper. So we decided to walk it all the way na lang.

trapped in the middle of the traffic

A great fascination was drawn into our faces as we turned right towards the colorful decorated street in Lucban town. My first sightings of kiping lanterns and produce filled facades was momentous. Along the way, we saw pancit habhab vendors selling pancit for P7.00 only. Marco ordered one pancit habhab, while Lauren and I ordered binatog. We also passed by a vendor of grilled kiping. She offered free taste of it so we grabbed and divided it among the three of us. Its taste - crispy toasty bitter taste of tutong na kanin.

Kiping on Sayote
poor tomatoes
woohoo! mabuhay ang pahiyas!
longganisa everywhere
grilled kiping for sale
more kiping
Super Pahiyas Girl.. go kid
We walked further towards the church where a cup of pancit habhab was given for free.

We then took shots of the century old Lucban Church (Saint Louis Parish). Its perfectly preserved stone facade is exceptional. I'm a fan of heritage churches so I appreciate it a lot. Inside, a lot of people was hearing the mass.

the marker
the old church
inside the church
San Isidro being brought inside the church.
Minutes have passed, and we realized that we need a true breakfast. A breakfast of longanisang Lucban will serve us right.

We again walked on a street beside the church where we saw Sucre et Sel cafe, a cafe that only opens every Pahiyas season. There we ordered long-si-log for breakfast, that's P55.00.

longganisa on the making
Long-Si-Log breakfast, err it's not a sinangag na kanin
a cafe just beside the Church
not bad, go visit them on Pahiyas
After the delightful meal, we headed next to Kamay ni Hesus Shrine, 2 km from the town proper. We rode a tricycle to its gate and paid P15.00 each. 

Pilgrims from all over the country flock the place. Some were there to as pilgrims, some were there as tourists, we belong to the latter one. The life size and gigantic statues there were stunning. Even the new Noah's Ark adds more to the biblical ambiance.

the Via Dolorosa, on top is the giant statue of Jesus
who's the pilgrim and who's the tourist?
light a candle and pray when you got down the hill
the new Noah's Ark
Marco and I climbed up the hill towards the tall Jesus Christ statue while Lauren was halted at the entrance, she's wearing shorts and sleeveless, not allowed inside a sacred place.

On top is a great view of the town of Lucban but reaching it will take a lot of sweat and energy. Going back down is another tiring story.

When we're back on the ground, Darwin, another travel blogger was on his way to meet us.We stayed first somewhere on a carpark at the back of the shrine and waited there for about an hour.

By 12 nn, we're with Darwin already. He told us that Ms. Gael, the Pinay Solo Backpacker, was at Lucban Church waiting for us. The cars on the road moves too little every second so we just walked the 2 km distance towards the Church of Lucban while enjoying the view of the majestic Mt. Banahaw de Lucban.

Mt. Banahaw de Lucban

we're back in town

We're tired and dried up walking under the heat of the sun. The 30 minute walk back to Lucban town was a big sacrifice.

At the church, Ms Gael finally met with us. We walked with her as she's shared her misfortunes on the night before the Pahiyas. Good thing Atty. Mhe-Anne, another Pinoy travel blogger who was also at Lucban, saved Ms Gael from further adversity.

From 1:00 pm until 2:30 pm, we photowalked the colorful streets of Lucban. Along the way, I bought a Mexican sombrero for P60.00, I need protection from the sun. By 2:00 pm, we were quite hungry na so we started to look for a cheap carinderia around.
colorful house
the crispy kiping lantern
that's cute, The Bell Pepper Town
more tourists in the afternoon
wow, P60,000.00 prize

hats for sale
another kiping lantern
the tallest lantern I saw
so cool pahiyas house
On our way to carinderia, we bumped in to Atty. Mhe-anne. She invited us to go with them in her friend's house to eat after watching the parade. Yey, free meal, I never decline such invites. So we joined Atty. Mhe-anne and friends.  

The parade came after 20 minutes. Complete with marching band, majorettes, decorated carts, carabaos, gorgeous ladies and celebrities. We shoot 'til our batteries dropped.

Fellow travel bloggers, Darwin, Gael, Marco and Lauren... mga harang sa parada, tintaboy na nga sila nung mga nasa likod.

the marching band
Mutya ng Lucban
Mutya ng Lucban
Mutya ng Lucban
Mutya ng Lucban
the street sweeper dress
the banig dress
the wood dress
the Kiping dress
Most Colorful - naks
horse of the year?
ang kalabaw
the pink kalabaw
palamig muna
the great beast
dancing colors
Higantes of Lucban
As soon as the parade was over, the bloggers joined Atty Mhe-anne on her friend's house where we enjoyed the fiesta meal. There, Atty. Mhe-anne shared her comings and goings as a traveling lawyer, listening to her stories was very inspiring.

more Habhab

I can barely move from my seat, so full from the food me devoured. 

By 6:45 pm, Atty. Mhe-anne already left so we decided to leave as well and it's getting dark already. Grateful from the family who fed us, we finally bid our goodbye. 

We again had a photowalk on the streets of Lucban (nighttime version). We passed by the tiangge again where Darwin and I bought our souvenir shirt, mine is P130.00. We  also wanted to buy some Longanisang Lucban for pasalubong sana but there's no more longganisa left for sale.

night time pahiyas

We lost Marco and Lauren on the sea of people, so for more than 30 minutes, we were searching for them.

When we found them, we hurriedly rode a tricycle to the terminal of jeep bound to Sta. Cruz, Laguna where we again saw the long line of passengers. We patiently waited, burned the time with cool stories and gossip, until we finally boarded the jumbo jeep around 8:30 PM. Marco and Lauren once again did a top load ride, Gael, Darwin and I wanted to sleep so we hopped inside.

By 10:00 PM, we reached the town plaza of Sta Cruz, Laguna. No more buses bound to Manila, the last trips were at 8:00 pm. OMG, the Pinoy Travel Bloggers were stuck in Sta. Cruz. Our last resort was to take a jeep bound to Calamba then ride a bus to Alabang, unfortunately jeeps were scarce that night.

the memorable Sta. Cruz Town

Thank goodness, a jeep arrived to save us from sleeping at the town plaza.

At Calamba, we rode an ordinary bus (P40.00) bound to Alabang.

We reached Alabang at around 12 mn. Bye bye ms. Gael and Darwin.

Marcos, Lauren and I then rode a bus to Cubao. Bye bye Marcos and Lauren.

At home at last by 1:30 am.


My total gastos on this DIY Pahiyas tour was P699.50. But if I will exclude my souvenir shirt (P130.00), sombrero (P60.00), and Real Leaf green tea (P23.00), the cost will drop to P486.50. Woohoo! Pasok sa P500.00 Challenge.



  1. Great post Ivan. I told you, you can do it for under 500php! :P

  2. I love your entry! you wrote it well!! :D

  3. @lloyd, thanks sa tips mo..

    @lauren.. salamat but you wrote yours better :)

  4. kagaling at nakakapagod! hehehe

  5. eto na pala! hehe eto gagawin kong guide this coming pahiyas :P



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