PAHIYAS 2023: Grandeur maintained despite effects of Pandemic

With the unprecedented influx of tourists this 2023, the pride of Lucban, the Pahiyas Festival, truly poised itself as one of the grandest festival in the province of Quezon, yet of the CALABARZON Region. The iconic and colorful “Kipings”, the edible and identifiable decor that defined the branding of Pahiyas made its way back as adornments of the Lucbanin locals’ homes for that mammoth crowd to marvel at. With San Isidro de Labrador as the Patron Saint, the festival centers on the bountiful harvest celebration and genuine appreciation to their patron. Apart from the colorful Kippings, plump vegetables and different bountiful produces add to the unique yet grand designs of each participating households. Unlike most of the festivals that are helmed by their grand street dance performances, the Pahiyas Festival stir its guests to saunter the tight labyrinths of the old Lucban Downtown see for themselves the unique and have an immersive experience of their celebration. You are not a spectator. You participate and can interact with the locals.

A local places finishing touches of their possibly winning masterpiece

This year’s theme is “Agos Pahiyas, Liglig na Galing ng mga Lucbanin”, and that truly speaks of the ingenuity of the locals, even after the three year hiatus, the grand spectacle and synergy of the constituents jolted alive the festivities and certainly awestrucked once again their valued tourists and returning guests. Imagine humble abodes in a tight labyrinth of residential zone turns into one gigantic open-air museum featuring their respective facades adorned with nothing but perishable bounties of their respective farms and plantations, intricately and creatively executed materials to truly turned each house into a huge work of art. Imagine bundles of rice, freshly picked vegetables, root crops, vines and few modern touches – all ingeniously arranged to depict a story or plainly express their gratitude to their patron saint and the colorful celebration and observation of the Pahiyas. In this year’s edition, we saw a character apparently welcoming you for a drink, and we saw depicting worker’s in a farm – all made from produce!

Thick crowd, locals and foreigners marvel on the amazing designs during the Pahiyas Festival

The main actor of this festival is production and utilization of the unique leaf shaped rice wafers called as Kiping. The process itself is considered a tedious one, and involves certain superstition. There is an identified breed of rice perfect for Kiping production to prevent cracking. The manner of preparing the rice paste prior molding or shaping is done with silence as it is believed that the paste would spread evenly. The Kiping production is indeed a tedious one, hence, you would really marvel the sheer amount of effort and resources consumed when they become these captivating consummable adornments.

A chandelier style made of colorful Kiping hung outside

After the pandemic eases, so as the return of the grand face to face community events such as the Pahiyas Festival. In every festival, job and income opportunities spike and this is where the Department of Tourism implements one of its innumerable training programs for the region and provide technical assistance to all tourism relates stakeholders to uplift the delivery of quality services and to improve all developed circuits according to Ms. Marites Castro, Regional Director of Department of Tourism – CALABARZON.

Photo with the Regional Director of Department of Tourism – CALABARZON, Ms. Marites Castro

Our Pahiyas Festival is made possible by the efforts of the Department of Tourism – CALABARZON.

With fellow content creators after we witnessed their version of civic parade.

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