Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Pahiyas: Of Hats, and Streetfood and Thoughts

Last Tuesday, I went to Pahiyas for the first time. I've been hearing about it a lot since I was little-- it being a famous town fiesta in the Philippines. From school books to travel magazines to blogs, Pahiyas is talked about as a colorful festival that draws the crowd year after year. It is known for showcasing cheerfully decorated houses, with colorful rice-based kiping as the main material for the decors.
Banderitas! Wee~

So, after hearing about the festival for years, I thought I knew all there is to know about it. But still, I got a lot of surprises, and the discoveries added to the fun and thrill I experienced at the festival.

The first thing that amused me: it was like a one big mad hatter party. There were hat stalls and roaming vendors selling hats, and droves of people wearing uniform fancy hats. The wide-brimmed ones were the most popular. There were hats of every design imaginable. The hats added color to the explosion of colors in the streets, making the festival more cheerful and fun. I was with a hat-fanatic friend, and she had a ball shopping for hats.
Hats, hats everywhere. 

But aside from hats, stalls selling almost everything abounds: from native stuffed rabbits to macopas to weird-looking, golden, hairy plant to native bags to lechon... okay, I said almost everything, right? You name it, you can buy it here. There were stalls selling Lucban delicacies like  grilled longganisa and pancit habhab (it got its name from the way you're supposed to eat it. See picture). There were stalls selling handmade stuff for souvenirs... okay you get, there were lots to buy.

That. The way I ate it is called habhab in Tagalog.

But the thing I had the most fun out of: soaking in the fiesta atmosphere. It was my first time in a really huge town fiesta, and it was awesome. Except that they didn't have the eat-all-you-can-for-free-in-people's-houses thing that Filipino fiestas of yore used to feature. But it was awesome! I had a blast taking pictures and posing with the cheerfully decorated houses. And the food was cheap and interesting and yummy (see habhab).

But would I go back? Not next year. Maybe in two years or so, just to keep the experience as fresh and interesting as this first visit.

It would be interesting to see Lucban quiet and quaint, though, with Mt. Banahaw in the background.

P.S. For this year's Pahiyas, me and my friends joined a tour by Huglet Travel and Tours. Everything (transpo to/from QC, sidetrips to nearby provinces, a PHP100 allowance for lunch and some freebies for Php995)


  1. haha. ang daming tao no? nung nagpunta kami dyan, ang layo ng pinarkan namin. haha.

    1. subra. ang layo din ng parking namin, ansakit sa paa maglakad. haha :))