It’s Pahiyas Festival once more. And this year, it falls on a weekend. If you want to visit Quezon, you should consider visiting it during this time when it’s literally colorful around town. Absolutely, this is the best time to go on a road trip.
Choosing your route
There are several routes to take going to Quezon. The most popular are the Rizal-Laguna-Batangas-Quezon and the SLEX routes. For the former, you will pass through several towns in Rizal including Antipolo, Baras, and Tanay. You may go straight to Lucban after passing through Santa Maria and Pagsanjan.
For the latter, you should take Batangas exit, turning left at the junction you’ll see in Sto. Tomas, Batangas. You need to pass by San Pablo, Laguna.
If you are taking the second route, your landmark should be the Lucena City Grand Terminal. The terminal points to various spots in the province. It is near Brgy. Isabang where Amaia Scapes Lucena is located.
Enjoying your Quezon road trip
If partaking in the festivities is your agenda, we suggest you leave your place really early. The activities will start as early as 5am and the entire trip is from 2 to 3 hours.
The festival usually starts with a morning mass at San Isidro Labrador Church followed by the procession in honor of the patron saint. Throughout the day, there will be carabao and float parades, marching bands, and street dance performances.
Every year, however, the highlight of the festival is the Timpalak Pahiyas or the town-wide house decorating contest. What makes the houses look so colorful are the kipings or the vividly-colored, leaf-shaped rice paste wafers. At night, there will be a fireworks display aptly called Timpalak Pahiyas Kutitap.
For sure, you have other things in mind maybe after taking countless selfies in front of the kiping-adorned houses.
For instance, you might want to explore Lucban Church. The Pahiyas Festival actually started in this church. Locals begin offering a part of their harvest to the church as their thanksgiving to San Isidro Labrador. The offerings got overwhelming so the parish priest instructed the locals to just put their offerings in front of their houses. For him, he will just roam the town with the image of the saint. That’s the reason the locals display their harvest in front of their houses – to appease the saint.
Further, a visit to Kamay ni Hesus must not skip your day-trip itinerary. The place is famous for the 50-foot Christ statue atop a hill. To go to the grotto, you need to climb up 310 steps. The resident priest, Fr. Joseph Faller, suggests reciting your prayers while going up. Inside the compound, you’ll also find the replicas of Noah’s ark and the Garden of Eden. Masses are held at 9:30 am on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
In Lucena, you should go to Museo ng Quezon. It houses numerous memorabilia of President Manuel L. Quezon as well as other notable people. The museum is located beside Lucena City’s old capitol building.
While in Lucban, try the pancit habhab. It’s the traditional pancit in Quezon eaten directly from the banana leaf. The pancit is made from dried flour noodles locally known as miki Lucban. Pancit habhab is best eaten after pouring a spoonful of cane vinegar on it.
In Lucena, there’s a different version of pancit called chami. This native delicacy is made from miki noodles stir-fried in meat and vegetables. You may have your chami sweet and spicy or super hot.
When it is time to go home, never ever forget to buy longganisang Lucban for pasalubong. This is a garlicky sausage sold in dozens. Small-sized longganisas cost Php70 per dozen and Php140 per dozen for big-sized longganisas.
Your other option is lambanog (or coconut wine). Original lambanog costs around Php130-140 (170 ml) while flavored lambanog costs Php210-230.
Visiting Quezon during the festival or not, chances are, you won’t be able to visit all the beautiful places in one day. You’d have to embark on a second road trip. Or third. Even fourth. Bottom-line, there are so many places worth visiting in Quezon.