The first thing I said to myself when I stepped in the town of Lucban was “OMG, I belong.” I’ve always loved anything bright and vibrant. It’s like if I die and I get reincarnated into a Philippine Festival, I’d probably be Pahiyas. (Not that festivals are living things. But
Almost every decade, a new destination rattles the world of Manila-based beach chasers. In the 1950s, Matabungkay was put on the tourist map after two German travelers “rediscovered” it. In the 1970s, all roads led to Puerto Galera after UNESCO declared it a protected area. In the late 2000s, the
Our boatman said as-a-matter-of-factly that the name Borawan is a portmanteau, a blend of two words — Boracay and Palawan. The island was named so, he claimed, because it possesses white sand similar to that on Boracay and rock formations reminiscent of Palawan’s limestone cliffs. Sounds like a name and an
Camping isn’t really my thing. Although I was a boy scout back in grade school and high school, I never got used to tents and, well, mosquitoes. I was even an Eagle Scout (the highest rank a boy scout can attain) but really, give me a bedroom with a restroom.
“Where the hell is Frances?” It was 2am and everyone was ready to hit the road for Pagbilao, Quezon. Everyone, that is, except Frances, for whom we were still patiently waiting. “She said she’s on the way,” said one of my friends, “which means she just woke up.”
Tucked in the southern edge of Quezon, the towns of Padre Burgos and Pagbilao face Tayabas Bay, a channel that separates mainland Luzon and Marinduque. This side of Quezon is only four to five hours away, even shorter than it would take to reach Pangasinan and Baguio.
But first, a backgrounder. The Pahiyas Festival is celebrated every May 15 in Lucban, Quezon in honor of the municipality’s patron saint, San Isidro Labrador (St. Isidore the Farmer). To participate in the festival, residents decorate their houses with vegetables, fruits and kiping, leaf-shaped paper-like decors made from rice. (Kiping