One of the items on my 2010 Bucket list was to attend the Pahiyas Festival in Lucban, Quezon. The thing with these festivals of course is they have set dates, so naturally I had make this trip! I had my standard options. I could go to Lucban on my own, or join one of those tour groups. I pretty much usually do DIY trips. I decided to go for option #2 this time.
Friend and Travel Blog God Ivan Henares sent me an invite to a Pahiyas Tours through Ultimate Philippines Tours via Facebook. Hey, I haven’t joined a local tour group lately and was wondering how the experience would be (I will blog separately about this at a future time).
What was to follow was a fascinating 22+ hour experience (yes… 22 hours or so).
View Lucban, Quezon in a larger map
Meeting place was Starbucks at 6750 Ayala Ave. At 3:30am. With such an early call time, I ended up not sleeping that Friday evening. I took a bath at around 2:30am then left the house by 3am. We assembled and boarded one of two buses each hosted by either Ivan Henares or Ivan Man Dy.
We left Makati at approximately 4:00am… I took advantage and tried to sleep through the trip. As we were on SLEX, I noticed that the flow was oddly slow for 4 in the morning. Later I was awakened by some intense heat. I opened my eyes to see an inferno as the Uratex factory just after the Sucat exit was engulfed in intense flames. I later found out that the fire, along with Saturday morning work on the SLEX, caused quite a traffic jam.
Ugu Bigyan – Tiaong, Quezon
After around 3 hours of travel, we reached Tiaong, Quezon where we were treated to a surprise. Not on our itinerary was a visit to the home of artiste potter, Ugu Bigyan (see separate blog post here)
Natalio Enriquez Ancestral House – Sariaya, Quezon
Upon arriving at Sariaya, Quezon we headed for our breakfast at the Natalio Enriquez House. Designed by Andres Luna de San Pedro, the 1900s home is a Heritage House declared by the National Historical Institute.
It was a beautiful old house which reminded me of my grandparents’ homes.
After breakfast, I walked around the town.
I went next door to the Parish of St. Francis of Assisi (aka the Church of Sariaya). It was a very charming town church also decorated for the Fiesta of San Isidro.
From Sariaya, we headed to the town of Tayabas for… Lunch (yes I know we just ate).
We got to Tayabas at around 11am and had our lunch at Graceland Country Club… yup, so named because the owner is a big Elvis fan. So the restaurant we ate at was called… Memphis Garden…
From Graceland we went to the town proper and visited the church.
By around 2:30pm, we proceeded to the town Lucban for the Pahiyas Festival proper.
All I can say is… boy, was it colorful
There were of course… lots and lots of people.
A lot of people taking pictures with every variety of camera available. DSLRs, Point and Shoots, Camera Phones.
Amidst all of the walking, I would get thirsty… and hungry. While buying a can of soft drinks, I encountered a Street Food Cart serving just one thing. FRIED CHICKEN SKIN! Whoa! That deserves a separate blog post. HERE.
The church of Lucban
We hung out at Cafe San Luis which was closed just for as at this time.
By around 5pm we made our way back to the Buses. It was so traffic on the way back to the buses outside town, nothing was moving.
Sulyap, San Pablo
We ended the day with dinner in San Pablo at a restaurant called Sulyap
As we walked it, it was a very nice setup.
The food was quite good..I loved to molo soup. The pancit was great! The lumpia was good. And my favorite… the potato salad.
Ivan Man Dy explained to me that the owner collects antiques and collects houses. Yes, houses. The house below is one of the said houses. He buys old houses and has the transferred here. There an unfinished house also on the grounds.
It was definitely one of the most fascinating places I have ever been to. It was like a museum. Rooms decorated in authentic furniture.
Leaving Sulyap at around 9pm, we got back to Makati at around 12:15am. As expected, SLEX was dense with slow moving vehicles.
There you have it. 22+ hours. A day packed with sights, color, and food! What a day.