Feature: Pahiyas Festival in the hearts of locals

  • May 18, 2017
  • Rachel joy Camar-Gabrido

LUCBAN, Quezon, May 18 (PIA)-- Celebrating the Pahiyas Festival may have been a simple part of Filipino Tradition and religious belief but for the native folks of Lucban, Quezon, it means something deeper. It is a form of thanksgiving to God for the life and the blessings which people receive, usually for a good harvest of farmers and farm-owners. Pahiyas also serves as a venue to show the locals' innate creativity; a means to encourage preservation of their culture and; a way of giving joy to their fellowmen.

“Thanksgiving” was the word used by Mrs. Mary Jane Deveza, a local of Lucban, when asked why she consistently joins the Pahiyas Contest, specifically the contest of decorating the façade of their house with fruits, vegetables and other known local products of Lucban. She said it was her way of giving back whatever blessings her family received like a bountiful harvest, as the products they have used to adorn their home were mostly from their own farm’s harvest.

Another Pahiyas participant for 20 years now named Jorge Borines said it was his means to showcase his talent and creativity, “Gusto ko lang pong maipakita sa aking mga kababayan at ka-barangay na meron akong itinatagong talent para sa kultura ng bayan ng Lucban. And then, yun pong pagiging malikhain ko every year po naiprepresenta ko sa mga mamamayang Filipino ang aking magandang gawain at maipagpatuloy ko po ang kagandahan ng aming bayan (I just want to show my fellowmen and neighbors in the barangay that I have an innate talent which reflects the culture of the town of Lucban. And then, through this I am able to present my creativity and good works to the Filipinos and continue promoting the beauty of my town),” he said explaining his purpose of joining the contest, spending quite an amount of money and exerting great effort to decorate their house’s facade.

Borines also stated that it is his desire to bring joy to his fellow citizens as they see his work of art and to ensure that there shall be Lucban natives of the younger generation who will follow his footsteps by participating in the contest, Timpalak Pahiyas.

The 3rd Placer in the Timpalak Pahiyas is an ancestral house owned by Mrs. Melissa Balde, a bakeshop owner in Lucban. Her bakeshop workers were the ones who worked together to conceptualize, form and polish the decorations on the house’s frontage. According to her workers, their purpose of joining the competition was to give joy to the people, may it be locals or tourists, as their eyes may witness the beauty of the embellishments of the house made up of their farm’s produce and other purchased crops, especially during the night because they have decorated it with lights, too.

Patricia Rondilla, the Pancit Habhab Cart 1st Place Winner, said it has been a tradition and a personal vow to her belief to join the contest. She has a simple yet very tasty recipe of the Pancit Habhab, combined with an attractive presentation as she wears a green dress adorned with leaves and uncooked pancit, and a cart beautifully decorated with native and natural materials like pansit, wheat, fruits and vegetables. It is her aim to impart and transfer to the future generations, especially within her family, the culture of cooking pancit Habhab.

The heart of the locals of Lucban were undoubtedly beating not alone for the cliché popularity of their festivity but for a deeper reason. A sense of humanity, belief and values; hearts that are longing to give gratitude, to share their God-given talents, to preserve their culture and to give happiness to others. (GG/ JCG, PIA4A)

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