Quezon is known for the various festivals held in celebration of the feast of San Isidro Labrador. These are the Pahiyas Festival in Lucban, Agawan Festival in Sariaya and Mayohan Festival in Tayabas. We got to visit these three Quezon towns plus San Pablo, Laguna.
We visited the town of Sariaya first and marveled at their grand Art Deco mansions. Three of them were declared Heritage Houses by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines, namely the Natalio Enriquez House, Rodriguez House and Gala-Rodriguez House.
The Sariaya Church and the different houses were all colorfully decorated with local produce and goodies for the agawan which would happen later in the day.
From Sariaya, we visited the Tayabas Basilica, a National Cultural Treasure. At about 3 p.m., a procession of the image of San Isidro Labrador makes its way around town. As the image passes by every house, suman or glutinous rice cakes, are hurled out the balconies and windows in the hundreds, causing a mad rush among the procession participants. The more you get, the more blessings for the family and the more suman to eat!
The Pahiyas Festival in Lucban is the most popular and no doubt, the most colorful of the three festivals. The procession of the image of San Isidro Labrador usually makes its way around town first thing in the morning at about 7:30 a.m.
Every year, the procession route changes. And only houses along the procession route are decorated. Usually, it takes about seven years before the procession passes by a house again. So that gives a household enough time to save resources and prepare for the colorful and ostentatious decorations that are an inherent part of the Pahiyas.
The afternoon is reserved for a lively parade that makes its way around town. But unfortunately, this parade has been invaded by not so subtle commercial advertising. Anyway, I'll talk about the delicious Southern Tagalog food we ate in another post.