Sunday, May 18, 2014

Hagisan ng Suman and Mayohan sa Tayabas, Quezon! Viva San Isidro Labrador!

While Lucban celebrates the Pahiyas Festival, other towns in Quezon have their own celebrations for the feast of San Isidro Labrador every May 15. In Tayabas, the city holds the Mayohan sa Tayabas. Unlike Lucban, only the area of Munting Bayan in Tayabas has pahiyas or decor on the houses.

The riotous procession of San Isidro Labrador makes its way around Tayabas City on May 15. Notice the baliskog piled on both sides of the road, showcased during the Parada ng Baliskog.
Mayohan sa Tayabas actually lasts several days, usually beginning on May 7 with the Parada ng Baliskog (kog means arch) at 3 p.m. The sixty-six barangays and various organizations create arches made of indigenous materials, flowers and produce and parade them around the city.

But the main event is the Hagisan ng Suman on May 15 itself. It is actually a procession of the centuries-old image of San Isidro Labrador. It leaves the Tayabas Basilica between 2 to 3 p.m. and makes its way around the city for several hours. It ends up being a males only procession because things get really rough and riotous.

Hundreds of suman are thrown from the balcony of Tayabas City Hall
As the image of San Isidro Labrador passes by a house, its residents start throwing suman, fruits and other local produce, as well as money and other goodies (some immigrant families ship boxes of imported goods to their relatives for the hagisan). This symbolizes the sharing of wealth and prosperity to farmers and peasants. The farmers believe that the more suman you catch, the bigger the yield for the year.

Unfortunately, the crowd of catchers has changed and the catching has gotten really aggressive. Even I got caught in the frenzy while taking photos, and one can get hurt if you don't move with the crowd, especially since the procession moves really fast. But it's really fun watching. And if you know anyone from Tayabas, you should join the hagisan from their balconies since that is even more fun!

Tayabas Basilica
And since you are in Tayabas, you should visit their heritage sites. The city has several National Cultural Treasures, namely the Basilica of St. Michael the Archangel and the Tayabas Historic Bridges namely Alitao, Isabel II, Francisco de Asis, Gibanga, Malagonlong, Lakawan, Mate, Ese, Despedida, and Tuloy. The Casa de la Communidad de Tayabas is a National Historical Landmark.

Santuario de las Almas
Ermita Church
Tayabas Cemetery
Tayabas Cemetery Chapel
The town also has three centuries-old chapels, namely the Santuario de las Almas on the way to Lucena, Ermita Church near the basilica, and the Tayabas Cemetry Chapel in Munting Bayan.

Here's information on the Pahiyas Festival in Lucban, Quezon.
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