Pahiyas Festival 2022 – My first Quezon Province experience!

Pahiyas Festival 2022 - ANAther Travel Show

Last May 15th, the quaint town of Lucban in Quezon Province, Philippines, came alive with vibrant colors, creative displays, and a festive atmosphere as it hosts the Pahiyas Festival 2022. This annual event is a celebration of the town’s rich agricultural heritage and a way for the locals to express their gratitude for a bountiful harvest. The word “Pahiyas” came from the local term “payas,” which means to decorate or adorn. The festival dates back to the 16th century when Lucban was predominantly an agricultural community. Furthermore, the locals would offer their produce to San Isidro Labrador, the patron saint of farmers, as a sign of thanksgiving. Over the years, this practice evolved into the elaborate and artistic displays that we see today. Houses are meticulously cleaned, and the exteriors are decorated with colorful and crafted local crops. Most are made from agricultural products such as rice, fruits, and vegetables.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many cherished festivals around the world came to a halt. The Pahiyas Festival in Lucban, Quezon Province, was no exception. With cancellations in 2020 and 2021 due to the threat of COVID-19. But in 2022, as the world cautiously emerged from lockdowns, the Pahiyas Festival returned with renewed vigor and enthusiasm. Although I am not new to festivals, as being born and raised in the rural areas of Mindanao. I already experienced some in my hometown including the Kadayawan Festival. However since I moved to Metro Manila a decade ago, there have been a lot of festivities I missed. Especially when I started raising my own kids. Now that the world stopped for 2 years since the COVID strike, I’m happy to hear about some of the country’s festivals beginning again. One of these is the Pahiyas Festival 2022 in Quezon Province.

What happened at the Pahiyas Festival 2022?

The Pahiyas Festival in 2022 was more than just a traditional event. After months of restrictions and uncertainty, the people of Lucban were determined to revive their beloved festival. The preparations began months in advance, as the community rallied together to bring back the spirit of Pahiyas. The Department of Tourism played a crucial role in the decision to stage the festival in 2022. Encouraging the local government to proceed with the event due to the decline in COVID-19 cases. This support from the government agency provided additional confidence to the organizers and participants. Despite the challenges and past event cancellations, some homeowners in Lucban still decorated their houses with the hope of winning the P150,000 prize from the local government for the best-decorated home. However, the number of participants in the 2022 contest was lower. With only about 600 houses taking part compared to over 1,000 before the pandemic.

I saw that each house strives to outdo the others in terms of creativity and artistry. Elaborate rice curtains, fruit chandeliers, and vegetable murals are common sights. Transforming the entire town into an open-air gallery. It was something new and different from the festivals I had been to. One thing in common, they’re all colorful, resourceful, super fun, and beautiful! The Pahiyas Festival 2022 lies in the friendly competition among the residents. A panel of judges visits each decorated house to evaluate the artistry and creativity of the displays. Prizes are awarded to the best-decorated houses, encouraging residents to continually innovate and take their decorations to new heights. The food in Lucban during the Pahiyas Festival is a treat for the senses. Visitors can sample local delicacies such as pancit habhab (stir-fried noodles eaten without utensils), longganisang Lucban (a type of sausage), and kakanin (rice cakes).

Final Thoughts

Experiencing the Pahiyas Festival in Lucban for the first time was an unforgettable experience. The creative and imaginative house decorations showcased the community’s commitment to their heritage. I was drawn into the local culture through traditional music, lively dances, and colorful street parades. But what struck me the most was how this festival united people. Whether they were locals or visitors like me, the festival effectively encouraged us to honor not just the harvest but also the hard work and resilience of the farming community. The Pahiyas Festival was a heartwarming reminder of how culture and community can bring people together. Inspire joy, especially after challenging times. I left Lucban with a deep appreciation for its beauty and the warmth of its people.


If you’re looking for more places to go in Quezon Province, you should check these out:

Tips and Guidelines

  • Check the festival dates in advance, and plan your trip accordingly.
  • To beat the crowds and find parking, arrive early in the day. Most of the streets are closed.
  • Wear comfortable shoes for walking, as you’ll be exploring the streets.
  • It can get quite sunny and hot or rainy, so an umbrella can provide shade.
  • Besides an umbrella, consider wearing sunscreen and a hat for sun protection.
  • Bring enough cash, as some vendors do not accept credit cards.
  • Don’t miss the chance to try local delicacies; they’re a highlight of the festival.
  • Be respectful to the residents and their decorated homes.
  • Dispose of your trash properly and help keep the festival grounds clean.
  • Don’t hesitate to strike up a conversation with the friendly locals; they might share fascinating stories.

How to get there?

Via Public Transportation:

  • From Metro Manila, you can take a bus or van heading to Lucena City or Sta. Cruz, Laguna, as these cities have terminals with routes to Lucban. You can find buses and vans departing from various points in Metro Manila, such as Cubao or Buendia.
  • Inform the bus or van conductor or driver that you want to get off at Lucban for the Pahiyas Festival. They are usually familiar with the festival’s location and can guide you.
  • Once you arrive in Lucban, it’s a short walk to the festival grounds. Follow the crowd or ask locals for directions to the Pahiyas Festival.

Via Private Vehicle:

  • There are several routes you can take, but one common route from Metro Manila is via the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX)
  • Exit at Calamba and follow the signs to Los Baños and Sta. Cruz.
  • Continue driving until you reach Pagsanjan, where you’ll see signs for Lucban.
  • Follow these signs to reach Lucban.
  • Finding parking during the festival can be challenging as some streets may be closed. Try to arrive early to secure a parking spot. There may be designated parking areas within walking distance of the festival grounds.

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