pahiyas-before_middle

Pahiyas, the day before


A few more fans and ferns and all is done.

map_quezon_laguna.gif “Everyone in the household, relatives and friends come out to do and assist in the preparations for the big day.” I do admire the community spirit of the Lucbanins and this is best displayed in the run up to the Pahiyas festival. Everyone in the household as well as relatives and friends come out and do the preparations as well as assist others. During this time, what remains is just the mounting of the decor and doing finishing touches.

The kiping on the other hand has been prepared weeks ahead. They just have to ensure that these are constantly dry as these become soft once the weather goes wet. In past festivals, rain sometimes marred the rather festive mood, dampening and wilting the kipings.


One of the saints honored during the Pahiyas festival.

One of the three carozzas is being prepared, Sta. Maria Torribia dela Cabeza, the wife of San Isidro Labrador. After this is decorated with farm produce, these will be brought out during the procession around the town’s narrow streets.


Kiping flowers for decorating.

Everywhere, everyone is busy making the decorations. A bouquet of kiping flowers there, a pile of talong (eggplant) and tomatoes here ready to be strung, strips of bamboo being formed into a half sphere or red bell peppers being clustered together to form a red garland.


Human effigies made from straw.

Effigies galore! Materials used ranges from rice stalks, straw or papier mache. These are formed into farmers, women or farm animals. One was even made from wood where visitors can mount and have their photos taken.


House’s facade being worked for the big day ahead.

As the day goes on, house facades take on more color. From bare wood it now dons rich organic accessories and stuff. In a way, it is being dressed for the big party and friendly competition for the best decoration. From a simple front, it is transformed into one festival showcase.


Kiping flowers hung to dry inside the sala.

If it is wet, then expect the kiping flowers to droop. When I took these photos, the weather wasn’t really that good with drizzles and showers happening the past few days. Despite these setbacks, the Lucbanins persevere and pray.


This lady patiently laboring to finish her decor.

Preparations are no mean feat. Its quite laborious and time consuming. Cut here and there. Glue this and that. String the vegetables, tie the gingers…


Its double time to decorate for the festival.

One thing that I would want to know but haven’t asked yet is, how much does all the preparations cost?

Estan Cabigas is freelance photographer, blogger and writer based in Makati City, the Philippines. A true blue Cebuano, he makes stunning images and meaningful photo stories. His work has been published in local and international publications including National Geographic Magazine, Geo (Germany), Sunday Times Magazine (London) and other publications. He is also a peripatetic traveler and has traveled to all 81 Philippines provinces. I'm open for work, collaborations and inquiries, including hotel, restaurant and site features and reviews.

6 Comments

  1. donG hO
    May 8, 2008 @ 19:57

    ganun nga sila. galing ng mga pinoy dito. tulungan talaga. yan ang pinoy!

  2. lawstude
    May 9, 2008 @ 16:28

    Festival-lovers talaga mga pinoy kahit halos saang lugar no? I agree that lots of preparations are made even for just a day of revelrie. Pinoy eh. Galing.

  3. tutubi
    May 10, 2008 @ 21:08

    runup to pahiyas, eh? tagal ng prep no? been there in 2004. gusto ko sana bumalik kaso leave na naman.

    btw, calaguas island in camnorte is also a bird and butterfly sanctuary. sayang nga lang wala ako long lens to document. counted at least 8 species of butts ilan dun high-flying pa

  4. Ferdz
    May 14, 2008 @ 17:33

    Hanep yung first shot. One of those moments na tamang tama ang framing, elements and candidness. Great timing shot and composition as well.

    3rd photo is really nice as well.

    On the exhibit, just visit when you find time 😀

  5. ca
    May 11, 2011 @ 14:21

    weee super excited na this weekend!

  6. estan
    May 11, 2011 @ 14:26

    enjoy CA 🙂

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