The fiesta colors of summer comes alive every month of May in this quaint and quiet town of Lucban in Quezon province, Philippines as we celebrate the Lucban San Isidro Pahiyas Festival. Considered the most unique and colorful harvest festival in the country, the Pahiyas Festival is a must-see tourist attraction and a visual feast where houses are adorned with multi-colored rice wafers called "kiping" and other agricultural produce. The celebration is held in honor of San Isidro Labrador, the patron saint of farmers, in thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest.
Originally celebrated as the Feast of San Isidro, the Catholic tradition dates back to the 16th century during the colonization of the Philippines by Spain. The feast evolved into different names and manner of celebration only observed by the people of Lucban before it became the most celebrated Pahiyas as we know today.
Why we are building the Pahiyas Museum?
There are many misconceptions and inaccuracies about the Pahiyas in print and most prevalently in hundreds of websites and blogs. Its history and how it evolved through the years were unknown or unfamiliar to many even to the Lucbanins themselves. The Pahiyas Museum aims to inform, create awareness and better understanding about its beginning and transformation to the most popular harvest festival.
The Pahiyas Museum is also bent in promoting, developing, safeguarding and preserving our tradition, and the arts and culture of Lucban. As people enjoy the colors and gaiety of the Pahiyas, many have become unaware that the tradition behind the visual treat is dying. In a recent article about the Pahiyas by the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the local government of Lucban admitted that "Younger Lucbanin seem uninterested to continue the tradition of making kiping, the indigenous “arangya” (kiping chandeliers) and other homegrown products that have long been used as decorative items during the festival". The full article can be read here:
There are several people who were selfless and dedicated to promote the festival when it was still in its infancy and still unknown to many. During the 1970s to 1980s, people like Fernando "Nanding" Nañawa, Tony Dealo, Milada Valde and Filemon Casilang brought the Pahiyas to Metro Manila, introducing our food, handicrafts, arts, music and culture and the colors of the Pahiyas with its kiping dressing up the lobbies and atrium of malls and hotels. Mayor Armando Racelis initiated programs to attract more tourists and promote Lucban products during his incumbency. Some of these men and women may have long been gone and never saw the success of their feat, even achieved the fame or credit they deserve. Up to this day, no one ever equaled their accomplishments, yet their names and deeds were never mentioned in any print or online article about the history of the Pahiyas.
In recognition of their achievements, we dedicate the Pahiyas Museum to them and for the people to know, emulate and forever be grateful for their unparalleled, unselfish dedication to promote the Pahiyas.
Where is the Pahiyas Museum?
The Pahiyas Museum will be housed in the the building owned by Tony Dealo, an ardent supporter and one of the prime movers of the Pahiyas during the early days. It is located at the Kalbaryo Hill along the Lucban-Lucena road.
Once renovated, it will house a permanent exhibit about the history and evolution of the Pahiyas including replica of a Pahiyas house, parikitan and sunduan costumes, anok, image of San Isidro and other attractions. Exhibition of artworks by local artists will also be featured regularly.
How can you help?
The purpose of this fundraising campaign is to fund the establishment and development of the Pahiyas Museum. The funds to be collected will enable us to install colorful and visually appealing exhibits and displays to create a unique and engaging museum experience. Through your donations, our projects for the promotion, development and preservation of the arts, culture, and tourism will also be carried out.
And we need your help! Your support will bring us closer to making this project a reality, attract more tourists to visit Lucban and learn while enjoying the Pahiyas experience anytime of the year.
Thank you for your generosity! Maraming salamat po and mabuhay po kayo!
Your donation corresponds to a reward, a token for your commitment and generosity. Aside from the reward, significant donors will also receive a plaque of appreciation and other privileges like discounts when you buy artworks, museum merchandise, ticket to events, etc. plus invitation to special events.
The project is a private initiative led by the Fernando C. Nañawa Center for the Arts, Culture and Tourism, Inc., a non-profit organization geared towards the promotion of the arts culture and tourism of Lucban. Funds collected from your donations will also fund various projects and endeavors such as:
- arts, dance and music workshop for kids
- concerts, cultural shows and performances
- travelling exhibits and educational tours
- tourism promotions and marketing
- various contests
- scholarship grants
- research and development
- conservation and preservation of artsworks and heritage objects
- partnership with the government and other institutions and organizations
For more information and other ways to give and support for the Pahiyas Museum, please visit our website at http://www.pahiyasmuseum.org.