Philippine festivals are always bright and fun. Yet, nothing compares to Pahiyas Festival—especially if you are attending it with photography enthusiasts.
I was able to prove this when I joined Nikon Club Philippines’ Pahiyas 2015 Photowalk last May 15, 2015. Called “Nikon Goes to Pahiyas 2015,” this photowalk allowed me not just to experience Pahiyas Festival with awesome people, but also to learn new things about photography.
Our day started early. We met up at around 3:00 AM in Makati City, where our bus was waiting. We left at around 4:00 AM and made it to Lucban, Quezon at around 7:00 AM. A cloudy Lucban welcomed us. We knew that it was about to rain, but our excitement remained.
Before heading to the town proper, we went to Batis Aramin first and had our breakfast. Most of us had the famous Lucban Longganisa with sunny side up and fried rice. While having breakfast, I was able to talk to some members of Nikon Club. Although they came from different walks of life, I could immediately sense that there was this strong force that brought them together—their love for photography.
No wonder people kept on sharing photography tips with each other. We also had the chance to see and even try other club members’ camera accessories and equipment, including various types of lenses. I, myself, have learned a lot of things, especially what to use when taking photos during different kinds of events.
After breakfast, we headed to the town proper. It was already raining, but we did not mind. Along the streets were so many people and products being sold at low, low prices. We even saw Lucban’s signature delicacies, including Lucban Longganisa and Pansit Habhab.
We visited Lucban Museum where we met Kagawad Jojo Rañeses. There, we were given a brief historical background of Lucban, the summer and art capital of Quezon Province. We were shown artifacts that told a lot about Lucban’s rich history.
Old equipment, photographs, and a lot more provided an instant throwback for everyone. What amazed us even more was the fact that those artifacts actually belonged to the residents. They were lent to the museum, so people could learn more through and about them.
Our visit to the museum also allowed us to learn more about the origins of Pahiyas Festival and how it has evolved through the years. We also saw artworks that perfectly captured life in Lucban.
Next, we assembled in front of Lubcan Church. It was still cloudy that time, but people’s merriment could not be stopped. Their enthusiasm never failed to enliven everything, creating scenes that were truly picture-perfect. That, I realized, was the magic of Pahiyas Festival and it was all thanks to the cheerful and great people of Lucban as well as the guests who made the celebration even more spectacular.
Already excited for the grand parade, we had our first photowalk on the Pahiyas route. Instructions were given to us first, and then we dispersed so we could start taking photographs of whatever we found interesting. My buddy, Jay, of 1Art Studio and I decided to take photos of some of the participants for the Garbo Pahiyas competition. In no time, we were amazed by what we saw—houses that were beautifully decorated using fruits, vegetables, plants, and colorful kiping.
In preparation for the grand parade, which we considered our biggest battle for the day, we had a heavy lunch at Buddy’s. One of the highlights of our meal was the ever famous Pansit Habhab.
After lunch, we were ready for the grand parade. Yet, before we were set free, we met with travel photography guru and Nikon professional George Tapan. He gave us tips on how to take good photos during festivals. He also shared strategies on how to get a great vantage point when covering an event like Pahiyas.
Inspired to take photos, we parted ways and started looking for promising angles and vantage points. Some attendees like me chose to follow the parade and take snapshots of participants, including beautiful women wearing colorful gowns, candidates for Mutya ng Lucban, carabaos pulling creatively designed mini floats, and higantes.
At 4:30 PM, we assembled gain in front of the cathedral in preparation for our departure. While waiting for others to arrive at our meeting place, we shopped for some pasalubong. We left once the group had been completed.
Indeed, it was a tiring and challenging day for everyone, but it was all worth it. Apart from it being fun-filled, it was also educational.
Special thanks to Jay Servito for the photos.
Nikon Club Philippines