June 4, 2016 lucban

LUCBAN, PAHIYAS, AND YEMA CAKE, OH MY!

As I sit at my desk, I think back to the time when we went to Lucban, Quezon a couple weeks ago. I’ve actually been there numerous times so I’ll highlight pieces from each visit and put them together to give you an overall experience.

Coming from Manila, the drive was about three hours. If you plan to travel there overnight, I recommend leaving early in the morning to avoid traffic going via South Luzon Expressway (SLEX). Driving with my parents in the car, we headed to Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 to pick up my girlfriend who was returning from a work-related trip in Cebu. Now, if you know where Terminal 3 is, it is right across from Resort’s World Manila. It is composed of three hotels: Remington, Marriott and Maxims. If you’re in this area, you can quickly hop onto SLEX. While on SLEX, you can continue or you can take the Skyway. Though the rate for the toll is higher, I decided to drive via Skyway since it would allow me to bypass the traffic on SLEX until I reached the end at Alabang. The drive took another 45 minutes to an hour until we reached the exit to Calamba. We went through Liliw, to Majajay, Laguna, and finally to Lucban.

There are many things to do in Quezon. You can visit Kamay ni Jesus, go to resorts around the area, and/or eat at Kamayan sa Palaisdaan. When we arrived in Lucban, it was already about 8PM. We decided to rest and have dinner at the restaurant inside Patio Rizal Hotel.

The staff was very accommodating. Once checked in, a bell boy came to fetch our luggage and carried them to our room. Also of notewas a secured parking garage provided by the hotel. The mode of transportation in the town proper was mostly tricycles. My parents, girlfriend and I went downstairs to eat at their restaurant. The menu was filled with Filipino dishes ranging from Singangang Hipon to Pancit Bihon. They also serve burgers, pizza, and shakes. We ordered the Sinigang, Pancit and Hawaiian pizza. On a separate visit, we had dinner at Buddy’s. If you’ve seen this restaurant in Manila, just know that Buddy’s originated in Lucban. The original restaurant still remains in business up to this day.

The following day, we had breakfast at the hotel again. You can choose breakfast with rice usually with bangus, corned beef or beef tapa. They also offer American breakfast like toasted bread, eggs, bacon, and pancakes. The breakfast is inclusive when you stay overnight at the hotel.

After breakfast, we went to visit the Church of Lucban to pray and give thanks.

The place still had remnants of Pahiyas Festival, which is the biggest festival in Lucban. The harvest festival is celebrated annually to honor San Isidro Labrador, the patron saint of farmers, and to give thanks for the bountiful harvest. Leaf-shaped and multi-colored rice paste wafers called “kiping” are used to decorate the house along with fruits and flowers from nature. If you happen to go to Lucban on May 15, go and experience this well-known festival in the world!

After church, we took a tricycle to visit my grandpa’s grave. Bring a handkerchief because it will be hot!

Too cool down, we went to Salud’s for some Halo-halo and suman.

This establishment has been around for years and on a typical hot day, this is the perfect place to hang and cool off.

Our next stop was Kamay ni Hesus.

One main stop to visit is Kamay ni Hesus Shrine and Healing Center, constructed in February 2002, with the help from donors from different communities in the United States and local Quezonians.

Challenge yourself to climb the 305 steps Dolorosa Grotto to reach the 50 foot statue of the ascending Christ, the world’s third tallest risen Christ statue. Other places to visit on the property are Noah’s Ark, Luklukan ni Maria, Garden of Eden, Gallery of Saints, The Angels Hill, religious murals, etc.

We, unfortunately, had to head back to Manila right after to beat the traffic going home on SLEX. If you have the time and want to eat, visit Kamayan sa Palaisdaan. Make sure you buy the longganisa from Eker’s and the Yema Cake from Rodillas too before you leave! They are highly requested pasalubong (gift) to family and friends.

Well folks, that sums up our trip to Lucban, Quezon.

Tune in next time for my next TourBlogThrowback!

-Alec Bala