Lucban, Quezon is famous for the Pahiyas Festival. Every May 15, the Lucbanin give thanks to San Isidro Labrador for a bountiful harvest. The houses are decorated with the colorful kiping, fruits and vegetable harvests, palay, and “anoks”. If you are visiting Lucban for the first time, here are five food you must eat at Lucban Pahiyas Festival.
This should be on top of the list and for an authentic experience must be eaten like the locals do — without using any utensil. The pancit habhab sold by street vendors usually have the simplest ingredients. It only has sliced sayote and you’d be lucky if you find a strip of pork and liver. This is enjoyed with a dash of vinegar. Restaurant version has more meat and vegetables, quail eggs, and sometimes shrimps.
Lucban longganisa is a regular breakfast viand for the Lucbanin and it isn’t surprising why they never get tired of eating this every single day. The aroma while frying this is good enough to make you salivate. This garlicky longganisa is best paired with garlic rice using the oil where the longganisa was cooked and best with vinegar dip. In the 70s until the 80s, the meat of this longganisa are cubed. When the Lucban longganisa gained popularity, they made this using ground pork to meet the demand especially during the Pahiyas Festival.
Pilipit is a snack and also a dessert made from squash (kalabasa). You must definitely buy when you see this. There’s someone selling near Buddy’s Burger just across Patio Rizal. This yummy dessert is best eaten when it is still hot. You can buy three pieces for twenty pesos.
Puto Seko, Broas, and Meringue
A must-buy pasalubong when you go to Lucban are puto seko, broas, and meringue. Eating the puto seko can be a bit challenging. I remember being dared to whistle after I bite a mouthful. Make sure you have a glass of water ready in case you feel choked. The broas is a perfect partner of pancit habhab for me. You can enjoy it as is with an ice cold soda. The meringue is supposed to be a dessert but it’s not so sweet you won’t even notice you’re already snacking on it.
If you are invited in one of the houses during the Pahiyas Festival, you will notice that they have hardinera, embotido, pastel and sinukmani. Make sure you eat all of them. Most of the houses have the same food on the table.
Plan your visit to Lucban and be amazed with the decorations during the Pahiyas Festival on May 15. By the way, the kiping decoration is also edible. Better eaten grilled than fried.