We met early in the morning and spent four hours traveling in the van from LRT's Gil Puyat station to reach my friend's place. Upon reaching Lucban, the first very important reminder that our friend told us was "Bawal ang plastik". Prohibition of the use of plastic bags was the Lucban local government's simple contribution to environmental conservation efforts. Hence, in Lucban, the traditional bayong and paper bags are used when packing your shopped items. So if you plan on dropping by Lucban, it would be helpful to bring your own eco-friendly shopping bag (just so you could save some money from purchasing bayong there).
|our group photo on the eve of Pahiyas - we carried paper bags because sa Lucban, bawal ang plastic|
Among all the places where I've been to, Lucban was my favorite in terms of food. Aside from the fact that it's all free (c/o my friend), my friend made the experience memorable by allowing us to taste the best of Lucban's native delicacies - pansit hab-hab, longganisang Lucban, and hardinera, among the other food that he asked his grandmother to prepare for us.
|my friend's post birthday treat - Lucban's native delicacies! Yum!|
|Lucban's hardinera. Embutido is it's closest resemblance. Hardinera will definitely make you crave for Lucban.|
|Longganisang Lucban, very cute!|
|group photo with the Kamay ni Hesus grotto on the background|
|one of the Stations of the Cross depiction that you will encounter along the way|
|view at the top of the hill|
|at the top of the 300-steps hill - Kamay ni Hesus, wide open|
|with Noah's Ark on the background|
|playing with the elephant - part of Noah's Ark|
|part of the Holy Rosary Hill that was still under construction|
Girls shouldn't wear revealing outfits as this would prohibit them to enter the shrine. Bring an umbrella or anything that could protect you from the sun. Also bring water with you.
Another tourist destination in Lucban is Batis Aramin Resort, just across the Kamay ni Hesus Shrine. Batis Aramin offers numerous outdoor activities such as swimming, boating, biking, wall climb and zipline. Since we had a budget and at a time constraint, we did not go there and just proceeded back to our friend's house after a tiring time at Kamay ni Hesus Shrine.
Upon getting back, we had Salud's halo-halo to refresh us from the draining moment we just experienced. The packaging for Salud's halo-halo was quite interesting, as it is contained in the emptied milk can used in preparing it. We also had yema cake from Rodillas, another food that I only encountered in Lucban. We loved the yema cake and it was instantly decided that we each buy a box as pasalubong. My friend's grandmother was really accommodating and dealt with the shop, because she told us that it won't be available come Pahiyas the next morning.
|the unique packaging of Salud's halo-halo|
|yema cake from Rodillas, must try!|
|The house owners just start preparing for Pahiyas the afternoon before. This is to keep the vegetable displays fresh and still in their natural, lively color come Pahiyas Festival.|
|another house owners preparing for Pahiyas|
|souvenirs from souvenir shops along the road|
|pansit hab-hab magnets as souvenirs|
|Hats! This is where I bought my cowboy hat!|
|bulk processing of Longganisang Lucban to cater to the peak demand|
|store selling Lucban's native vinegar|
|yours truly with the facade of Lucban Church (can't find the chance for a solo photo given the vast number of tourists for the festivities)|
|Lucban Church's participation for Pahiyas Festival|
While Lucban's native food are mouthwatering and must-try, I could only say the opposite regarding the drinking water. The Lukbanin are accustomed to drinking water from the tap, which comes from a spring. While the locals are used to this water and can drink it without experiencing any discomforts, visitors might undergo stomach upsets due to this. Believe me, this is based from experience. Having said that, it is best to buy bottled water from the convenience stores around town.