As mentioned in the previous entry. Taline and I went on a road trip to Lucban, Quezon, Taline’s hometown. Lucban is famous for its annual grand Pahiyas Festival every May, where-in homes are decorated with fruits, vegetables, plants, decorative items and kiping, a leaf-shaped rice flour wafer. This festival is celebrated in honour of St Isidore the Laborer the Farmer and is a form of thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest.
Obviously, I wasn’t able to witness it, but I saw other things.
I met up with Taline at Buendia bus terminal at around 6:45am (I came at about 6:20am). We took Greenstar bus to go to Sta Cruz. Fare was 105PHP. Surprisingly, bus looked old but, it has onboard free wifi! Travel to Sta. Cruz was about 2-3hrs depending on the traffic jam. Since we started early, jam wasn’t so bad. From Sta Cruz, we took a type of jeepney, that they call “flatnose”. It’s bigger and more spacious than the normal jeepneys in Manila. This was our mode of transportation going directly to Lucban Quezon. Fare was 55PHP. We spent another 1-2 hrs on the road. Taline said it was longer than usual that day because there were some road closures (repairs?).
We reached there at around 11;30am. We alighted at the town’s sentro and immediately headed to the nearby carinderia called Mustiola’s for lunch. I learned from Taline that there’s no Jollibee or McDonald’s there. Nearest would be in Lucena, another town.
After lunch we walked to Lucban Church, which was originally constructed in 1595. The church’s exterior was beautifully old. The mosses and molds surrounding the church walls complemented its mysterious look (seriously). Interior was amazingly new but sadly, common. It was newly renovated hence more modern in appearance.
After praying for a while, we walked to Taline’s house and rested for a while. Then after an hour, we went for a long walk, from the town’s center to Kamay ni Hesus Shrine. There was an option of taking Tricycle but since I love walking, Taline was forced to take strides with me too.
Kamay ni Hesus Shrine’s normally packed during Holy Week. It wasn’t as crowded when we went there. It was said that this shrine’s miraculous hence, healing masses are celebrated here as well (http://www.joeyfaller.org/).
Going up, life-size statues were also surrounding the hill, portraying the Stations of the Cross. The highest point of the hill was a Huge Risen Christ statue. Vantage point from the top made me want to pray and meditate for a while. It’s an ideal place for doing both because up there, its peaceful and quiet (during that day) From up there, view of Lucban town center including all the nearby fields and hills could also make one sigh in awe!
After about an hour of mediation, we started our descent. Tired and hungry we took Tricycle instead of walking back to the town center.
I really wanted to eat habhab from the streets (noodles made to be eaten without using fork and spoon, just place the noodles directly to one’s mouth) but it was raining and most of the stalls selling it were out in the open hence, I settled for the also-famous, pancit lucban inside one restaurant.
We headed for pasalubong shopping. I bought yema cake, it was a cake with custard-like thick cream icing. It was the first time I tasted this kind of cake. I liked it. Longganisa Lucban, a type of thin skinned-sausage made of pork. Taline brought these too plus Achara, fermented grated papaya and uraro, a type of biscuit.
Shopping in Lucban could be quite tough because they would only provide individual paper bags. They all don’t anymore use plastic. Lesson learned that next time I’d go there and shop, I’d bring my own big paper bags or plastics.
We then headed back to Manila. We took a different route this time since I think we missed the last flatnose jeepney trip to Sta Cruz. We just took a normal jeepney to Pagsanjan for 40PHP. This particular trip was extremely uncomfortable because the jeepney was overflowing with passengers and from time to time, the person collecting fares would barge through the window to collect fares, yes, while the jeepney’s running. It was not at all safe. Well, even collecting fares, is more fun and exciting in the Philippines.lolz
Then from Pagsajan, we walked a few meters to reach the jeepney terminal going to Sta. Cruz, 12PHP, and lastly, we took a non-aircon bus for 80PhP going to Alabang. From there, me and Taline parted.
It was wonderful albeit a tiring trip.
See you again in Dec Tal!=)