Mount Banahaw is a dormant volcano located along the boundary of Laguna and Quezon provinces, central Luzon island, Philippines.
The mountain and its environs are considered sacred by the local residents because of its “holy water,” which allegedly have beneficial qualities, issuing forth from local springs and its “puwestos” or the “holy sites.” These are composed of unique, natural features such as rocks, caves and springs with shrines erected in, on or around them. The location of these ‘holy sites’ were supposedly revealed to a man during the Spanish colonial era by the “Santo Boses” or the “Holy Voice.”
Mt. Banahaw regularly attracts locals who are into folkloric religious or spiritual belief systems, and those who claim to have found healing in Banahaw’s slopes. Filipino mystics and their followers consider Banahaw as one of the world ‘spiritual energy’ centers and believe that the mountain has a unique role in developing human spiritual life.
Religious devotees usually flock to Mt. Banahaw during the Lenten season. A climb to Mt. Banahaw takes around two to three days trek, passing waterfalls and caves en route to the summit. There are at least four different trails from Dolores, Sariaya, and nearby towns in Quezon. Pilgrims and hikers usually take the trail of Cristalino and of Tatlong Tangke from Kinabuhayan, Dolores reaching the Durungawan I, II, and III viewpoints atop the summit. (Source: Wikipedia and other sources).
Long live Mt. Banahaw!
Longganisa Lucban is a garlicky slightly sour sausage that is quite similar to chorizo de Bilbao, the famous garlic sausage from Spain.
The sausage’s main ingredients are medium ground pork, rock salt, paprika, garlic powder, dried oregano, sugar, Filipino (white) vinegar, pork back fat, and sausage casings. The sausage is made in the towns of Sariaya, Tayabas, Lucena and Lucban in Quezon province either by backyard industries or medium scale operations. Some recipes omit the vinegar, making the Lucban sausages less sour than the Vigan longganisa. But the distinctive flavours are the garlic and oregano.
Malagonlong Bridge in Tayabas
Malagonlong Bridge in Tayabas, Quezon province(northern Philippines) was built in 1840 and completed 10 years later under the supervision of parish head P. Antonio Mateos.
The bridge is one of the few surviving arch-type, stone bridges built during the Spanish colonial period. Located about 2.4 km southeast of Tayabas, it forms part of the provincial road going to Pagbilao. About 230m after this bridge is the junction going to Mauban.
The Malagonlong Bridge testifies to the skills of Filipino builders and workers who built remarkable structures during the Spanish era. The bridge has lasted for centuries even without using reinforcing steel or modern technology. A modern girder type bridge is being built on the upstream side to replace the old one. Once it is completed the new bridge would provide a better vantage view of the Malagonlong Bridge from the upstream side (From Waypoint)
Mabuhay ang Malagonlong Bridge!
The Art Deco-styled Governor Natalio Enriquez ancestral house in Sariaya
Similar to the Mestizo district in Vigan, Sariaya in Quezon province (Luzon, northern Philippines) is synonymous with beautiful ancestral houses that define the elite and affluent centre of the town in the pre war years (from Waypoint).
But unlike in Vigan where older Spanish colonial houses were preserved, Sariaya’s architectural gems are from the Art Deco period (early 1900s), a latter period where few building examples exist due to the devastation during World War 2.
An example from Sariaya’s Art Deco ancestral houses is the eye-catching and brick-roofed Sariaya landmark near the church, known as the Governor Natalio Enriquez Ancestral House designed by European schooled architect Andres Luna de San Pedro, the son of the artist Juan Luna. It was built in 1931 for then Tayabas Provincial Governor Natalio Enriquez (1941 – 1945) and his wife Susana Gala. The house was a venue for fabulous high society gatherings in pre-war Sariaya, and was listed by the National Historical Institute as a Heritage House on May 2008.
Sariaya’s fabulous ancestral houses defined an era of affluence in the Philippines (early 1900s) when the characteristic old Filipino-Spanish architecture was renovated by rich owners and transformed with foreign influences like the then Art-Deco style. Other houses of note in Sariaya are the ancestral houses of Donya Carmen Rodriguez Arguelles, Enriquez-Gala, Don Catalino Rodriquez, Juanito Rodriguez and Francisco Rodriguez.
Mabuhay ang Sariaya Ancestral Houses!
Colorful rice wafers are turned into wall and house decorations during the Pahiyas
The Pahiyas Festival is a colorful annual event associated with the municipality of Lucban in Quezon Province (Northern Luzon). The feast is celebrated every 15th of May by the people of Lucban, Quezon in honor of their patron saint, San Isidro Labrador.
A farmers’ thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest, the people of Lucban put out a grand display of colorful rice wafers (called kiping), vegetables, fruits and handicrafts adorning every house and commercial building in the town. Pahiyas comes from the Filipino hiyas (jewel) and the pronoun “pa” to mean “precious offering.”
The colorful rice wafers or kiping are thin wafers made from rice doug, arranged into two or three layers in chandelier shapes called aranya. The locals use different kinds of leaves to add flavor and color to the kiping. They also produce varieties of tastes and textures by using different ingredients such as kabal, coffee, talisay (umbrella tree), cocoa, and banaba leaves.
The annual feast dates back to the 16th century based on the local legend that San Isidro Labrador magically plowed the field whenever he went out of the church. Most probably the story which could have originated from Mexico was passed on by the Spaniards to their Filipino Catholic converts during the colonial period. Since then the Pahiyas Festival has turned into an annual event for both locals and visitors of Quezon Province with a paper mache procession of the saint as the highlight of the event.
Mabuhay ang Pahiyas!