Thursday, May 20, 2010

Quezon: Pahiyas Festival in Lucban

There was another thing that I thought was missing in my Philippine travels. Yes, I'm speaking as if I've traversed this country north to south, east to west. I have never been to a small-town fiesta or pista. Not since I was a kid, at least.

Bata sa Pahiyas

The last pista I remember going to was in a small town in Baras, Rizal. I was still a kid back then. From the very few things I recall, the one thing that stands out is this palpable "pista" air. People were on the streets, decorating their homes, cooking their handa with their big casseroles and woks. It was joyous and somehow, it was all very Pinoy.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Tarlac: Capas National Shrine

Our route to Mount Pinatubo took us to Capas, Tarlac. Capas is a very historical town in Central Luzon. This is the site of Camp O'Donnell, an American army facility turned Japanese prisoner camp during World War II. This was the final stop in the historic Bataan Death March.

Capas Shrine

In memory of this episode in Philippine history, what now stands in the site is a war memorial dedicated to the Filipino and American soldiers who endured and fell throughout the 97-kilometer march. The site is now known as the Capas National Shrine or the Paggunita sa Capas.