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The “precious offering” in May when the town of Lucban uezon Province becomes a blaze of color as each house is ed with flowers. Originally, a pagan harvest festival, Pahiyas is given in the honor of San Isidro Labrador, the farmer’s patron
Although the word fiesta is Spanish, Filipinos have made it their It is not unusual for entire towns to participate in the celebration. ing can take up to a year, and the decorations, costumes and s are often both expensive and lavish.
Like Pahiyas, almost every major fiesta in the Philippines has its in the pre-colonial period. The god Bathala created the land and ea and his creations have always been part of the actual and cal way of live in the Philippines. The sea and the land provide and shelter, but the spirits of nature who dwell in these places are ways benign and must be appeased. When the Spaniards came brought with them a new God and new spirits who had to be ed too. To the adaptable Filipino, a celebration for one god d please another as well.
Principal fiesta themes are fertility and planting, harvest, tion and supplication. Sometimes they can be a combination of al themes such as the danced rites at Obando, which is both a ication of infertile women to San Pascual and Santa Clara to them with a child hand a thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest.
The Ati-Atihan held on Kalibo, Aklan is another combined festival. nally it was celebrated by the Negritos (Ati) to commemorate their riendship with the Bornean the Panay Filipinos borrowed the festival to celebrate the Santo s intervention on their behalf against the marauding pirates of anao.
While Christmas and Easter are purely Christian festivals, the prising Filipinos are always quick to make any fiesta reflect their