An old history book of Lucban, entitled “Kasaysayan at Tala ng Bayan ng Lucban, Quezon (Pantaleon Nantes, 1952) mentioned three major feasts celebrated in Lucban not only by Catholics but even by the Aglipayan, Protestants, Adventist and other religious sect. Prayers were offered, masses and processions were held, parade around town with marching bands, games, balls, contest and other fiesta activities.
First is the town fiesta held every August 19 in honor of the patron saint San Luis Obispo ng Tolosa. Second is on December 8, feast of the Immaculate Conception and because the image is housed at the municipal building until today, the town mayor together with the municipal council and employees were leading the celebration. Third is the feast of San Isidro de Labrador which falls on May 15. This celebration is quite different from the other two as houses where the procession will pass were adorned with different plants, fruits and other farm produce.
The feast of San Isidro, to the Lucbanins in the past, is known to be just that, the feast of San Isidro. So when the day nears, you would hear people asking “San Isidro na sa inyo, punta kami.” (Its San Isidro in your place, we would come.) or “Daan ba sa inyo ng San Isidro?” (Is San Isidro, referring to the procession, passing by your house?) or words to that effect. Generally, San Isidro is referred to as the saint and the feast itself. The feast is celebrated only by the people of Lucban, simple and without any accompanying events to amplify its significance.
The Modern Pahiyas
In May of 1963, a group of young Lucbanins, all members of the ART CLUB OF LUCBAN organized some events to spice up the celebration of the San Isidro. Led by its founder and president FERNANDO CADELIÑA NAÑAWA, the group, together with the MEGANS, Ltd., has put up an art exhibit of paintings, sculptures, photography and literature. This particular exhibit is so unique because the exhibitors were artists from the Art Association of the Philippines, the biggest association of art professionals in the Philippines, a major feat that has never been duplicated until today even in other parts of the country. There were also folk dances, songs, fashion show and film showing in what was then called “giant TV.” A cottage industry exhibit was also held.