There was a long queue at the paid restrooms near the church and here's us while waiting by the plant shops for Sandra and DH.
The Pahiyas Festival at Lucban
This is the church at Lucban.
Inside the church, even the altar was adorned with kiping decorations.
Here's one house where the owner sold local products. DH was choosing a salakot to buy. As she was choosing, one of them moved! Apparently the owner was wearing one and was sitting low where the salakots were! Kinda looked like a "yari ka!" segment.
The following are pics of the houses mostly along Marcos Tigla Street. Below, some of the decorations were given away by the house owner to visitors.
Did you notice that we're all wearing clothes with a shade of blue? This was requested by the tour operator just so it'll be easy to identify those in the tour.
Aside from kiping, some owners prepared mock suman for decor.
DH and Sandra playing around with string beans. On the bilao are the decorations a house owner gave away.
Here's the gang trying out Pancit Habhab by the roadside. A hawker sitting on the bench shows how the Pancit Habhab is eaten - yeah, no utensils - just straight from the banana leaf. "Ewww!", you say? Well, that's the way the locals do it and that's how we ate it! The noodles had sayote and a little vinegar.
Here's a variation - Spaghetti style Pancit Habhab - eaten the same way on a banana leaf.
Renz as a "munting sabungero" with a rooster toy and the salakot hat bought by DH. We asked Renz to wear a whistle around his neck for this trip just in case he gets lost like what happened in the recent Visita Iglesia.
At around 11:30am, we proceeded to Majayjay for lunch. Here's the church at Majayjay near the Titanic Canteen (funky name, huh) where we had our lunch.
Majayjay Church is also known as the Church of St. Gregory the Great or San Gregorio Magno. Here's the church marker.
What's for lunch at the Titanic Canteen? We had Ginataang Tilapia with Kalabasa, Grilled Pork Chop, Fried Chicken and Ensaladang Pako (edible fern). Everything was so good! They even had all sorts of sauces for the dishes.
Fresh buko juice (as in from freshly lopped coconuts!) was served.
The restaurant still looks empty because we were the first to arrive. Our group was riding a van and the van was a bit more nimble maneuvering the streets. The second group was in a tour bus.
Clowning around after lunch with DH bringing the coconuts to have the coco meat removed.
After lunch, the restaurant owner brought out a seemingly ordinary chicken dish. He proudly announced that it was a Fruit Bat (Paniki) in Spicy Curry! Wow. How did it taste like? Like chicken. Isn't that how folks describe exotic dishes when they taste them for the first time? He! he! But still, it was a special treat.
My apology for the blurry image of the Curry Bat below which was taken from a cellphone. My camera ran out of battery juice at this time. Good thing though that my digital camera uses AA batteries (ha! another notch for digicam using rechargeables). I was able to buy couple of Energizer alkaline batteries at a nearby store.
That's the bat's head on the left side looking up. You could even see the bat's teeth. Kinda looks like a tiny dinosaur, doesn't it?
A jump shot near the church. I didn't expect Sandra to jump towards me and so her image was cut. With all their jumping and shouting, we were stunned to find out there was an ongoing funeral ceremony inside the church!
Behind us is a very old and gigantic Calachuchi plant. It's big, wrinkly, with plenty of bumps and bulges.
After a brief rest, we all went to the neighboring town of Liliw. Liliw, at this time of the year is having their Tsinelas Festival and there were so many people at the shops.
This is GatTayaw Street, sometimes called Tsinelas Street where there are shops and more shops of tsinelas (slippers) and bags. Who's Gat Tayaw? Well, he founded the town of Liliw in 1571.
Origin of Liliw, Laguna
According to a story, Liliw got its name from a bird. It was said that Gat Tayaw and his followers decided to erect a bamboo pole and to name the town after the bird that would first alight at the top of the pole within four days. A crow, however, was the first bird to alight on the pole. A crow was considered bad and so Gat Tayaw and his men moved south and erected another bamboo pole. A beautiful bird alighted on the pole and sang, "Liw, Liw, Liw". Thus the town became Liliw.
Throughout the Spanish regime, the name Liliw was used. When the Americans came, it became Lilio since the Americans found it easier to pronounce it than Liliw (ha! ha!). However, on June 11, 1965, the municipal council passed Resolution No. 38-S-65 which declared Liliw as the official name and spelling of the town (good!). This was to avoid confusion in pronouncing and spelling the name of the town. (source: wikipedia)
Tsinelas Festival at Liliw, Laguna
Huge tsinelas brightly decorate some of the shops. You could hardly find any men browsing in these shops. It's mostly women looking for slippers and bags. It bored me to tears and so I sat by one of the shops near the roadside.
At around 3:30pm we had halo-halo at Liliw Fastfood. It was packed and so we sat outside. That parked green motorcycle is a dead giveaway that we had our refreshments by the roadside. That's DH offering her share of halo-halo (bless her soul).
Here's the beautiful reddish (because of the red bricks) church of Liliw, the Church of St. John the Baptist.
From Liliw, we went straight to the Nagcarlan Church hoping to see the Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery. Here's the church marker. Hmmm. Why does it say Nagcarlang, instead of Nagcarlan?
Unfortunately, we found out that the underground cemetery was near the munisipyo and not at this church. Woops.
Trivia on Nagcarlan Church
Did you know that the bell in this church's belfry became famous when it was used to shoot scenes for the the movie "Kampanerang Kuba" starring Vilma Santos in 1974?
There's the red van behind the girls that we used for the trip.
The Underground Cemetery of Nagcarlan
Finally, here's the main entrance to the Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery.
There's this story that the underground passage built by Fr. Velloc led to five underground chapels (!!!) where masses were held. Sadly, the passages were somehow sealed and nobody knows where they are exactly located. I have the feeling that there are indeed other passages because the current crypt is just too small. Won't it be cool if the rest of the passages and crypts get rediscovered? Who knows what mysteries (secrets or scandals) these underground tunnels will reveal. There's even another story tells that one passage even extended all the way to Mt. Banahaw! Hmmm.
It was in this cemetery where secret meetings of the Katipunan were held. In 1897, Pedro Paterno and Gen. Severino Taino first planned the Pact of Biak-na-Bato in the crypts. Emilio Jacinto was captured here in 1898 after being severely wounded from the battle of Mahabang-Tanaw in Majayjay.
After going down the stairs leading to the underground cemetery, we immediately felt a little chill inside. Under dim lights, Che and Sandra are reading tombstone names inside the crypt. Searching for some familiar names, perhaps?
The town’s underground cemetery is a one of a kind structure in the Philippines. Built in 1845 by Fr. Vicente Velloc as an exclusive burial ground for Spanish friars, the cemetery is enclosed by 240 above-ground crypts embedded on the circular wall which is comparable to Paco Cemetery.
Playing horsey-horsey after coming out of the crypt to shake out that creepy feeling.
Here's the entrance to the chapel behind the kids.
After this last stop, we headed for home.
And to cap the weekend, a swim for the three at a favorite watering hole. Che wasn't with us as per doctor's orders after her myringotomy.