Sunday, May 15, 2011

SARIAYA: 01 – Making Agaw the Cheeze-Its


Sariaya is, without a doubt, a perfect weekend getaway. With Mt. Banahaw to the north and Tayabas Bay to the south, this town sure has a lot to offer. You could climb Banahaw in the morning, do a cultural heritage tour after lunch thanks to the many ancestral houses present, and then spend the rest of the day lazing around the beach at your preferred resort by the Tayabas Bay. Cool, eh?


Sariaya is also one of the towns which boast their own May 15 festival in honor of San Isidro. Tayabas has Mayohan. Lucban has the Pahiyas. Sariaya celebrates the Agawan, which is basically similar to Pahiyas but with an added twist as the title suggests. The townspeople hang goodies on bamboo shoots or tree branches in front of their houses and as the procession passes through the said route the people then make agaw the goodies. FUN! Not only that, it is rumored that house owners actually throw suman to the crowd. It is believed that the more suman you grab the luckier or the more harvest you get the next year. I was not able to verify this because I did not stay around to witness the event myself.


My Pahiyas adventure ended early and Sariaya was a side trip that almost never happened. My phone battery died on me as early as 9 AM, which explains why my Kamay ni Hesus photos are so few. I had to find SM City Lucena to ask around if there are batteries for sale but there were none for Samsung Galaxy S. Luckily, 7/11 saved the day. They have those slot machines where you drop a five-peso coin and you get 10 minutes charging time. I stood there for two hours. Yes, that was not a typo. I stood there for two hours to fully charge my phone. The time I could have spent going to Tayabas was spent on that futile activity. Lesson learned? Bring an extra battery if your phone serves as an all-around travel gadget.


The good thing was that there were vans stationed right in front of SM and there was one going directly to Sariaya. I did not have to wait long for us to depart and after half an hour we arrived at Sariaya and immediately saw the pabitins. Most of what are hung there are snacks that you could buy for five pesos at a sari-sari store without exerting much effort. Hey, Sariaya mayor, hang iPhones and Samsung Tablets on those bamboo shoots and watch the tourist attendance rise. Hee Hee. Of course I am joking. The Agawan Festival is more of a religious event than a materialistic one. It is all for the spirit of fun and celebrating the essence of community.


I took as many pictures as I could. Unfortunately, it seems that I do not have the eye for architecture. I do not even know if all the ancestral houses caught by my camera are really ancestral or not. I just snapped photos, and snapped some more. There are houses cum museums available for public viewing but I was not able to find them. I was just too tired that after half an hour or so I boarded the next Manila-bound bus I saw. Sariaya is a quaint little town and much better explored with enthusiasm and curiosity. I was sleepy and hungry. It could have been a good side trip had my body been more cooperative with my mind. Sigh.
SARIAYA: 01 - Making Agaw the Cheeze-It's

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