Old catholic Church in Lucban
In the midst of a forced respite from heavy training due to a nagging Plantaar Fascia injury, i followed a yearning to indulge in a pastime that attracted me to running in the first place–adventure running in the county side.
So i, together with long-time running buddy June with Norman, an old friend, now Washington, D.C.-based and who ran a recent Marine Corps Marathon and their mutual friend, Mico headed out for a strong dose of longganisa smelling, and some easy running in Lucban, Quezon Province.
Lucban, situated near the foot hills of Mt. Banahaw is well-known for its Pahiyas Festival where homes are decorated with fruits, vegetables, other farm produce and kiping. It’s a form of thanksgiving in honor of the patron saint of farmers, San Isidro de Labrador for a bountiful harvest.
However, the celebration is still 4 months away (May 15) and running around town sans the crowd of local and foreign tourists lets you have the place all for yourselves. There’s nothing like getting into a quaint town for an honest measure of easy running and a reality that i still couldn’t run properly with my current injury still at the back of my mind.
After a brief stop-over at a gas station for coffee, the four of us headed to the centuries old San Isidro de Labrador Parish Church for some rounds of running around its vicinity. Our running gear caught the attention of some locals but being an ordinary day, the sparse crowd and the cool weather, people didn’t seem to mind much our intrusion into their daily routine.
Running near the side entrance
Lucban's famous water canals
With June and Norman
The streets of Lucban are similar to each other–narrow and at times congested with cars, trucks, tricycles, some locals and tourists trying to keep their balance at the edges whenever vehicles try to inch their way in. We had some pleasure observing the mini-canals, where strong current of clear water coming directly from Mt. Banahaw doesn’t fail to put a spell in your consciousness, wishing that we had the same clean canals in Metro Manila.
Adjacent to these narrow streets are small heritage houses with its groundfloors bustling with commercial establishments ranging from restaurants, artifacts, longganisa (local sausages) kiosks and other souvenir shops which include their best selling liquor, the “Lambanog“.
On one of Lucban's narrow streets
Never get tired looking at the canals
Getting inside an old cemetery
Peaceful though a little eerie
On a paved trail inside a village
Street views: A Longganisa store
Along JP Rizal Street
- The National Highway near the Lucban-Tayabas border
It was way past noon when we ended our short running-tour of the town and headed off to nearby Tayabas for a hearty lunch at the Kamayan Sa Palaisdaan Restaurant and Resort. It’s about a 10-minute drive from Lucban and situated just past the border of Lucban and Tayabas. This was going to be the highlight of our stay here.
At the entrance of Kamayan Resort
The restaurant is situated in a massive lagoon where nipa huts are suspended in bamboo stilts, floating like rafts and inside these rafts are benches and bamboo tables where people dine. Specialties are seafoods although different food varieties are also available.
Inside the resort
Floating Bamboo rafts
Our nipa hut at right
View from our raft
June at play with some other's...
Lunch included sizzling seafood vegetables
Grilled spare ribs
and a host of others...
Desert is sweetened squash...oh, sooo yummy!
Inside the gardens
At the other floating rafts
At an arch entrance
There's more of them
Small hotel inside the Palaisdaan
It was already way past 5pm when we drove back to Lucban. Norman bought some longganizas to take home and we were all happy for the experience. Like some charm you can’t resist, Lucban will continue to offer memories of peace and tranquility–a place to lose your thoughts, a place to wander and a place to run.
I suspect we’ll be back again to visit and be engulfed by its charm…some time very soon.