I lost my way out of Lucban after the Pahiyas walk. One wrong turn led to a stretch of mistaken path. Off-track. Astray. All despite the non-complex setup of this humble little town.

I lost my cool as well. Nobody seemed to be able to give me a clearer direction. I lost my cool realizing I’m running out of phone loads, battery, and daylight. I lost my cool knowing friends are waiting for me somewhere and — without a doubt — are losing theirs too.

You know what they say about how a man’s character is defined by how he behaves when he doesn’t know what to do? Mine wasn’t so bad at all — mine was terrible! I felt agitated. I was dead-tired. I cursed and swore and walked around like a headless chicken. Did I fell under someone else’s spell or was I in the middle of that time of day when people think and act strangely.

Whatever happened to my audacious youth and all the wisdom of getting lost and taking risk. My diploma for adventurism must have fallen off the wall right this very moment.

And then, this elderly tricycle driver came along and — sensing my disorientation (and expletives) — quieted me down with just about the wisest words I ever needed to hear: Ang nangyayari sa ‘yo ay ikaw ay naririndi. Kailangan mong kumalma. (What is happening is you are falling to pieces. You really should keep it cool.)

The old man set me up to rendezvous with my buddies at the Kamay Ni Hesus or The Hand of Jesus where my distraught mind wouldn’t have thought of at all. (When in despair, it really pays to put your hand in the hand of the man from Galilee.)

And then he went off leaving me calm as a clam shell. I do believe in angels you know.

LOST IN LUCBAN by Elmer Nev Valenzuela_0000016

Earlier on, I was having a ball with the Lucbanians on the not-so-complex streets of this small Quezon town.

LOST IN LUCBAN by Elmer Nev Valenzuela_000007

LOST IN LUCBAN by Elmer Nev Valenzuela_000008

LOST IN LUCBAN by Elmer Nev Valenzuela_0000011

LOST IN LUCBAN by Elmer Nev Valenzuela_0000012

LOST IN LUCBAN by Elmer Nev Valenzuela_0000013

LOST IN LUCBAN by Elmer Nev Valenzuela_0000014

LOST IN LUCBAN by Elmer Nev Valenzuela_0000015

LOST IN LUCBAN by Elmer Nev Valenzuela_0000019

LOST IN LUCBAN by Elmer Nev Valenzuela_0000038

LOST IN LUCBAN by Elmer Nev Valenzuela_0000040

LOST IN LUCBAN by Elmer Nev Valenzuela_0000043

The old tricycle driver and my baffled mind. LOST IN LUCBAN by Elmer Nev Valenzuela_0000039


  1. Nice series, I think I like the girl turning her head with the sausages behind her and the mask and bottom of the sandal images the best. They both show a degree of contrast between beauty and commonality.

  2. Reblogged this on Writing on the Pages of Life and commented:
    Happy Memorial Day to our readers in the United States!

    Today is Reblog Monday and in keeping with the holiday spirit, today’s reblog is a spin-off from last Saturday’s reblog on the Pahiyas Festival which is held every May 15th in the Philippines.

  3. I love your story, I believe in the messengers, too, they come in the greatest disguises. I WISH I’d gotten lost during Pahiyas in Lucban, but I was with people who stuck to the safe, known and prescribed, meh, boring…
    Getting lost is a gift. Ditch the phone and go alone sometime, so you don’t worry about finding your way back. 😉 Adventure! I love your posts these days.

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