They are the trademark of Lucban, Quezon’s popular thanksgiving festival, the
Pahiyas—vibrantly colored, wafer-thin, leaf-shaped decors known as kiping.
Whether strewn together and hung in and out of homes as buntings or assembled
and displayed as flowers or giant arangya (chandeliers), kiping enhances the festive
mood of the Pahiyas, a celebration for a bountiful harvest held every May 15 in honor
of the patron saint of farmers, San Isidro de Labrador.
How to bring Pahiyas to your home in this quarantine? Try making the colorful kiping—not to decorate with but to eat!
- Food coloring
- Leaves as molding – Make sure they are thick, have beautiful veins, have no taste, and can endure the heat from steaming. The Kabal leaves are abundant in Lucban, but other choices are kape, talisay, kakaw, antipolo, and banana leaves.
- Ground glutinous rice – Ideally, it should be laon, or stocked for a year. Kabkab, a version of kiping from the Visayas and Mindanao, uses finely mashed cassava tubers mixed with a little salt and sugar. Or try the more accessible rice flour!
- Add water to the mashed cassava tuber or rice flour until it has a flowing consistency.
- Add the food coloring.
- Slather the top of a leaf with a generous coating of the mixture. Put into the steamer for about 30 minutes then air dry.
- Peel off the kiping when dry.
- Fry the kiping and serve with sugar, or bake or grill it and enjoy with a savory dip.