The Higantes of Lucban in Quezon province originated as part of a religious celebration called Corazon de Jesus, honoring the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Part of the activities is the dancing and parade of 2 papier mache Higantes in colorful costumes.
The tradition starts on the eve of the feast day when the Higantes perform dance exhibitions together with a marching band playing the music. Called “Serenata” (serenade), the event culminates with fireworks display and a running bull laden with lighted fireworks. Children follow the Higantes as they dance and the Higantes in turn chase them and scared most of them. The braves follow and shout “He-het Bong” along the way.
Early dawn, a marching band, together with the higantes roam the streets with their loud music, waking up everybody, signalling the day of the festivities. A procession is held in the afternoon with the Higantes and their brave followers tailing and chanting “hehet bong”.
Fernando Cadelina Nanawa, who contributed great deal of efforts in the promotion of the Lucban San Isidro Pahiyas Festival wanted to add another attraction to the then booming festival, thus, the idea of creating his own Higantes came. Starting with only 2 higantes made of papier mache and bamboo and rattan bodies, people from all walks of life, foreign and local tourists alike begin to enjoy the parade of the higantes. As years pass by, more and more higantes sponsored by local businesses as well as big corporations, roam the streets of Lucban during the Pahiyas Festival and has since become one of the major attractions of the festival.
From the traditional papier mache heads and rattan and bamboo frames, the higantes of today, which is now maintained and continuously improved by his sons, are made of fiberglass head and aluminum frame. And not only the Higantes are confined to town fiestas but also become attractions in many major malls and events in Metro Manila and other provinces.