Giant Lantern Festival 2019
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga, Philippines — Pampanga, dubbed as the “Christmas Capital of the Philippines,” once again bore witness to a spectacular display of lights and sounds as giant, brightly-lit lanterns filled the city’s skies for the celebration of The Giant Lantern Festival 2019 at Robinsons Starmills in San Fernando on December 14, Saturday.
The festival, held every December of the year, was originally a religious activity called “lubenas,” observed before Christmas with 12 lanterns representing the 12 apostles. The event gradually evolved as the lanterns became bigger and the designs more intricate, with the addition of rotors to give the illusion of the dancing lights–ultimately earning for Pampanga the title “Home of Giant Lanterns.”
“We are sustaining the tradition of making giant lanterns because it is a cultural heritage that defines us,” City Mayor Edwin Santiago said during the event, where he was joined by Vice President Leni Robredo.
Filipino craftsmanship was highlighted as crowds watched in awe the synchronized lights and sounds show from the participating barangays of San Agustin, San Pedro, Telabastagan, Bulaon, Calulut, Del Pilar, Sindalan, Sta. Lucia, San Jose, San Juan, San Nicolas, and Sto. Niño.
By the end of the night, Sta. Lucia brought home the coveted the “best among the best” award. The village’s winning peace which features a glass-stained window with an image of the Holy Family in the Nativity scene proved to be a favorite among foreign and local visitors who flocked to the city to witness the annual competition.
The village was also awarded a P150,000 cash prize. Meanwhile, the lanterns of Barangay Sindalan (which won PHP100,000); Del Pilar (which won PHP75,000) and Calulut (which won PHP50,000) were adjudged third, second and first runner-up, respectively.
“Ang ating mga parol ang nagsasabi sa kung anong klase ng tao ang mga Fernandino at Kapampangan. Ipinapakita ng mga ito ang ating matatag na pananampalataya at paniniwala, ang ating talento, at pagkakaisa. Ang mga parol din ang naglalarawan sa kung gaano kayaman ang ating syudad pagdating sa industriya,” said Mayor Santiago.
The lanterns tell what kind of people are the Fernandinos and the Kapampangans. The lanterns show our strong faith and belief, our talents and our unity and cooperation. The lanterns also describe how rich our city is in terms of industry),” he said.
The giant lanterns will still be on display at the Robinsons Starmills Pampanga until December 26. It will also be put on exhibit in Barangay Telabastaganon December 22; Greenfields Subdivision in Barangay Sindalan on December 23 and at the Poblacion on December 24.