MANILA, Philippines – San Fernando is shining bright like a diamond again! The city of Pampanga is celebrating the Giant Lantern Festival with even bigger prizes, according to Giant Lantern’s official Facebook page.
Often referred to as “The Christmas Capital of the Philippines,” the City of San Fernando, Pampanga holds an annual Giant Lantern Festival, or Ligligan Parul, every December. The festival is an extravagant display of larger-than-life parol lanterns crafted by competing barangays to kickstart the holiday season. Parols are traditional holiday crafts made with complex patterns and moving, colorful lights.
This will be the 114th edition of the festival and its long-awaited return to its in-person form after two years due to the pandemic. In 2021 and 2021, the festival only did drive-in and virtual showings. Giant Lantern is also bringing back the lantern competition, which was also canceled for the past two years.
This time, 10 villages will be competing in the festival: Bulaon, Calulut, Del Pilar, Dolores, Pandaras, San Juan, San Nicolas, Sta. Lucia, Sto. Niño, and Telabastagan.
Competing barangays can win prizes worth P300,000, P200,000, and P100,000 for the top three lanterns, which is double of the last contest’s prizes in 2019, according to Inquirer.
The festivities will begin on the night of December 17 at Robinsons Starmills, Pampanga. The winners will also be decided on that same night. After the awarding ceremony, nightly exhibitions for the viewing public will be held from December 18 to January 1, 2023 for free. – with reports from Manolo Soliven/Rappler.com
Manolo Soliven is a Rappler intern.