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Pampangas Giant Lantern Fest eyed as ASEAN event

Pampanga’s giant lantern fest eyed as ASEAN event


THE City government of San Fernando in Pampanga province is eyeing the staging on December this year of its famed Giant Lantern Festival (GLF) to be an ASEAN event by inviting more foreign visitors from neighboring countries through the support of tourism-related companies.

“We are open to partnerships with travel agencies, airline companies and other tourism-related establishments,” said Mariano Castro who was recently appointed by Mayor Edwin Santiago as chairperson of the 2013 GLF organizing committee with Laus Group of Companies Director Ma. Theresa Laus as vice-chairperson.

The committee is composed of former festival chairpersons, city hall department heads, government agencies and private sector partners.

“Sub-committees are set to convene weekly to plan and discuss matters on program flow, barangay accreditation, physical arrangement, promotions, awards, judges, sponsorship and traffic,” Castro added.

The festival, which is locally known as “Ligligan Parul” (Showdown of Lanterns), is believed to have started in 1908 when Franciso Estanislao pioneered the lantern making industry in San Fernando.


Estanislao is said to have built a giant lantern for a Christmas procession during that year.

However, it was only in 1931 when the first lantern competition was formally organized. The inaugural contest was in honor of Aurora Aragon Quezon – wife of former president Manuel Quezon.


Through the years, several innovations were introduced in the competition namely the use of batteries in 1940, molding of steel wire as frame in 1950 and rotors in 1957.

Rotors are aluminum tubes that are moved so hairpins and a series of bulbs connected to these are exposed to the electricity source. The movements dictate when the bulbs will light up and project images.

Last year’s GLF attracted an estimated 350,000 local and foreign tourists.

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