Parul Sampernandu highlights 1st Christmas fest in Hawaii

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Sunday, December 9, 2012


CITY OF SAN FERNANDO - A 20-foot giant Parul Sampernandu is currently the highlight of the first-ever Christmas Festival at the newly dedicated “Alay sa Sakada” Lanai of the Philippine Consulate in Honolulu, Hawaii.

The Consulate General of the Philippines in Honolulu said in a statement sent to Sun.Star Pampanga that the giant lantern, courtesy of the City Government of San Fernando headed by Mayor Oscar Rodriguez, is the main feature -- along with smaller Fernandino lanterns -- of the festival.

The grand lighting ceremony was led by no less than Hawaii Lieutenant Governor Brian Schatz and Honolulu Mayor-elect Kirk Caldwell.

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The opening ceremonies also gathered 400 of the US state’s most influential community leaders, press and media practitioners, and members of the art, business and academic circles.

“The community marveled at the display of the giant parol at the Consulate’s parking lot, which overlooks the main highway. Those in attendance noted that the parol is perhaps is largest Christmas lantern in Hawaii. Maria Etrata, chair of the Philippine Celebrations Coordinating Committee of Hawaii, the Consulate’s community partner in organizing the festival, observed that the crowd could not contain their excitement over the lighting of the parol and the display of Christmas lanterns, stressing that the ornaments are symbolic of the Filipino Christmas spirit, encapsulating the importance and heart Filipinos put into the Holiday Season,” the statement noted.

It added: “This is the first Christmas Festival held in the Consulate in over 10 years, having staged the community’s traditional Christmas celebrations at the Filipino Community Center in Waipahu for the past couple of years. This, however, is the first Christmas celebration that the Consulate organized showcasing parols from San Fernando.”

The festival, which runs until Christmas Day, also features an exhibit of the works of Arlene Guerrero, Joy Viray-Green and the Vigan-based Pichay family of D avid, Christel and Cinderella; photos of the Hawaii-Filipino-American photo group “Litratista Kme;” a Lino Brocka film retrospectives; performances of Hawaii Fil-Am talents Broadway Babies and the Maria Lauer Voice Studio; choir nights with the Honolulu Silangan Singers and Honolulu New Hope Choir; live broadcasts by top Filipino stations KNDI 1270 AM and KPHI 96.7 FM; Indie Films Night; and a ballroom night.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on December 10, 2012.

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