Giant lanterns twinkle for ‘Pablo’ victims today

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Friday, December 14, 2012


CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- Huge lantern will shine Saturday night at Robinsons Starmills as the Giant Lantern Festival (GLF) will go beyond the usual competition to pool aid for victims of Typhoon Pablo (international codename: Bopha) in Mindanao.

Mayor Oscar Rodriguez said he broached the idea with this year’s GLF Executive Committee, as the city musters resources to help those devastated by Pablo in Compostela Valley, New Bataan and other areas in the south in the true spirit of Christmas and give added and deeper meaning in the festival.

“It was my personal idea which I discussed with the GLF Executive Committee. From hereon and until the last exhibition days of our giant lanterns, there will be a booth in the venue for donations for the victims of Typhoon Pablo in Mindanao,” Rodriguez said.

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He said the City Government -- through a City Council resolution – has allotted some P200,000 as aid to affected Filipinos in the south.

“We want to involve communities of Fernandinos in raising donations for the victims. The Giant Lantern Festival is our best avenue in doing so. In the true spirit of Christmas, we want to share what we can beyond the jubilation in the festival. I have also asked the GLF Executive Committee to pour in aid for those devastated by Typhoon Pablo from their excess funds,” said Rodriguez.

City Administrator Ferdinand Caylao added that the donation booth will follow the exhibition dates and venues after the grand showdown at Robinsons Starmills.

“The booth will be set up initially at Robinsons Starmills from December 15 to 21, then where the giant lanterns will be put on exhibit after the ‘ligligan’ at Robinsons. We ask our kabalens to donate old clothes and the extras they have this Christmas for our fellow Filipinos in Compostela Valley, New Bataan and the places hard hit by Typhoon Pablo so they could at least feel some relief this Christmas. Our giant lanterns will shine for hope and light up for love for them this Yuletide Season,” he said.

The GLF will feature this year Barangay San Nicolas, Del Carmen, Telabastagan, Calulut, San Pedro, San Jose, San Juan, Del Pilar, Sto. Niño and Dolores, which will strongly try to stop champion Sta. Lucia in hitting the grand slam.

After the main festival and competition at Robinsons Starmills, the giant lanterns measuring 20 feet in diameter, will be exhibited on December 18 to 22 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines; December 23 at Greenfields in Sindalan; December 24 at the San Fernando Poblacion; December 27 at the parade grounds of the Clark Development Corporation at Clark Freeport; December 29 to 30 at Marquee Mall in Angeles City; and Robinsons in the City of San Fernando until January 3, 2013.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on December 15, 2012.

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