KUDOS to the lantern-makers of the City of San Fernando (CSF) for keeping the century-old tradition of Ligligan Parul and Giant Lantern Festival alive and evolving!
The ever articulate and brilliant CSF Tourism Officer Ching Pangilinan announced that this year's Giant Lantern Festival will be held on December 14 at Robinson's Starmills in Pampanga.
At least 13 barangays will be competing this year. Pangilinan gave special mention to Barangay Bulaon since they are participating for the first time, and Barangay San Agustin for having a comeback after missing the competition for several years.
According to Pangilinan, the giant lanterns will still be operated by manual rotors while the contest rounds will remain as is that include individual and showdown exhibitions.
The dancing lights of the giant lanterns will also be displayed to the public after the festival from December 22 to the first week of January.
Pangilinan said that no less than CNN recognized CSF as the Christmas Capital of Asia, but since many cities in the country have been claiming the same title, the city government is now using the slogan, "City of San Fernando, The Home of the Giant Lanterns."
It is indeed very apt because there is nothing like the Ligligan Parul anywhere in the world where you see 20-feet diameter-lanterns illuminated by thousands of colorful lights, moving in spectacular synchronicity. A feast for the eyes and human soul, I would say.
And more, the lantern-makers who come from generations of craftsmen and artists are now getting younger and innovative. Imagine, there are already 6th generation lantern-makers who embraced the tradition that was passed on through a century.
The City Government has also asked Tesda to incorporate the arts and craftsmanship techniques into the government trainings with proper certifications. The lantern-making training was already introduced to selected high schools under the K to 12 program.
The local government continues to find ways how to institutionalize the tradition, thus ensuring its sustainability and enriching the Kapampangan culture.
On a totally different note, Angeles City Mayor Carmelo "Pogi" Lazatin Jr. has ordered the shutdown of an illegal slaughterhouse located in Delos Santos Street, Barangay Lourdes North West last November 2.
The uninspected meat coming from this illegal facility could have circulated in the markets endangering unsuspecting consumers. But thanks to the good mayor for immediately closing it even as he ordered the hogs seen in the place to be dispatched and buried at the Angeles MRF compound in Barangay Pampang.
The mayor said the safety of Angelenos is his priority. He wants everyone to be vigilant. He even encouraged everyone to report any suspicious establishment or facility in their neighborhood.
Apin ini ing malasakit. Communities must work together to defy irregularities. The good mayor is leading an example. Hope he can set-up a hotline for highly-sensitive and irregular activities like this so people will not fear for their safety should they report one.