IT’S exactly 96 days to go before the City of San Fernando's world renowned "Ligligan Parul" or Giant Lantern Festival (GLF) brings hope once more to a pandemic-ravaged world with its dazzling display of lights, colors and music, as officials in the City of San Fernando officially kicked-off on Saturday, September 11, the traditional 100-day countdown.
Going digital anew like last year's exhibition sans the competition to ensure utmost safety and maintain minimum health protocols, the "Ligligan Parul" 113th year edition will feature seven barangays -- Sto. Niño, San Juan, San Nicolas, Sta. Lucia, Bulaon, Telebastagan and Calulut -- with their respective giant lanterns at Robinsons Starmills on December 16 at 5 p.m. It will be aired live via regional television network CLTV36 and GLF social media sites.
Again this year, due to heightened restrictions and limitations due to the Covid-19 crisis, officials and organizers are optimistic that the annual festival will be successful and deliver its strong message of hope to people from all walks of life across the globe.
San Fernando Acting Mayor Jimmy Lazatin said the GLF continues to be a beacon of optimism, withstanding several crises from war to the ashes of Mt. Pinatubo.
"It [GLF] is a symbol of hope. What is happening in the world now is different and difficult. We hope for something better. And we shall be one in this through the tradition of the Giant Lantern Festival which embodies the spirit of resiliency of Kapampangans," he said.
For his part, Mayor Edwin Santiago, who is in quarantine after contracting the virus several days ago (a post of wife Malou said the local chief executive is recuperating and safe), said the GLF is the showroom of talented Kapampangan lantern makers.
“Amid the pandemic, we are able to show the whole world our pride, the giant lanterns. We celebrate this occasion every year. Each year, we proudly celebrate the great and talented lantern makers who continue to excel their craft through generations,” Santiago said.
“The message that these lanterns bring remains the same. That life is colorful and the hope that this pandemic shall pass stays bright,” he added. (JTD)