SYMBOLS of hope and joy amidst the pandemic.
This was how City of San Fernando Mayor Edwin Santiago described the bright and colorful Parul Sampernandu as they were lit up on Friday evening, October 29, 2021, to signal the start of the Yuletide season at the Christmas Capital of the Philippines.
Santiago and Vice Mayor Jimmy Lazatin led the simultaneous switch-on of the Christmas lights and lanterns which adorned the City and Heroes Hall.
A 16-feet giant lantern in front of the Heroes Hall also became an instant center of attraction to motorists and passers-by, while the most-waited lanterns along the Jose Abad Santos Avenue wowed anew motorists, and trended on social media platforms.
"Ang parol ay napakalaking parte ng ating kultura bilang tahanan ng mga higanteng parol pero higit dito, mas kailangan natin ngayon ito bilang simbolo ng pag-asa na may liwanag sa gabi at may bukas na darating," he said.
Lazatin, for his part, said the lighting of lanterns are manifestations that Christmas tradition in the city will go on even amidst the pandemic.
He added that the lanterns are aimed at giving hope not only to Fernandinos but to all the people across the globe as the world moves towards recovery from the pandemic.
"Malaking bagay na magkaroon ng symbol of hope dahil ang hope ang nagbibigay lakas sa atin na lumaban lalo na at nandito na tayo sa road to recovery mula sa pandemya. Itong mga parol natin ay simbolo that we are rejoicing in hope and patience in revelation," he said.
Renowned lantern maker Arvin Quiwa, who was behind the making of the giant lantern at the Heroes Hall, said he and partner Roland Quiambao made sure to make this year's lanterns more colorful to bring hope and joy to those who will see it.
For the Heroes Hall's giant lantern alone, Quiwa said a total of 3,600 LED bulbs were used to light up the new Christmas attraction.
This is the first time that LED bulbs were used for the Christmas lanterns of the City Government, said Quiwa.
"Mas maraming kulay at mas maraming laro ang mga parol natin ngayon dahil ito ang mas kailangan makita ng mga tao, na tuloy at masaya ang Pasko sa San Fernando," he said.