VICE Governor Lilia Pineda led the kick-off celebrations of the 450th "Aldo Ning Kapampangan" (Pampanga Day) celebrations at the Capitol on Monday night, December 6, focusing the celebration on the triumph of the Kapampangan spirit amid the ongoing pandemic.

A highlight of the kick-off celebrations was the audio-visual presentation featuring the different frontliners, organizations and individuals that had helped in the fight against the dreaded coronavirus.

The celebrations started with a Thanksgiving Mass officiated by San Fernando Archbishop Florentino Lavarias, who was joined by Archbishop Emeritus Paciano Aniceto and some members of the Pampanga clergy.

The kick-off also featured the grand lighting of the Christmas display in front of the Capitol facade, an event that has become a yearly spectacle to usher in the yuletide season.

The Aldo Ning Kapampangan commemorates the founding of Pampanga as a province.

Pampanga, according to history, was the first province and the richest spoil created by the Spaniards in 1571. It was named after the Indung Kapampangan River, the largest river in the former empire.

Ancient Pampanga's territorial area used to include portions of the provinces of Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pangasinan, Tarlac, and Zambales in the island of Luzon.

Pampanga, one of the richest provinces in the Philippines, was re-organized as a province by the Spaniards on December 11, 1571.

The province hosts every year shows and events like food and trade fairs, as well as cultural performances in commemoration of the province's founding anniversary. But due to the pandemic, most of these programs have been put on a halt.

One of the most anticipated events is the coronation night of Mutya Ning Kapampangan that honors the most beautiful ladies from the province's towns and the Most Outstanding Kapampangan Awards, both of which have been cancelled this year due to the pandemic.