AS PROOF that the Covid-19 pandemic is not a hindrance to a tradition that stood through decades serving as a beacon of hope not only to Fernandinos but to all Kapampangans and people across the globe, this year’s "Ligligan Parul" or Giant Lantern Festival (GLF) will showcase unity and resiliency over the ongoing crisis.
City of San Fernando Tourism Officer Ching Pangilinan said the GLF will still push through though not the usual competition but a friendly exhibition by the seven participating barangays of Telabastagan, San Juan, San Nicolas, Sta. Lucia, Sto. Niño, Bulaon, and Calulut.
“Even though it is not a competition, the lanterns really are so awesome and amazing. Nothing has changed in the talents of our lantern makers, and the skill is still there. All lanterns also have new designs, and they reflect our experiences while going through this pandemic together,” Pangilinan said.
She said this year’s GLF will be in a blended format with the launch of the digital edition on December 16; and the drive-in during the series of nightly exhibitions from December 17, 2021 to January 2, 2022 at Robinsons Starmills, Pampanga.
“As much as we want to open it to the public, we are limiting it on a first come -- first serve basis for fully vaccinated individuals with limited slots for drive-in every night... We have an event management system wherein once it is open on our website, they can register,” Pangilinan added.
The public may watch out for the announcements on the available slots for public viewing through the festival’s official website at www.giantlanterns.com.
Pangilinan noted that GLF 2021 will illuminate the City of San Fernando as the Lantern Capital of the Philippines, and the Home of Giant Lantern given its unique lantern tradition that is part of its intangible cultural heritage.
“The way that we make lanterns, especially giant lanterns, is something that is deeply rooted in our culture and has been passed on through generations. For our lantern makers today, some of the families have been making them for the past 100 years or so. That kind of rootedness, and the language that we use when we talk about the lanterns is part of the linguistic heritage,” she said.
The official said part of the culture that has been preserved is the use of rotor technology for the lanterns, unlike others that are using computerized sequencers, which is what gives the humane element to the giant lantern tradition.
The digital edition of the festival night can be streamed live on the official Facebook Pages of CLTV36; San Fernando City Information Office; San Fernando Tourism Office; Giant Lantern; and PIA Gitnang Luzon. (JTD)