CITY OF SAN FERNANDO - The biggest and tallest ferris wheel once again proved that Pampanga is indeed the "Christmas Capital of the Philippines" as it transformed into the Biggest Lantern of Hope Friday night.
Standing 65 meters (213 feet) tall, Skyranch’s Pampanga Eye shined the brightest with the 12,232 dancing LED lights and on-wheel fireworks installed in it, making it look like a gigantic “parol” with a star-like icon in the middle.
A ten-minute grand pyro musical show with more than 3,000 fireshots, both on-wheel and aerial, dancing to the tune of different Christmas songs also wowed more than 30,000 spectators from different parts of the province and region that trooped to the mall’s amphitheater and surrounding parking lots.
The event, which is described as the kaleidoscope of light, colors and music, is just on its third year but has become one of the most-anticipated events and an iconic symbol of hope for the holiday season.
According to SM North Luzon IV Assistant Vice President Junias Eusebio, the event is one of SM’s ways of spreading joy and cheer this holiday season for the Filipino people.
“This musical pyrofest, which has been a much-awaited event for three years now, aims to give our mallgoers a magical night to remember,” he said.
He added that with its growing number of spectators coming from all over the region, the event also aims to contribute to the tourism of the province, as it also pays tribute to Pampanga’s vibrant lantern industry.
“When Skyranch Pampanga opened the Pampanga Eye in November 2014, it has been an iconic landmark here in the province. We are glad that our kabalens also show the same excitement as we introduce this latest attraction here in the Christmas Capital of the Philippines: the Biggest Lantern of Hope, in which the Pampanga Eye transforms into a giant parul and lights up in a big way,” he said.
And to make the holiday season merrier, the SM City Pampanga also gave away gifts and a Skyranch tour to 80 special children from the Autism Society of the Philippines - Pampanga Chapter. Senior Citizens from its host communities—the City of San Fernando and Mexico town—brought the children to witness and enjoy the annual mall event.
Provincial Board Member Rosve Henson, for his part, expressed gratitude to SM for always extending its helping hands to Kapampangans and for bringing one of a kind and world-class attractions to Pampanga.
“We thank the SM management not only for organizing this event, but for also conducting year-round activities and not to mention, wonderful entertainment for our kabalens. We are really lucky here in Pampanga, specifically San Fernando and Mexico, that we have one of the biggest ferris wheel in Asia,” he shared.
Department of Tourism-Central Luzon Director Carolina Uy, meanwhile, lauded the extensive efforts of the SM Supermalls management for creating such wonderful and spectacular tourism event that continuously draw tourists not only from the region, but from nearby places as well.
“It is indeed one of the most much-anticipated tourism events of Pampanga and the best way to kick-off the holiday season,” she said.
Arianne Musni, a 19-year-old student from Guagua, said she was thrilled and wowed by the ten minute spectacular fireworks display.
She added that she anticipates another extravagant pyro-technic musical show next year.
“My friends and I really enjoyed watching SM’s fireworks display. We hope to see another big and grand event next Christmas season,” she said.