CITY OF SAN FERNANDO - “More than showcasing the lantern industry of the city, our main goal in holding the annual giant lantern festival (GLF) is to share the culture and heritage of San Fernando to tourists.”
Thus said Mayor Edwin Santiago during the press conference held at the Heroes Hall here Monday for the forthcoming GLF 2017.
Santiago said that every year, around 50,000 people coming from different parts of the Philippines and abroad come to this capital city to watch the biggest and the brightest competition of giant lanterns.
This includes various VIP guests such as officials from the national government and diplomats from different countries who personally want to witness the annual event, he added.
With this, Santiago stressed that the city government is taking the opportunity to also showcase the culture and heritage, and promote other tourism places and activities in the city.
He disclosed that the City Tourism Office has partnered with travel and tours agencies in offering a GLF tour which will also feature a side trip on the city’s heritage houses, the Old Train Station, a kalesa tour and a culinary experience on different local restaurants.
“Hindi tayo nakasentro lang sa giant lantern. Ang mga turista naglaan ng oras para bumisita sa siyudad kaya gusto natin na masulit ‘yun sa pamamagitan ng pagpapaexperience sa kanila kung paano maging Fernandino at Kapampangan,” he said.
This is the reason why the City Government, together with its partners from the private sector, continues to allocate significant funds for the festival that is considered one of the major tourism activities in the province and the whole of Central Luzon, Santiago added.
He stressed that the funds allocated are considered tourism investments which return is more than ten times bigger in the economy of the city.
“Kapag bumisita sila dito, kakain sila, maggasolina, mamimimili. Hindi man siya direktang babalik sa city government, makikita naman siya sa paggalaw ng ating ekonomiya at sa tiwalang ibinibigay sa atin ng mga malalaking investor,” he stressed.
This year’s GLF will be held at the Robinsons Starmills on December 16 where ten barangays will compete for the prestigious title and attest that the city is truly the home of the giant lanterns. These are Sta. Lucia, Telebastagan, Sindalan, San Juan, Dolores, San Nicolas, Calulut, San Jose, Del Pilar and first timer Del Rosario.