IT IS exactly one week before the 2015 Giant Lantern Festival competition on December 19 and this year marks several milestones.
In the Giant Lantern Festival competition, two barangays are joining for the first time, namely Barangay Sindalan under the leadership of Dr. Benjie Angeles and Barangay Pandaras under the leadership of Brgy. Captain Edsel Miranda.
For the first time ever we shall be witnessing three generations of one lantern making family vie against each other in the festival, as Ernesto David Quiwa who represents Santo Nino, competes against his sons Eric Quiwa who made the lantern for Calulut and Arvin Quiwa who crafted Sindalan’s entry, and his grandson Karl Ernest Quiwa who designed Santa Lucia’s entry. Champion lantern maker Roland Quiambao is also making his first come back after a hiatus of nine years from the competition, representing his home barangay of Del Pilar this time.
The Giant Lantern Festival Executive Committee 2015 led by Engr. Ernesto Cunanan and the souvenir program committee spearheaded by Engr. Ferdinand Caylao has come up with a coffee table book as a lasting souvenir, the first ever with an ISBN number in the history of the festival.
The book is edited by Sun.Star Pampanga’s very own gem of an editor Jovi de Leon, with superb articles by veteran Kapampangan writers Bong Lacson, Tonette Orejas, and Joey Pavia and the pool of young writers from the City Government of San Fernando.
For the first time ever, the Giant Lantern Festival has put up its merchandise and promotions booth at the Clark International Airport departure area and has partnered with several young Kapampangan entrepreneurs in coming up with a line of official Giant Lantern merchandise, ranging from t-shirts to smaller souvenir items.
A group of giant lantern makers from the city, Eric Quiwa, Arvin Quiwa, Karl Quiwa, Arnel Flores, and Mark Flores, also contributed original lantern designs to the first ever Parul Sampernandu coloring book for adults published by Arkicamp Heritage Foundation.
For the first time this year, the full live coverage of the Giant Lantern Festival competition on free television will be expanded beyond Central Luzon as the festival’s official media partner CLTV 36 launched its newest transmitter which empowers the network to reach audiences up to Metro Manila, Rizal and Cavite, and La Union and Pangasinan as well.
The live streaming of the Giant Lantern Festival competition will also be extended to the City Government’s very own www.cityofsanfernando.gov.ph website courtesy of Converge ICT, for the first time ever.
True to the pioneering spirit of our trailblazing Fernandino ancestors, our Giant Lantern Festival this year is also a celebration of many firsts. Our well-loved (and unbeatable) City Mayor Edwin Santiago cannot put it any better as he says, “Fernandino ing mumuna, Fernandino ing manimuna.”
Kudos to all Fernandinos! Luid ya ing Ligligan Parul!