CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga — This year’s Giant Lantern Festival (GLF) will be showcasing unity amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
City of San Fernando Tourism Officer Ma. Lourdes Carmella Jade Pangilinan emphasized that GLF 2021 will still push through as proof that the 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 Kapampangan folks.
“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,” she said.
The festival will be a friendly exhibition and not a competition from seven participating barangays including Telabastagan, San Juan, San Nicolas, Sta. Lucia, Sto. Niño, Bulaon, and Calulut.
In addition, Pangilinan underscored that 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,” she detailed.
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.
Also, Pangilinan highlighted 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 pressed.
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; CSFP Information Office; CSFP Tourism Office; Giant Lantern; and PIA Gitnang Luzon.