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100,000 expected at Pampanga’s giant lantern festival Dec. 15

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO—At least 100,000 spectators, including foreign diplomats acting as judges, will troop to the Robinsons Starmills Pampanga here on Dec. 15 for the annual Giant Lantern Festival (GLF) which is part of the 104-year-old tradition of lantern-making in the capital city.

Organizers and GLF chairperson Yolanda Reyes said “the much-awaited event centers on a competition” pitting entries from 11 barangays.

She said the GLF had “attracted thousands of tourists, both local and foreign, to an evening of kaleidoscopic displays of light and color from giant Christmas lanterns” produced by craftsmen from San Fernando’s barangays aiming for the coveted “best lantern” award.

Since 2008, the Gokongwei-owned Starmills hosted the GLF organized by the San Fernando City government led by Mayor Oscar Rodriguez.

Last year, US Ambassador to the Philippines Harry Thomas Jr. and Bais City Mayor Karen Villanueva attended the event as judges.

The GLF committee named some of the judges for contest on Saturday: Manila Hotel General Manager Hemogenes Pobre, AirAsia Philippines CEO Marianne Hontiveros, Wilcon Builders Depot President and CEO William Belo and Pacific Paints Boysen Paints CEO Willy Ong. It has to name the foreign diplomats who will join the panel of judges.       

For this year’s staging of the event, the city government and Robinsons Starmills entered into a memorandum of agreement last Oct. 26, with Robinsons Land Group Property Manager Jodee Arroyo signing for the mall.

The 11 participating villages are: Del Pilar, Dolores, San Jose, San Juan, Santa Lucia, Sto. Nino, San Nicolas, Telabastagan, Del Carmen, Calulut and San Pedro.

After the competition night, the giant lanterns will be on exhibit at Robinsons Starmills on Dec. 16-21, and Dec. 25-Jan. 3, 2013.

A giant lantern festival photo contest is also being sponsored by Canon, with the winning entries to be put on display at a photo exhibit on Dec. 27-Jan. 3 also at Robinsons Starmills.

Ching Pangilinan, chief of the city tourism office, disclosed that the cash prices are: P120,000 for the first prize; P60,000, second price; and P40,000, third price.  

She said a special citation will be given to giant lantern maker Alberto Bondoc Sr. who died of leptospirosis and dengue this year.






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