Lazada Philippines

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Giant Lantern Festival of San Fernando, Pampangga

A kaleidoscopic festival indeed! Twinkling through the beats of wonderful Christmas carols filled the view of thousands of viewers as Robinson Starmills hosted once again the annual festival in San Fernando, Pampangga that display the true craftsmanship of their fellows on this year's Giant Lantern Festival or the Ligligan Parul 2012!

This is my first time to truly experience this very colorful festival in this part of the country. And even though I'm alone on this journey, I had a wonderful time finding some familiar places on the venue that added more colors to this trip.

Last Saturday right after my "raket", I immediately take the ride going to Victory Liner in Caloocan to reach the earliest possible bus ride bound to Olonggapo. Yes, Olonggapo bound buses takes the Starmills route, so it was kinda easy to go to this festival actually.

I arrived at the bus station at around 5, buses bound to Olonggapo has a 30-minute interval, and since that bus that I caught on is taking the SCTEX way, I have no choice but to wait for another one that's taking the Starmills route. I was advised by their cashier that the buses do not stop there on that day because of the the festival, so I might walk a few meters to reach Robinsons Starmills. And again, since I don't have any other choice because the program is scheduled at 6 p.m., I said yes, and paid Php102.00 for my fare.

Good thing that I rode at the Caloocan terminal because it only took me an hour to reach Robinsons Starmills. The traffic in EDSA was really horrendous last weekend, so yay for me!

I reached the venue just in time as the judges were just being named. I didn't have any tickets or VIP pass to see the show, so the only way for me to get in is to buy a regular ticket. I believe a ticket cost around a hundred bucks, but since the place is so chaotic that not even a sign where I can buy a ticket were to be found I ended up asking around as to how to get it.

One lady told me that there's no more ticket, but if I wanna get inside the venue, I must purchase a shirt - souvenir shirt, that is - for me to get me in. A shirt cost Php200.00 each, and since this is my first time, and I don't want my efforts go to waste, I pulled out Php200.00 from my pocket, gave it to this young lady who's holding shirts walking around the chaotic venue, and voila, I'm inside!

I know that this festival has been running for decades now, I just can't believe that buying a ticket is still a problem here. Anyway, inside the venue are mono blocks where you can seat prettily to enjoy the show. I don't wanna sit prettily, but I wanna enjoy the show, so instead of sitting on a mono block, I braved myself and walk right in front of the crowd and took a sit on the floor - a front seat to the most colorful festival here in Pampangga.

I'm so excited to see the show, unfortunately, there were some nasty people who keep on walking and standing right in front of us acting like they own the whole place. I just wanna see and take pictures of everything. I almost lose my temper to this one lady who said nasty things to me when I just asked her to move a little because she's blocking my view already. Thank goodness I keep my self in this "merry" state, so I just replied "Merry Christmas" to her and keep calm all throughout.

I'm not sure if she's one of the organizers because she's wearing this white shirt that looked the same with the other people who are manning the place. I just wish that they learn how to respect other people, in this case, their guests to their province.

So, okay, as I shed away the negativism that that lady brought to me, I just focused on the wonderful things on this night - the Giant Lanterns.

There were 11 baranggays (towns) that competed on this year's competition. Some of them are the usual contestants, while some are just re-competing towns. The last year's winner was also a part of the show, so I can feel the excitement of the night upon knowing it.

I knew that it's gonna be a wonderful show, but when the colorful lights dances along the Christmas music, oh, it was soooo fucking awesome! It was like playing with a kaleidoscope with your favorite Christmas music in ears. All of them are winners to me, but of course, I'm not expert when it comes to this. All I know is every thing that has color - LOTS OF THEM - is beautiful! Hahaha!

There are three legs of this festival. The first is the solo performance, which is a pre-contest show, the second one is the contest proper, where a Christmas music will be played and the giant lanterns must dance along with it nicely. The participants were divided into three groups that night, and each group has a different song. And the last leg was that all of them will light up and all the giant lanterns should dance along the only music being played. IT WAS UNBELIEVABLY BEAUTIFUL! 

According again to the hosts, there were about 88,000 bulbs in every lantern, so imagine how bright and colorful the whole place is! Hahah! Lucky me, I was already seated right in front of these beauties, so yeah, I watched it all with my mouth open wide. Hahaha!

Congratulations to the 2012 Giant Lantern Festival Competition (Ligligan Parul) Winners!

Grand Champion: Brgy. Del Pilar Giant Lantern
1st Runner Up: Brgy. Telabastagan
2nd Runner Up: Brgy. San Jose

I'm not sure if I'll be seeing this festival again next year, but given a chance and GOOD COMPANY, I might. I'm just wishing that the people there next time will be a lot nicer and everything will be more organized. Hey, it's a Christmas Festival, folks! :-) Cheer up and don't be a snob! Hehe.

Thank you, San Fernando, Pampangga for this very bright and colorful experience! It's sure is, you are the Christmas Capital of the region!

Happy Holidays and happy rammmpa, everyone!


  1. Amazing adventure bro. Been wishing to go there since last year but I haven't. Great! :D

  2. I wish I will go there next year plus better quality of my camera


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