CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga — Christmas is in the air in this city dubbed as the “The Christmas Capital of the Philippines”.
With only 65 days before Christmas Day, one can feel the spirit of the yuletide season as the city’s major thoroughfares are now adorned with the famous “Parol San Fernando.”
During the “Lights and Lanterns: Launching of San Fernando Citywide Christmas Decoration 2018” held Tuesday, the iconic Pampanga lanterns were officially lit up along Jose Abad Santos Avenue and Heroes’ Hall here to mark the beginning of the Christmas season.
Arvin Quiwa, a renowned Fernandino lantern maker, who created the designs and figures of this year’s lights and lanterns, shared the innovation that makes the “parol” noteworthy to this day.
“The theme ‘lights and lanterns’ is part of the innovation in our designs through the use of LED (light-emitting diode). And because we are innovating, the identity and market of our lanterns are expanding,” he said.
Mayor Edwin Santiago, for his part, said the “parol” is San Fernando’s utmost symbol, as it injects “cultural excellence” and “investment stability” to the city.
“One major factor why we are being visited by local and international audience is our culture. The lanterns are our culture and lantern-making is our industry — when combined, we are not just doing culture promotion, we also expand our capacity in investment,” the mayor said.
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Region 3 Director Judith Angeles, meanwhile, congratulated the city for making the event a major success.
“I heard that they have been doing the activity for four years now and I am grateful for having the opportunity to witness it. I was amazed by the talents and creativity of Fernandinos, and I warmly congratulate the city government, of course, Mayor Santiago,” she said.
Aside from the ceremonial light up, Christmas carols by the city choir and performances from young and talented Fernandinos, including the Rondangklung Ensemble from Dolores and Sinukwan dancers from Northville, added color to the event that highlighted the rich Kapampangan culture. (Zorayda Tecson/PNA)