INQUIRER.net BrandRoom / 09:42 AM September 10, 2021
The highly anticipated spectacular festival of lights is back in the Christmas Capital of the Philippines starting Sept. 10. Robinsons Starmills in San Fernando, Pampanga, the home of the Giant Lanterns for the past 14 years, kicks off the holiday cheers with a razzle-dazzle technology in the annual Grand Lantern Festival.
As the Giant Lantern Festival Foundation Inc. provides support to lantern makers by providing training and seminars on lantern production to enable knowledge and skills to be passed on from one generation to the other, Robinsons Starmills empowers the Pampanga lantern makers by providing a venue for them to promote their ingenuity and sell their parols via this festival.
Dubbed “Sparkling Holiday,” drive through a row of massive Christmas lanterns, some reaching up to 20 feet in diameter gleaming with over 10,000 light bulbs. In these times of so much uncertainty, nothing can brighten up the holiday mood than jumbo-sized traditional parol spruced up for Christmas. Experience the spirit of the Yuletide season in the safety of your car as seven featured barangays of San Fernando showcase their best parol.
“Sparkling Holiday fits the description of what the giant lanterns are to us — something that sparks excitement and a symbol of hope for the season. The Giant Lanterns will continue to shine and spread the message of hope, love and peace not just for the lantern makers but to each one of us going through this pandemic,” said Jodee P. Arroyo, Regional Operations Manager for Robinsons Starmills.
The Grand Lantern Festival, now celebrating its 113th year, is a stunning show meant to warm the hearts and delight the souls. Expected to pop in are around 12,000 visitors. Safety protocols are in place, so no need to worry about overcrowding as cars will observe social distancing. QR codes will be assigned to each vehicle for contactless drive-in and parking slots so everyone could enjoy the moment. Pre-registration is required.
Awaken your inner child and excite the entire family with this fascinating show only Robinsons Starmills can offer. The Giant Lantern Festival nightly display schedule is at 6 p.m. on Dec. 16-23, Dec. 25-30, and Jan. 1-2, 2022, at the rear parking area of the mall. This year’s participating barangays are Sto. Niño, San Juan, San Nicolas, Sta. Lucia, Bulaon, Telabastagan, and Calulut. Onsite registration starts Dec. 16 to Jan. 2. The drive-in concept started last year when Robinsons Starmills decided to continue supporting the community and celebrating the spirit of the season, even during these trying times.
Known to the locals as “ligligan parul,” the Grand Lantern Festival began in 1904 and has since continued to demonstrate the ingenuity of Filipino lantern-making. Since its inception, the parol-makers outdo themselves every year. All lanterns are manually controlled. There will be music and dancing lights in an incredible network of colors. It’s a must-see presentation of the talented parol-makers of Pampanga.
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