Ligligan Parul – Pampanga’s Giant Lantern Festival (4.30pm to 12.30mn)

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Related Posts:
Claude Tayag’s Bale Dutung – The Best Kapampangan Restaurant in Pampanga
a Memorable Ultimate Kapampangan Show-Off (7.30am-12.30nn)
Lunch with Claude Tayag and Among Ed (12.30pm to 4.30pm)
Ligligan Parul – Pampanga’s Giant Lantern Festival (4.30pm to 12.30mn)

Ligligan Parul 2007

Every second Saturday of December, San Fernando would hold The Giant Lanterns Festival at the back of SM Pampanga. This was the highlight of the tour and perfect way to end the Ultimate Kapampangan Show-Off. The Department of Tourism does not market this festival and I would bet that most Manileneans have not seen these giant lanterns.

This year there were eight (8) giant lanterns, each measuring 18 feet in diameter, who joined the festival versus 12 of last year. The program started on time because the Diplomatic core was watching the show. Since there were only 8 lanterns, the entire festival was already finished by around 10pm. We still had time to eat a midnight snack before we head back to Manila.

Allow me to finish the story of the Ultimate Kapampangan Show-Off….

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Second Servings
After Claude Tayag, we had to return the 5 gallons container of the Buko Sherbet. But before giving it back, most people had another serving of the Buko Sherbet. This was a testament to how good the sherbet was. Aidan would have loved this…I miss my boy who stayed at home this time.

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For the fourth surprise of the tour, we gave everyone a box of our favorite Aurely’s special (P125 each). It is an inverted brazo de mercedes that I gave out as a Christmas gift to my officemates as well. You can only buy this in Pampanga.

Aurely’s Bakeshop
Mac Arthur Hi-Way, San Agustin, San Fernando, Pampanga
Telephone No. (+63 45) 961 – 1006

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We promised to have a light dinner after the Claude Tayag Lunch. We decided to buy each one Jun-Jun’s famous Barbecue (P42 per stick). We asked them to bring it in their bayongs on their way to the festival.


The last foodie surprise for the night was Nathaniel’s Puto Pao (P60). This was the best puto with adobo filling and red egg on top. Nathaniel’s became famous for its buko pandan but we loved their puto pao for pasalubong.

Nathaniel’s Bakeshop
Km 69 Olongapo-Gapan Road, Dolores City, San Fernando Pampanga

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You can watch the festival standing in front of the lanterns or if you have the right connections, you can enter the tent area where there are chairs available for the guest. The tickets for this area is not for sale but they are given to the sponsors of the event. We were lucky to get 20 tickets to this reserved seating area in exchange of promoting the festival in our blogs 🙂

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by San Fernando, Pampanga Official Site
The dynamic interplay of lights and color that precisely move with the rhythm of brass band, the magnitude of size and their intricate designs, and so much more, these are what spectators get to marvel at as the giant lantern of San Fernando is the event that the province of Pampanga is most known for. And it is because of these giant anterns and the San Fernando lantern-making industry that the City of San Fernando has been dubbed the “Christmas Capital of the Philippines”.

Old folks say that the first lantern festival was held in 1928, to honor President Manuel L. Quezon, who was made an adopted son of Pampanga. At that time, Quezon made Arayat his rest area and converted the legendary Mount Arayat his rest area and converted legendary Mount Arayat into a tourist resort. As a show of gratitude to Quezon, the people of San Fernando held a Christmas lantern contest to honor the first family. Quezon himself donated the prize for this lantern contest, which was personally awarded to the winner by First Lady Aurora Aragon Quezon.                        

In the years that followed, more innovations were introduced to the giant lanterns. Colored plastic replaced the traditional papel de hapon. Large steel barrels called rotors also substituted the hand-controlled switches to manipulate the light. And lanterns have grown in size, approximately 20-feet today and illuminated by about 3, 500 to 5, 000 lightbulbs.

The result, a magnificent display of Fernandino artistry! So come and watch the Giant Lantern Festival every December, only in the City of San Fernando, Pampanga… the undisputed Christmas Capital of the Philippines!

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There were three rounds in the competition. The first round was a 7-minute solo performance where each lantern would show off its colorful dance based on a medley of songs of their choice. Brgy Telebastagan, the 2007 champion, showed off with this Merry Christmas and Peace on Earth display with the Holy Family at the center of the lantern.

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The second round is a 5-minute face off where each lantern dances to the same Christmas tune.

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The third and final round is a 5-minute show where all the lanterns dance to the Christmas Tune of a brass marching band. We wemt out right after this round to avoid the crowd. Congratulations to Brgy. Telebastagan for winning the championship and for Brgy. San Felipe for winning the second place!

Check out Manila Boy’s Pasko Na! blog posts.

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Most of the restaurants in Pampanga are closed at 9pm on a Saturday Night except for Jun-Jun’s which closes at 11pm. All of us decided to have a midnight snack of Barbecue, Sisig and Bibingka before heading back to Manila with smiling stomachs…

This was truly the Ultimate Kapampangan Show-off!


Related Posts:
Claude Tayag’s Bale Dutung – The Best Kapampangan Restaurant in Pampanga
a Memorable Ultimate Kapampangan Show-Off (7.30am-12.30nn)
Lunch with Claude Tayag and Among Ed (12.30pm to 4.30pm)
Ligligan Parul – Pampanga’s Giant Lantern Festival (4.30pm to 12.30mn)

16 thoughts on “Ligligan Parul – Pampanga’s Giant Lantern Festival (4.30pm to 12.30mn)

  1. All I can say is, WOW!!! That definitely beats the time we went on our own Pampanga food trip to Bale Dutung, Anton — you got to eat and do much more, and met Gov. Panlilio, to boot! Next time we head to Pampanga, we’ll know where to go while killing time between meals. Congratulations on a successful tour experience! 🙂

  2. I miss jun-jun’s – it is one of my favorites. Luring’s barbeque is also good. There is also a famous sisig in Angeles (right at the crossing) and it’s really good. And one of the things that I don’t foget to buy when I am in Angeles is the Susie’s MOCHI at Nepo Mart/Mall with coconut cream and gata. Eto grabe, sobrang namimiss ko na siya.

  3. …..merry merry christmas… everyone who shares with us this lovely wonderful healthy awesome planet called earth…..that includes those countries who are not legitimate members of the united nations….the abandone….the sick….and the needy….and even to those who are beyond that descriptions…..may my memory of you lightened this holidays for all you….as my christmas wish 2007….to you too rache aidan
    joshua anton and the junior hs boy i bullied in this awesome site lol!….merry merry christmas….peace & love….cil

  4. Hi Anton!
    In behalf of my family I would like to thank you for writing about Nathaniel’s we hope that you could visit more often. glad to hear that you loved our putopao and the buko pandan 😀
    for those asking about the contact number it’s: (045) 961 4008 . (045) 961 7171 .
    you could look for Francis (my brother).
    we would also be opening a branch in panay avenue in Q.C.. on June 12, 2008 i hope you could visit.
    thanks again 😀
    -Faye Co

  5. gosh how i miss pampanga! zapata, vfw, lurings, marisol, rumpa, fortune, camalig, didi’s…. madacal pa!and how i wish i could visit all the new ones!
    we really have the best restaurants, but the best of the best is the one right at our own homes!!!!

  6. That’s one of the best times of christmas celebration in the philippines. I’m looking forward to seeing that wonderful event when i come home next year.

  7. hi Anton,
    do you have any contact # of Nathaniel’s main store at pampanga? would like to have a franchise of it here at QC.

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