SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga — Barangay Telabastagan is back on top after claiming this year’s 2013 Giant Lantern Festival (GLF) crown with an entry inspired by the Filipino Christmas song “Kumukutikutitap.”
Officials from the village personally received the P120,000 cash incentive and trophy from City of San Fernando Mayor Edwin Santiago and GLF Organizing Committee chair Mariano Castro Jr. during Saturday’s competition at the Robinsons Starmills.
Del Carmen finished second and earned P60,000 while Sta. Lucia landed third and took home P40,000.
Telabastagan placed second during last year’s competition. The village last won the title in 2008.
Other participating barangays who were likewise commended for their dazzling entries include Del Pilar, San Jose, Calulut, San Pedro, San Juan, San Nicolas and Dolores.
In a message during the contest, Mariano disclosed that the city of San Fernando will donate 80 lanterns to the Archdiocese of Palo in Leyte to light up the town, which was devastated by Super Typhoon Yolanda last month, this holiday season.
“Aside from the main competition last December 14, we have other activities in line with the GLF. We had an Inter-Village Christmas Decor Competition last December 2-5, Lantern Parade Competition last December 6 and Diplomatic Reception last December 15,” Castro added.
The 20-foot tall lanterns shall be displayed in Robinsons Starmills from December 15-21, Telabastagan on December 22, Greenfields on December 23, San Fernando City Proper on December 24, Nepo Complex in Angeles City on December 27, and Marquee Mall on December 28 and 29.
According to historical accounts, the festival, which is locally known as “Ligligan Parul” (Showdown of Lanterns), is believed to have started in 1908 when Franciso Estanislao pioneered the lantern making industry in San Fernando.
Estanislao is said to have built a giant lantern for a Christmas procession during that year.
However, it was only in 1931 when the first lantern competition was formally organized. The inaugural contest was in honor of Aurora Aragon Quezon – wife of former president Manuel Quezon.
Through the years, several innovations were introduced in the competition namely the use of batteries in 1940, molding of steel wire as frame in 1950 and rotors in 1957.
Rotors are aluminum tubes that are moved so hairpins and a series of bulbs connected to these are exposed to the electricity source. The movements dictate when the bulbs will light up and project images. (CLJD-PIA 3)