December 15, 2007. That night, after picking up some barbecued grub from JunJun’s Restaurant along MacArthur Highway in San Fernando, we proceeded to the grounds of SM Pampanga, to its ampitheater to be exact, to witness the annual Ligligan Parul or giant lantern festival.
I was quite surprised to find out that the choreographed flickering of the giant lanterns’ lights are manually controlled by large rotating cylinder conductors with adhesive-tape patterns that dictate when and what color of lights would go on and off. That magnificent display of lights that flicker and dance with the music is manually controlled?? Wow! Add to that, of course, is the intricate design and the hundreds of light bulbs that went into the creation of the lanterns. (Our Awesome Planet has a blog entry on how he witnessed the creation of these lanterns, with nice photos to prove how awesome it really is). Now this lantern-making is a skillful craft Kapampangans and other Filipinos can be proud of. Eight barangays of San Fernando joined the competition in this year Ligligan Parul 2007. Brgy. Telabastagan won first place, Brgy. San Felipe won second, and Brgy. San Nicolas third.