Traders support Lantern Festival
SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga—This city has launched an innovative way to enjoy the coming Christmas season and to attract more tourists to the 109th Giant Lantern Festival.
The innovation includes the dressing-up of all business establishments holiday-style from Nov. 6 to the end of the year as part of the festival’s annual celebration.
Businesses that are to decorate their establishments are those along Jose Abad Santos Avenue, MacArthur Highway, Lazatin Boulevard, and other major thoroughfares of the city.
This was contained in an executive order issued by Mayor Edwin D. Santiago last month under the First Inter-Commercial Establishment Christmas Decor Competition.
Ferdinand Caylao, chairperson of the competition, said all business establishments along the major roads of the city are enjoined to display their respective Christmas décor, like lanterns, prominently starting Nov. 6 up to Dec. 31.
Caylao said the establishments may choose their own designs that symbolize or connote their products, like banks, restaurants, car dealers, hospitals, manufacturers, traders, bottling companies, and others.
But Santiago stressed the Christmas decor must be produced and handcrafted by Fernandinos to boost the city’s lantern industry, which is becoming a sustainable livelihood of the city’s people for local and foreign markets.
At the same time, participants must also decorate their main entrances using the traditional “Parul San Fernando” as a distinctive feature, with the theme “Partnering for change, lighting up the world for peace and prosperity.”
The participants will be judged base on originality, creativity, coherence of design, overall appeal and visual impact and craftsmanship.
Asking commercial establishments to dress up for the holidays aims to attract more local and foreign tourists as part of the annual Inter-Barangay Giant Lantern Festival on December 16, Santiago said.
Caylao said about 30 businesses are joining the Christmas decor competition in different categories. Winners will be announced on December 16 during the Lantern Festival at Robinsons Starmall here, he added.
The 11 barangays joining the Lantern Festival are Calulut, Del Pilar, San Jose, Del Rosario, San Juan, San Nicolas, Sindalan, Sta. Lucia, Sto. Nino, Pandaras, and Telebastagan.
Gil Cortez, chairman of the 2017 Giant Lantern Festival, said each participating village received a subsidy of P195,000. The participants are expected to shoulder expenses beyond that amount.
All entries must measure 20 feet in height with at least 10,000 bulbs to qualify for the contest.