San Fernando, Pampanga—A lantern interplay of “positive and negative” with 10,000 multicolor bulbs made Barangay Telebastagan as the first prize winner in the annual Giant Lantern Festival 2018 held here Saturday.
An estimated 80,000 visitors, including foreign dignitaries and tourists, national and local officials watched the event and were impressed by the dancing lights and colors of the 11 lantern entries flashing to the tune of music at the Robinson Starmills here.
Each entry measured about 20 feet high and carried a maximum of 10,000 bulbs.
Barangay Telabastagan officials received a trophy and a cheque for P150,000 from Alex Patio, president of the festival committee.
This is the second time Telebastagan won the 110-year-old contest. Its first win was in 2013.
First runner-up went to barangay San Jose, which received a trophy and cheque worth P100,000.
Maryann Torres, the descendant of the one of the pioneers of the local industry and the first woman to join the annual festival of lights and colors in the lantern capital of the country, received the award for San Jose.
Barangay San Juan was third and San Nicolas was fourth, and also received individual trophies and cheques from Ferdinand Caylao, a member of the contest committee.
This year’s winning entries will be on display at different places for public viewing on the following schedule: Dec. 16, 21, and 30 up to Jan. 2, 2019 at the Robinsons Starmill, Dec. 22 at SM Telebastagan, Dec. 23 at the Greenfield in Sindalan, Dec. 24 at the old city hall, and Dec. 29 at the Marquee Mall in Angeles City.
Gracing the 2018 festival were Sen. Bam Aquino, Acting Assistant Foreign Affairs Secretary for Public Diplomacy Elmer G. Cato, the consuls of Vietnam and Brazil, Vice Gov. Dennis Pineda, Mayor Edwin Santiago, and regional and provincial officials.
Wilfrito Mah, president of the Gaint Lantern Foundation (GLF), attributed the success of this year’s event to the improved venue, complete with facilities like comfort rooms and security for the convenience of the visitors.
“We have to continue holding this legacy of the Fernandinos for the country,” Mayor Santiago said.