December 01, 2020 at 10:30 pm
City of San Fernando—The Giant Lantern Festival (GLF) this year will not be the same as in the past, as organizers announced they decided to hold the annual exhibition virtually starting Dec. 16.
This years’ GLF is limited to only seven participants due to financial constraints, according to a city hall insider privy to the planning of the colorful and crowd-gathering event being held at the Robinsons Starmills grounds.
Among the participants this year are Barangays Sta. Lucia, Bulaon, Telabastagan, Calulut, Sto. Nino, San Juan, and San Nicolas.
Last year, Bgy. Sta. Lucia emerged as the overall champion, besting 11 other participants. The event was witnessed by thousands of spectators, local and foreign guests alike.
The annual festival, which earned Pampanga the tag as the “Home of Giant Lanterns’” and the distinction as the Christmas Capital of the Philippines, will not be open to public viewing due to the coronavirus pandemic, organizers said in a statement.
Instead, the exhibition can be watched through various digital platforms. Live media coverage is also discouraged, but those who will insist to cover must undergo health protocol processes, they added.
Organizers said no competition will be held, as public gatherings remain prohibited under the existing community quarantine guidelines.
Touted as one of the province’s grandest events during Yuletide, this year’s GLF must continue despite the pandemic to share the excitement brought by the traditional display and exhibition of colorful lanterns, organizers said.