Preparation for “Ligligan Parul” 2018

Last November 25, Travel Itinerary Philippines, a group of travel bloggers were invited by DOT Region III and San Fernando City Tourism to conduct a Bloggers Tour regarding the upcoming Giant Lantern Festival or also known as “Ligligan Parul“.


It is an annual festival held in mid-December in the City of San Fernando in Pampanga. The festival features a competition of giant lanterns. Because of the popularity of the festival, the city has been called the “Christmas Capital of the Philippines“.

ligligan parul 2018
Photo grabbed from Google.

This festival was said started in 1904 but some say that it really began in 1908. This year, they are celebrating their 110 years of giant lantern-making excellence!

Ligligan Parul’s corresponding English word is “royal rumble” or in Tagalog, “Matira ang matibay“. – Rolando Quiambao

ligligan parul 2018
Mr. Rolando Quiambao

To start up the tour, we went first to a known lantern-making store, RolRen Lanterns and General Merchandise. This is owned by the famous lantern maker, Rolando Quiambao.

ligligan parul 2018

He started his small business on 1986 and selling his first “parol” for only 450 php. Now, they are making over 3,000 lanterns in a year and exporting some products to other countries. He also named as a “hall of famer” for winning in the said competition for four consecutive years in a row.

ligligan parul 2018
Mr. Quiambao showing how to operate a lantern…

He is also the lantern maker in Brgy. Del Pilar in this year Ligligan Parul. He also explained to us the different parts of a lantern.

A parol or lantern consists of:

  • tambor – center part of the lantern; corrupted word of “tambol” or  base drum
  • siko-siko – the diamond-like part edges
  • palimbon – came from the Kapampangan word “limbon” means procession
  • pontetas – came from the Kapampangan word punta” means “dulo” or outer layer
ligligan parul 2018
Sample designs of Giant Lanterns

After that, we visited some barangays that will be joining the Giant Lantern Festival 2018. We paid a visit to Brgy. Del Pilar, Brgy. Sto Niño, Brgy. Telabastagan, and Brgy. San Jose.

How does a giant lantern works?

A giant lantern is controlled by a rotor, a large steel barrel. The principle of a rotor is also the same as a musical box. It has a 4-ft diameter and 6-ft in length. Every rotor needs an operator. A giant lantern needs a 2-month preparation.

ligligan parul 2018

There is a standard process in making a giant lantern. When they were explaining it to us, it’s kinda hard to understand. Because of that, I really admire and salute all those lantern makers in San Fernando for keeping this festival up until now.

ligligan parul 2018

A giant lantern approximately costs 500,000 php up to 1,000,000 php. But Mr. Quiambao said that they are not after the money, they are after the honor.

ligligan parul 2018

In case you are wondering, a giant lantern composed of 10,000 light bulbs and have a 20-ft diameter.

ligligan parul 2018

This kind of festival only shows how talented, grand, and world class the Filipinos are.


Competition Night

  • December 15, 2018 – (6:00 PM, Robinsons Starmill)

Exhibition Dates

  • December 16-21, 2018 – 5:00 PM, Robinsons Starmills
  • December 22, 2018 – 7:00 PM, Telabastagan
  • December 23, 2018 – 7:00 PM, Greenfields Square, Sindalan
  • December 24, 2018 – 11:00 PM, infront of City Hall
  • December 25-30, 2018 – 7:00 PM, Robinsons Starmills
  • December 29-30, 2018 – 6:00 PM, Marquee Mall, Angeles City
  • January 1-2, 2019 – 7:00 PM, Robinsons Starmills

If you are looking for a tour for the upcoming Giant Lantern Festival, contact the official Manila-based tour operator partner of of Pampanga, Don’t Skip Manila.

RATE PER PAX: 2,000 php

Package Inclusions:

  • Transportation via chartered van
  • Giant Lantern Festival entrance pass
  • Giant Lantern Festival souvenir shirt
  • Lunch
  • CSFP Heritage Passport
  • Don’t Skip Manila guide

Tour Highlights:

  • Early dinner buffer of Heirloom Kapampangan recipes
  • Lantern-making workshop and factory tour
  • Giant Lantern Festival show

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