Pampanga Christmas lanterns display heralds holiday season at CCP Manila

Pampanga's famous Christmas lanterns
The Cultural Center of the Philippines heralds the holiday season this year with an online lights-and-sounds show. Photo from CCP.

Pampanga’s famous Christmas lanterns are featured in the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) “Pasko 2020” online streaming of its annual lights-and-sounds show that can be enjoyed by Filipinos in the comforts of their own homes or wherever they may be.

This year, the CCP heralds the holiday season with a splendid display of Parul Sampernandu, the iconic Philippine lantern from Pampanga, which lights up the CCP Main Building Facade and the complex grounds starting December 10, 2020, to January 3, 2021. CCP’s “Pasko 2020” celebration will be accompanied by the light-and-sound spectacle designed by Danilo Villanueva.

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Despite the harsh realities faced by many Filipinos, the Center believes that it is still timely to celebrate the season in thanksgiving and hopes to become a symbol of resilience and strength in the time of COVID-19.

CCP upcycled the festive eight-point lanterns from years of storage, which were originally designed by the Quiwa Family from San Fernando, Pampanga. Commissioned artists were tapped to redesign and modernize the traditional design of the lanterns as well as low-income craftsmen, skilled workers, and designers for the event to provide them with work and opportunity amid the health crisis.

The magical “Pasko 2020” experience will be streamed live on the CCP Facebook page and other social media platforms.

The CCP will also hold the virtual Simbang Gabi from December 15 to 23 at 9 pm (Anticipated Masses) and December 16 to 24, 5 am (Dawn Masses); culminating in a Christmas Eve Mass on December 24, 8 pm and a Special Christmas Day Mass on December 25, 10 am.

Decorating the CCP Main Building Facade and its grounds is a tradition that started several years ago. Last year, the CCP welcomed the holiday season in the country with a spectacular lights-and-sound show titled “Sinag: Festival of Radiance”, which showcased Filipino traditional arts and modern technology.

The Cultural Center of the Philippines’ (CCP) year-long celebration of its Golden Jubilee this year wrapped up with a light and sound showcase of its arts and culture programs.

San Fernando, Pampanga has been known as the Christmas Capital of the Philippines because of its thriving lantern industry and once turned the country’s biggest Ferris wheel into a giant “Parol” – the dazzling handcrafted Christmas lantern symbolizing the Star of Bethlehem.

SEND CHEERS in the comments below to the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) for bringing the holiday cheer to more Filipinos with this year’s online lights-and-sounds show featuring Pampanga’s famous Christmas lanterns!

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Margo Hannah De Guzman Quadra
Margo is a voracious reader - some might even say she reads too much for her own good. She majored in BS Psychology and hopes to become a forensic psychologist one day. She’s also an aspiring writer, mental health advocate, and a staunch believer of equality.