Merry Christmas everyone! To celebrate this wonderful season—Vista Pinas style, let’s go to the acknowledged Christmas Capital of the Philippines, San Fernando City in Pampanga. At the San Fernando Exit of the North Luzon Expressway, across from the previously featured SM City Pampanga and Robinsons Starmills Pampanga is the former Paskuhan Village, now the HILAGA Philippines. This part of San Fernando got high-resolution imagery this year and so we can finally feature this sight.
This tourist attraction features a star-shaped Plenary Hall which symbolizes the world-class lantern-making industry of San Fernando. The site underwent a rehabilitation in 2003 under the Department of Tourism and was redubbed the HILAGA Philippines, a mini-Nayong Pilipino focusing on northern Luzon. According to this Philippine Tourism Authority webpage, the site features, among others, the Kappianan na Cagayan Valley Hall and the Gran Cordillera Abong Hall. Other amenities include an amphitheater, a swimming pool, and a rock-climbing facility.
Finally, the Ligligan Parul is the famous Giant Lantern Festival of San Fernando. This year marks the 100th anniversary of lantern-making in this city, which is said to have been started by Francisco Estanislao in 1908. The competition among nine barangays happened last December 20 at Robinsons Starmills and last year’s champion, Barangay Telabastagan, won again this year. I’m not sure if they’ll be displaying the giant lanterns at Paskuhan Village like they did last year, but here’s a video from 2006 showing how very pretty these lanterns are. (You can also view other videos on YouTube if you want.)