Christmas in the Philippines comes to it’s most festive display during Pampanga’s Giant Lantern Festival. Watch the streets come alive as enormous lanterns are paraded and then presented along the streets of San Fernando, Pampanga – thus getting its title as the “Christmas Capital of the Philippines”.
The 109th Giant Lantern Festival begins on the 16th of December, or the Saturday before Christmas Eve, with an exhibition of all the entries starting the day after at the Robinsons Starmills mall.
Witness the Filipino creativity as lanterns with different designs and themes infused with the Kapampangan culture, all created with more than 5,000 light bulbs, drown the city in a deluge of color and amazement. For a more fun experience, try having a bet with your friends or family on who’s taking the top spot. We’re sure you’re gonna have a tough time judging as well. With the local barangays (and we know that there are at 11 entrants now) competing for the grand prize, it’s sure to be a contest worth going out of the city for.
For more information on the history of the Giant Lantern Festival, visit their website here.
And if that alone wasn’t enough, Pampanga isn’t only known as the Christmas Capital of the Philippines, but also the Culinary Capital of the Philippines, and there is no better time to enjoy the Kapampangan delicacies than the holiday season. Some of our favorite Filipino dishes were born right here (we’re looking at you, Sisig).
Check out the LA Bakeshop and grab some of their famous Spanish bread and Cheese bread along with a cup of Kapeng Barako.
If you’re with a large group, then you should totally hit up Hungry Neighbors for some huge servings of delicious Kapampangan comfort food.
There are also some great places outside of San Fernando if you’re up for the drive like 25 Seeds in Angeles, Pampanga which serves up reinvented Filipino dishes with a farm-to-table concept.
If meat is your thing, then a drive to Clark, Pampanga for House of Chops should satiate your carnivorous side. They have everything from mouthwatering steaks to roasted beef, pork chops, pork belly, lamb ribs, and whatever meat you can think of!
Be sure to jot down your Pampanga adventures and never lose track of the places you’ve visited by creating your own collection at www.maqotana.com/collections