4 Things To Do When You Are Spending Christmas In Pampanga
2020 Dec 20 | by Apple Barretto
What are the things to do when spending Christmas in Pampanga?
- Watch The Great Lantern Parade
- Buy a Lantern for pasalubong
- Try Kapampangan Food And Restaurants
- Visit A Beautiful Church For Simbang Gabi
Christmas is fast approaching! And the question arise…where will you spend your holidays this year? Kapampangans are lucky because they get to experience Christmas in their hometown in Pampanga every year. You can see magnificent Christmas lanterns and hear the singing of the choirs from Churches nearby. There are also a lot of choices regarding where to eat because Kapampangans are food lovers. If you’re interested in investing in a house for sale in Pampanga, we’ve listed down the things you can do during the holidays.
Watch The Great Lantern Parade
The Great Lantern Parade is an event celebrated in the city of San Fernando every year. Kapampangans know it as the Ligligan Parul, and this parade has helped the province get the popular title of “Christmas Capital In The Philippines”.
Did you know that this celebration started in 1908? It was then improved in 1931 when electricity was introduced to the city. Back then, the parol was formed using bamboo and decorated with different colors of papel de hapon. The addition of electricity made it possible to add light to the beauty of the lanterns.
Today, the Giant Lanterns have evolved into intricate designs with almost 5,000 light bulbs. They are commonly formed with steel and colored plastic. The lanterns that will enter the competition are created by local artisans from San Fernando, Pampanga. They are then attached to trucks and paraded to Christmas music on the streets.
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the event pushed through on November 16, 2020. At the launching ceremony witnessed by Mayor Santiago, lanterns were lit in key areas of the city. According to him, these lanterns serve as a “ray of hope” for Filipinos, especially during this pandemic.
This year’s Great Lantern Festival will be held on December 19, 2020, on a new normal mode. This means health and safety protocols will be observed. According to the mayor, there is even a possibility of a drive-in festival.
Buy A Lantern For Pasalubong
Before you go home, you can check the local lantern stores for your pasalubong. You can be assured that these are made by the local craftsmen themselves. Some of the parols are made from native materials such as capiz shells, which are good glass substitutes.
Each lantern has a unique design and they come in sizes as small as a plate and as big as 3 feet. Some are inspired by flowers such as the Sampaguita. If you prefer something else, you can also find Santa designs and stringed lamps that you can hang by your windows.
Buying a lantern from these local craftsmen will make you feel like you have a piece of Pampanga’s Christmas at home. It also supports the local economy and business of the Kapampangans.
Try Kapampangan Food And Restaurants
Pampanga is famous for its local specialties. Kapampangans like to prepare food for other people. Take advantage of your visit to this province and experience the warm hospitality through their tasty meals!
If you want to taste the Kapampangan’s version of sisig, you can try Mila’s Sizzling Sisig. This restaurant’s popularity grew with their tokwa’t baboy, so you can order both. The deep-fried pork with several spices and tofu that can be dipped in soy sauce is perfect with rice or on its own.
Something different from fast-food chicken is AFC or Angeles Fried Chicken. The distinct taste of their original fried chicken is a result of the commitment and hard work done over a decade. They also serve other dishes such as Bulalo, Pancit Canton, and Sisig. You can take your whole family here and everyone will be satisfied.
If you are craving for meryenda and dessert, you can head over to Razon’s Restaurant. Their palabok and halo-halo will surely fulfill your cravings. The secret to their halo-halo is its simplicity. It has only 3 ingredients which are macapuno, saging na saba, and leche flan.
As a pasalubong, you may have heard of LA Bakeshop’s cheese bread and Spanish bread. Tourists make time to fall in line for boxes of these to take home to their loved ones. You can even find online sellers reselling these in their cities. 30 pieces of cheese bread, Spanish bread, or both are available for Php 180, Php 210, and Php 195. It is a great idea as a Christmas gift too!
Visit A Beautiful Church For Simbang Gabi
If you aren’t able to attend simbang gabi, you can still visit Pampanga’s churches and take a look at its beauty. Maybe you will hear the choir’s singing or see the priest make his rounds.
One of the most famous churches in Pampanga is the Baroque Betis Church of Guagua. It is hailed as the Sistine Chapel of the Philippines and has been a cultural treasure since 1660. Once you enter, you will be greeted by the detailed painting in the ceiling, numerous carvings, and classic columns on the walls.
Christmas in Pampanga is a delightful experience. You get to join a celebration of hope in the Great Lantern Festival, appreciate the local craftsmen’s lantern designs, eat good Kapampangan food, and attend simbang gabi in their beautiful churches.
If you want to spend your holidays in Pampanga every year from now on, we recommend living here. You can easily access these activities from your contemporary Asian twin home in Park Place Pampanga, a read-for- occupancy and expandable detached single house and lot in Park Place Pampanga Phase 2, premium townhouses in La Aldea Fernandina II, or 2-story Zen-inspired homes in Horizon Residences Pampanga.
If you are interested in our residences, do not hesitate to contact us here!
Header Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons