Miley and the girls from Brandon Beal’s music video, “Twerk It Like Miley,” were not the only ones to specialize in this newest form of dancing. Last December 19, at the Robinsons Starmills grounds, the city of San Fernando gave the word its own Kapampangan interpretation, as the annual Ligligan Parul (Giant Lantern Festival) proved once again that they truly deserved the title “Christmas Capital of the Philippines.”
Now on its 107th year, the lights of the eleven colossal lanterns, each around 20 feet high, twerked through a music show amidst the rain on the opening day. Brgy. Dolores was hailed as the overall champion while Del Pilar, Sindalan and Calulut bagged the first, second and third runner-up awards, respectively.
So how do these electricity-driven, manually-controlled lanterns twerk? Watch this:
THE ALDUB SOUNDTRACK
Released in 2014, the song, Twerk It Like Miley, was even popularized locally by the segment, “That’s My Bae” on the noon time show Eat Bulaga. The song eventually became part of the soundtrack of the show’s phenomenal segment, Kalyeserye, featuring Pambansang Bae (National Heartthrob) Alden Richards and Dubsmash star, Maine Mendoza. The tandem was later on known as AlDub, which was a combination of Al from Alden and dub for Maine.
The lanterns also twerked to the tune of Dawin’s Dessert, Lou Bega’s Mambo No. 5, and Bigbang’s Fantastic Baby, all of which were also included in the soundtrack. Watch the lanterns dancing to theses tunes here:
THE TRUE SPIRIT
But using festive songs, with a little bit of spice in them, did not mean losing the true essence of the image of the lanterns, the star which guided the Three Wise Men towards the child Jesus. An figure of the Virgin Mary and of Christ on the cross were featured in Brgy. Sindalan’s parol.
The asset of the lantern of first runner-up Brgy. Del Pilar featured a dove, symbolizing peace and bringing “al dove,” a variation of AlDub, across also.
Brgy. Sindalan also paid tribute to the Philippine flag to the tune of Francis M.’s Mga Kababayan Ko.
SPREAD THE LOVE
The world-class lantern performances were re-staged at Essel Park at Brgy. Telebastagan on December 22. The following day, Brgy. Sindalan witnessed the lantern twerks at Greenfields Tennis and Country Club Inc., where the Viewfinder took all her videos. On December 26 and 27, Angeles City watched the lights at Marquee Mall. The lanterns had returned to Robinsons Starmills from December 28 – 30 and would be illuminating Clarkfield on New Year’s Eve. They would be spending the first 6 days of 2016 back at the same mall.
HOW TO GET THERE
If one would be going on a road trip, Pampanga would just be one to one and a half hour drive from Manila. Just cross the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) and take the San Fernando exit. Robinsons Starmills would just be after the toll gate.
If one would be taking public transportations, any bus going to Bataan would be passing by Pampanga. The said buses also had a bus stop at Robinsons Starmills. Genesis or Bataan Transit terminals in Cubao or Pasay would get anyone to the city of San Fernando. Bus fare would be just around a hundred pesos.
The Ligligan Parul truly was one of the most festive celebrations of Christmas in the country. And for the tradition to last more than a hundred years meant that our Kapampangan craftsmen were able to go with the trends over time. And so this year, they made the lanterns twerk. In 2016, the year of the monkey sure would be bringing something naughty and cheerful for the world to see at the Giant Lantern Festival of Pampanga.