Monday, December 2, 2013

City of San Fernando to hold 2013 Giant Lantern Festival on December 14

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga-Its all systems go for the City of San Fernando’s staging of the 2013 edition of its internationally renowned Giant Lantern Festival (GLF) on December 14.
“10 barangays will battle for this year’s crown which will be held in Robinsons Starmills. Participants include defending champion Del Pilar” GLF 2013 Organizing Committee chair Mariano Castro Jr. said.
A total of 250 personnel from the Philippine National Police shall be deployed in the event area while San Fernando Rescue Unit will be on full alert.
“Aside from the main competition on December 14, we have other activities in line with the GLF. We are going to have an Inter-Village Christmas Decor Competition from December 2-5, Lantern Parade Competition on December 6, Diplomatic Reception on December 15, and Lantern Exhibitions at Robinsons Starmills from December 15-21,” Castro added.
The 20-foot tall lanterns shall also be displayed in Telebastagan on December 22, Greenfields on December 23, San Fernando City Proper on December 24, Nepo Complex in Angeles City on December 27, and Marquee Mall on December 28 and 29.
According to historical accounts, the festival, which is locally known as “Ligligan Parul” (Showdown of Lanterns), is believed to have started in 1908 when Franciso Estanislao pioneered the lantern making industry in San Fernando.
Estanislao is said to have built a giant lantern for a Christmas procession during that year.
However, it was only in 1931 when the first lantern competition was formally organized. The inaugural contest was in honor of Aurora Aragon Quezon – wife of former president Manuel Quezon.
Through the years, several innovations were introduced in the competition namely the use of batteries in 1940, molding of steel wire as frame in 1950 and rotors in 1957.
Rotors are aluminum tubes that are moved so hairpins and a series of bulbs connected to these are exposed to the electricity source. The movements dictate when the bulbs will light up and project images.
Last year’s GLF attracted an estimated 350,000 local and foreign tourists.
Beginning today, December 3, smartphone users can download the “Ligligan Parul” app, which contains the history of GLF, full schedule of activities, names of participating barangays, and top 10 food destinations in San Fernando.
Updates are also available in the festival’s official Facebook page ( and Twitter account (@GiantLantern).

International law is the best recourse in South China Sea territorial spat, says expert

MANILA-Stanford University senior fellow Donald Emerson says clarifying the notoriously ambiguous “U-shaped line” by the Court of Arbitration under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea is a good first step in order for all claimants in the South China Sea territorial dispute to frame their positions attuned to international law.

He added that while a comprehensive solution is presently beyond reach, the priority need is for mutual accommodations that are modest enough to be achievable, but significant enough to be worth the effort to pursue.

“Tensions urgently need to be addressed on multiple fronts in alternative ways.  Recourse to international law is a prime option. Other channels include bilateral and multiple negotiations—bilateral, minilateral, and multilateral—designed to induce, end, and/or alter specific actions by the parties concerned,” he said.

Emmerson’s policy concerns run from specific issues such as sovereignty disputes in the South China Sea to broad questions involving China-Southeast Asia relations, the American “rebalance” toward Asia, and the future of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Emmerson will speak at a roundtable discussion organized by the Angara Centre for Law and Economics titled "What Is to Be Done? Resolving Maritime Disputes in Southeast Asia" on December 5 at the Marriott Hotel, Resorts World Manila.

The event will be keynoted by former Senator Edgardo J. Angara, who recently concluded over two decades of distinguished service as a Philippine legislator. Among his landmark reforms include laws on arts and culture, agriculture, education, good governance, health and social welfare. He also served as chairman of the Congressional Commission on Education (CHED), Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Chairman of the Philippine National Bank, and Executive Secretary.

A former UP President, Angara also led the creation of the UP Institute for Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea (UP-IMLOS), a highly specialized academic research institution based in the UP Law Center devoted to maritime affairs.

Other featured speakers include Ian Storey of the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore, Yoichiro Sato of the Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University in Japan, Shen Dingli of Fudan University in China, and Professor Harry Roque of the University of the Philippines.

The forum and roundtable discussions will be moderated by Prof. John Nye of George Mason University, Executive Director of the Angara Centre.

The event is sponsored by Asia United Bank. 


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