The Giant Lantern Festival is a people’s event as multiple neighbourhoods and every community member makes it a point to make his/her contribution. The design, buying, and manufacture of every lantern can be highly specific and many people can be expected to be involved in the processes. There can be lanterns as long as 20-feet in size and may include 3,500 to 5,000 light bulbs which highlight the kind of planning and preparation that goes into them. In some cases, lanterns with around 10,000 light bulbs in them have also come to the fore! As a result, there is much interest among the people and the festival is covered by Central Luzon Television.
During the beginning, the Giant Lantern Festival was more of a religious ceremony by the name of Lubenas which was also popularly called as Ligligan Parul. To celebrate the ninth day of Christmas, a public procession used to be held in which participants would carry twelve lanterns, each of them signifying a particular apostle. However, during the 1930s, the first official Giant Lantern Festivals was held in honour of the Philippines President, Manuel L. Quezon. Since then, it is being celebrated in a similar manner.
Although people of Christian faith predominantly constitute a majority in City of San Fernando yet the city seems to be quite liberal in its views so that multiculturalism can be seen all around it. More than 80 percent of the residents of this city are Roman Catholics and the city is under the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Fernando. The organization is headed by Florentino Lavarias. However, some other forms of Christianity like Independent Christianity and Protestants are also prevalent here.
Similarly, many practicing Muslims also live here. The Metropolitan Cathedral of San Fernando is the official seat of the Archdiocese of San Fernando.
Being the capital of the Pampanga province, San Fernando is an important economic centre of the country. Almost all types of important institutions in ample numbers are available here so that it is also a very busy city. In recent times, the skyline of the city has been dominated by some of the best malls that have entered the business. Robinsons Starmills and SM City Pampanga are some of the best-known malls in the city that are frequented by a lot of people daily and form an important part of its economic landscape.
The city is an important agricultural processing centre of the country. The whole area is an important sugar and rice producing region and the largest sugar processing company is also situated here. A number of other factories of international repute are also present in San Fernando that speaks of its increased economic importance for the country. All types of factories from different segments like beverages, Pharma, etc. are present here so that they also offer ample employment opportunities for the residents.
The city also has some outstanding educational institutions – San Fernando can boast of some good educational institutions and residents can be sure of ensuring quality education to their kids. At least 39-reputed schools are there in the city apart from a large number of colleges where students can receive the best education. There are also some renowned universities in the city that can be quite helpful for many students.
As is evident, City of San Fernando is a very important destination for the country and therefore a lot of people visit the city for many types of activities.