Giant Lantern Festival Tour 2013


There is an effort that has been started by private companies in partnership with local tourism office of San Fernando City recently. It is called “Giant Lantern Festival Tour 2013″, this is in conjunction with the lantern festival happening during Christmas season in the province.

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Manila-based bloggers with the ATTAP team, HARP, and Tourism Office of San Fernando City.  Shout out to Ms. Gilda for feeding us lots of info about the tour! :)

The ATTAP or the Alliance of Travel and Tours Agencies of Pampanga has put an effort to promote its local tourist destination for an affordable price. The Giant Lantern Tour 2013 will run from December 15 until January 2, 2014. The tour is in connection with the annual Giant Lantern Festival which will start on December 14 at the Robinsons San Fernando grounds.

Let us give you the preview of the places that you will visit during the tour. We went there already and it was awesome! I thought it is always boring to visit Clark.  I was wrong. Be prepared with your cameras, extra battery and extra storage because you can’t stop taking pictures during the tour!

First up, you can choose from either Half Day Tour or Whole Day Tour. The tour starts in Clark, you should inform the organizer of your hotel, they will pick up you there.

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From Clark, we proceeded to the next destination to see the church with the most beautiful interior which have been there for years. The Santiago de Apostol Church in Betis, Guagua Pampanga, you travel via the Mega Dike build after the Mt. Pinatubo erruption.

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The church, according the local tourism office is now under the care of UNICEF, in order preserve the structure of this super old church. After Betis, we went to the famous sunken church, the San Gulliermo Parish in Bacolor.

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Our next stop is at the Heroes Hall of San Fernando, where we took the Kalesa ride, from Heroes Hall its more of rolling tour again, we passed by the heritage houses in the city.  The final stop of the Kalesa tour is at the Daang-Bakal (a train station going the north). Dr. Jose Rizal dropped by here to visit San Fernando. The train station was put up in 1942 and this is the Manila-Dagupan-Manila rail road. This is where the captured soldiers was transported during the Death March in Camp O’Donnel and there they were imprisoned.

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Final stop of the Kalesa ride is in front of the Municipal hall of San Fernando City. From there you proceed to Nataniels, where tourists buy their “pasalubong”.

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And then we went to see the giant lantern factory. They demonstrated to us how to make parol, and how the giant parol is operated.

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Tour details:

Pick up from the hotel where you are billeted. You can stay in  any partner hotel by ATAP (Alliance of Travel & Tour Agencies of Pampanga), or call Ties That Travel Inc.  at +63 45 499 0357 to 58, you  can look for Gilda or Princess.

Whole day tour

  • 10AM, Clark rolling tour Stotsenberg (old of name of Clark), Barn houses, CDC Compound, American Cemetery
  • Nayong Pilipino (including Cultural Show)
  • Santiago de Apostol, Betis Guagua Pampanga (Betis Church)
  • San Guillermo Parish Church, sunken church, Bacolor, Pampanga
  • Calesa tour (Heritage district), cultural houses of Pampanga. From Heroes Hall to Municipal hall of San Fernando, Himpilang Daang-Bakal San Fernando, Nataniels (local delicacies, pasalubong)
  • Lantern Demo in Paskuhan Village, near SM Pampanga
  • Dinner at the Kabalen
  • Giant Lantern Exhibit at Robinsons
  • PhP 1,550 (inclusive of transfer, dinner, tour guide, shopping voucher, giant lantern souvenir shirt)

Half day tour

  • 1PM, pick up guests from the hotel
  • Santiago de Apostol, Betis Guagua Pampanga (Betis Church)
  • San Guillermo Parish Church, sunken church, Bacolor, Pampanga
  • Calesa tour (Heritage district), cultural houses of Pampanga. From Heroes Hall to Municipal hall of San Fernando, Himpilang Daang-Bakal San Fernando, Nataniels (local delicacies, pasalubong)
  • Lantern Demo in Paskuhan Village, near SM Pampanga
  • Dinner at the Kabalen
  • Giant Lantern Exhibit at Robinsons
  • PhP 1, 4000 (inclusive of transfer, dinner, tour guide, shopping voucher, giant lantern souvenir shirt)

ATTAP has 34 active members, its current president of Ms. Marcia Hernandez of Global Access Travel and Tours. Ms. Gilda Padua who was with us during our familiarization tour  is the past president of ATTAP and the Managing Director of Ties That Travel Inc.

Shout out to Global Access Travel and Tours too for bringing us to Clark! Thank you Adventour Asia Magazine!

Enzo has details of the Betis Church in this post.

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Raffy Pedrajita

Spidey to his online friends, Raffy Pedrajita is freelance digital photographer. An IT sales with expertise on data and wireless networks. He is also the admin at DigitalSpidey.com.

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