Simple folks, giant lanterns

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO—True to the giant lantern-making tradition in this city 100 years ago, the man who designed and led the construction of the piece that won top honors in the festival’s centennial on Saturday was no college degree holder.

If the pioneer, Francisco Estanislao, peddled salt, Giant Lantern Festival 2008 winner Arnel Flores, 38, a high school graduate from Sta. Lucia, sells bread for a living.

It was in the same village where the late Estanislao made the first big lantern, 3.048 meters (10 feet) in diameter, in 1908.

Following custom, the educational backgrounds of the craftsmen were not announced before, during and after the event, indicating that it did not matter in the homegrown lantern industry.

Excellent craftsmanship and ingenuity do, as Flores and his team of 13 craftsmen, a rotor maker and an electrician showed. [Continue Reading...]

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