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March 21, 2013
Location : Gabaldon Hall, Angeles Elementary School, Brgy. Pulungbulu


The Angeles City Local Government through the Angeles City Tourism Office in partnership with the City Social Welfare and Development Office teamed up for the Heritage Skills Program (Lantern-Making) which was participated by close to 30 individuals from the following sectors: out-of-school –youth, unemployed mothers/single parents and persons with disability on March 21-22, 2013 at the Gabaldon Hall, Angeles Elementary School, Barangay Pulungbulu.

City Tourism Officer Christine Nunag remarks: “Last Christmas, we decorated our office with the white Angeleño lanterns from Brgy. San Nicolas.  Many of our fellow Angelenos at City Hall really liked them and asked where we bought them. Our guests from UNESCO saw similar lanterns at last year’s Lubenas ning Pasku. One of them inquired if he could buy these parols and send them to Kyoto, Japan.  But because of its limited production, manpower and delicate paper material, we could not meet the demand. This further reinforced our plans to come up with this lantern skills program.”

ACTO sought the help of expert lantern-maker Roland Quiambao to facilitate the training. Mr. Quiambao was also the student of the city’s Lubenas lantern master, 85-year-old Eulogio Catahan of Bgy. Cutcut. ACTO collaborated with Mr. Quiambao to re-create the Angeleño lantern using modern material that could withstand the natural elements and rigors of transport.

But more than meeting the demand, the heritage skills program, which is part of the application process for Angeles City’s Heritage Database, aims to preserve one of the city’s vanishing heritage industries by offering technical know-how to those without access, thereby providing potential local employment and sustainable business opportunities.

Quiambao relates: “This is a growing industry as demand comes from different parts of the country. Lantern makers from San Fernando can only accommodate the Metro Manila area. I hope that through this program, we will be able to cover the rest of the demands. To those participants who are serious about developing their skills and turning this into a livelihood, I am willing to accommodate them as workers and subcontractors.  One possibility is that I can provide the materials for their production, and later on I can purchase the finished product from them.  There are also government financing institutions that can help them out. I started with the assistance of such institutions.”

The first day consisted of orientation and basic process in making the San Fernando Lantern – from bending of wires, design sketches to cutting of plastic vinyl in full colors. On the second day, the participants installed electrical wiring and light bulbs into the lanterns.  Typically made of pure white paper, this time, the Angeleño lantern was made with white plastic vinyl combined gold and silver foil.

After this activity, trainor Mr. Quiambao, in his personal capacity, hopes to accommodate the participants as on-the-job trainees in preparation for the lantern demand of the Christmas season. This experience will help strengthen their interest in the craft and develop their skills for future self-employment. “For as long as there is Christmas, the demand for lanterns will always be there,” Mr. Quiambao concludes.  - ACTO


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