13th Annual Parol Lantern Festival to Light Up San Diego [UPDATE]

PASACAT is proud to present the 13th annual Parol Lantern Festival on Saturday, December 5, 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM at St. Rita’s School Auditorium, 5115 Churchward, San Diego (map). The event will be highlighted by performances local groups and the PASACAT Philippine Performing Arts Company in Sayaw sa Parol, an exhibit of costumes, instruments and books from PASACAT’s 39 year collection and vendors.


The festival opens with merienda, a festive meal of pancit (noodles with vegetables and meat), lumpia (eggroll), pandesal (sweet bread) and turon (sweet banana fritter). PASACAT’s 38-year collection of textiles, costumes, instruments, and books will be exhibited, including a bahay kubo (native thatched hut) and two life-size carabao (water bu alo) made of paper mache constructed by Rudy A. Alquero.

The ambiance of a Philippine Christmas will be enhanced by PASACAT’s collection of colorful capiz parols, and traditional star parols in various styles and colors. Parol workshops and parol kits will be available during the afternoon event.

PASACAT’s Junior and Company dancers will be accompanied by the Rondalla string ensemble in a presentation of dances of the Philippine Countryside which include the popular Pandango Sa Ilaw-Oasioas, dance of the lights and the audience favorite, Tinikling, bamboo dance. Sayaw sa Parol will colorful illuminated lanterns made in Pampanga, the capital of Parol making in the Philippines and designed especially for the dance. A number of other parols will be displayed and created by San Diego artist Jose Morales, Jr.

St. Rita’s Folk Choir will sing Tagalog Christmas songs -, Payapang Daigdig, Noche Buena, and Ang Pasko Ay Sumapit. The highlight of the choral presentation is the exhilarating choral arrangement, Simbang Gabi, by Lucio San Pedro, 1991 Philippine National Artist. The lyrics describe the Philippine Christmas: mano po (where the hands of the elders are held by the  younger ones and placed on the latter’s forehead); gifts from ninong (godfather) and ninangs (godmother), the noche buena (meal after midnight mass), the birth of Jesus and the Feast of the Three Kings.

In addition to PASACAT, the inter-generational event will feature performances Girinata performing Balinise Kebyar dances; by Halau ‘O Pualani in an ancient and modern hula; the energetic Pride Rice, an up-and-coming hip-hop group; School of the Creative and Performing Arts School Choral Ensemble in an array of choral arrangments; SIYARI performing lively dances from the House of Peru in Balboa Park, St. Rita’s Samoan Catholic Youth Group in an exciting demonstration of praise songs and dances from Samoa. High school Philippine dance groups will also, perform from Montgomery, Morse and Otay Ranch High Schools from the South Bay.

The Festival concludes with the pabitin, where children 5 through 12 will jump for toys and candies hung from a bamboo rack which is raised and lowered in similar fashion to Mexico’s piñata.

Tickets are $15.00 for reserved and sponsor seats, $12.00 general admission, $10.00 for students, seniors, and active-duty military, and may be purchased at the door.

PASACAT was founded in 1970 and is funded in part by the San Diego County Community Enhancement Fund.

EventsCliff GonieaParol