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Saturday, December 1

Baguio Lantern Parade by Saint Louis University (SLU)

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Brightly lit lanterns star the annual parade of crafts made by Saint Louis University faculty and students. (Session Road, Baguio City)

If you enjoy watching the street dance parade and the flower float parade during Panagbenga Festival in Baguio which usually happens on the last weekend of February and you insist to see more of Baguio culture, arts and festivities, then make sure to enlist either December 1 or the first Saturday of December so you witness another parade. The Baguio Lantern Parade (or SLU Lantern Parade) is an annual fiesta featuring the handwork of students of Saint Louis University (SLU) via the showcase of specially crafted lanterns. It’s a whole day booth show, lantern carnival, dance series and a spectacle of fireworks.
People pack the sidewalks of Session Road to see the most anticipating event of the day, the lantern parade.
Lanterns glaze the dark night of Baguio on December 1, 2012
Of course, the main dish of this festival other than the popular Baguio Flower Festival more commonly known as Panagbenga Festival (season of blooming flowers) is the showcase of hundreds of lanterns, of different crafts and materials, both plain and lighted. And believe it or not, it’s my first time to witness the event. It’s worth it but not as grand as flower float parade during Panagbenga Festival.

This event is in courtesy of the faculty and bachelors of Saint Louis University, one of the top 10 performing schools in the country based on a survey. This was organized as an offering to the foundation day of the university, which turned 101 years old this 2012.

Faculty of the Saint Louis University (SLU) wearing colorful lantern hats.
Students ala Masskara Festival in Bacolod--but this Baguio's lantern parade.

People watching the dance during the lantern parade.
The lantern parade usually starts at 6:00 in the evening. If you want to have a slot somewhere in the upper Session Road so you get a good view of the parade and the lanterns, then you have to be there as early as 4 or 5 PM. The route is somehow similar to what the float parade during Panagbenga Festival follow. Of course the ending is at Melvin Jones Field in Burnham Park.

Well I’m not familiar of the time they light up the fireworks but when I went to Burnham Park to get a good view (well in fact I haven’t seen it that good), the fireworks were already twinkling in the evening sky by 6 PM.

The only drawback of this event, I cannot take good pictures! Why? It’s too dark to just take pictures without the flash and of course it’s a parade therefore the participants are moving. The problem there? The lanterns were glowing, the scene was dark and the people were moving equals blurred photos! If I take pictures with the flash, the lanterns do not glow anymore. If I take pictures without the flash on shutter speed of about 2 seconds to capture light, all the lanterns will become ghosts. And it doesn’t look good unless I take the shot on a top view. Next time I’ll hone my photography skills (if there is any haha) on this.

This year's lantern parade commemorates the 150th anniversary of the establishment of the CICM. 

Well anyway, if you want to experience Baguio fiesta without the jam-packed Session Road somehow similar to Panagbenga Festival, then be here in Baguio on December 1 (or first Saturday of December) to witness the Baguio Lantern Parade courtesy of SLU. If you wish to visit Baguio for day tours and it will happen sometime on this date, then you’re lucky enough you have a side night trip that is fun and somehow worth it—as the colder nights of Baguio kick in. Kudos to Saint Louis University for this wonderful event!

Lanterns, lanterns, and lanterns during the lantern parade on December 1, 2012.

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  1. sir the theme for the lantern parade is all about CICM all over the world.. each school in the university has its own country to represent.. the picture you labelled as "Bacolod-Maskara" is actually a representation of Brazil

    1. Yes. It is about the commemoration of CICM anniversary, with all the colleges depicting the different countries where CICM is present. :)

  2. Hi,

    I thought you were out of townish at this time!? :P We were able to witness this, too. This was such a welcome surprise since we weren't aware of this event happening on the weekend we were there so it wasn't included in the itinerary.

    ~ Tara

    1. I was not able to go to Subic last weekend but my family went there. I regret I haven't seen the Ocean Adventure. Maybe next time.

      Well anyway, I hope you enjoyed the parade last December 1. I hope you also enjoyed your tour here in Baguio. :)


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