The Paskuhan Village (HILAGA Philippines), located in San Fernando, Pampanga, Philippines, is a Christmas-themed park famous for being the only theme park in Asia where Christmas is celebrated year-round, in line with the Filipino tradition of the world's longest Yuletide festivities. Located in Barangay San Jose, the Paskuhan Village, now renamed Hilaga Philippines, is just 65 kilometers away from Metro Manila. It is currently being managed by the Philippine Tourism Authority.
Opened on December 11, 1990 by then president Corazon Aquino, the Paskuhan Village showcased the best Christmas-inspired Filipino arts and crafts, including demonstrations on how these products are made, before remodeling in 2003. During 1998, former First Lady Amelita Ramos decided to recreate the village as part of the "Florikultura '98" project of the Department of Tourism, but soon the year after the plants withered and died. A life-sized replica of the Nativity scene was also featured, as well as a model Philippine village celebrating a native Christmas. There were also museums, an orchidarium, a carnival, and food stalls offering festive cuisine.
When it was reshaped by the Department of Tourism and the Philippine Tourism Authority, the Paskuhan Village included in its fanfare other northern festivals, leading to it being renamed as Hilaga Philippines. Among the festivals now showcased are the Pista’y Dayat and Bangus Festival of the Ilocos Region, Pavvurulun and Bambanti Festivals of Cagayan Valley, and the Panagbenga and Gotad Ad Ifugao of the Cordilleras. Central Luzon also presented its famous Sinukwan, Tanduyong, Malatarlak, Hongot and Suman Festivals. Handicrafts and delicacies commemorative of Northern Luzon are expected to bring about a total experience of Northern Philippines.
As of 2012, the Village is financially distressed and almost all shops, restaurants and the Sanctuary are practically closed, with a budget of only 800,000 pesos a month and only 24 workers left.
Giant Lantern Festival
Perhaps the most important celebration held in the Paskuhan Village is the Ligligan Parul, the famous Giant Lantern Festival of San Fernando. Spearheaded by the City of San Fernando itself, the festival is a showcase of some of the biggest and most colorful lanterns created in the Philippines. This event also provides the citizens of San Fernando, who are known lantern-makers, a chance to showcase their creations. It is perhaps the reason why the city has been dubbed the “Christmas Capital of the Philippines.”
Points of interest
The attractions in Hilaga Philippines (formerly Paskuhan Village, called the "Christmas Capital of the Philippines") include:
- The Secretary's Garden
- Nature's Sanctuary
- Region III
- Rock Climbing
- Poinsettia Hall
- "Paskuhan Village, a park bereft of joy". 16 December 2011. Retrieved 2 March 2013.
- "HILAGA Philippines (Paskuhan Village) and Ligligan Parul". Retrieved 2 March 2013.
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