President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos, Jr. popularly known as PBBM, instead, announced to the Filipino people the launching of the “Parol-making” contest in collaboration with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG). A timely project to rekindle once again the Christianity that runs in the blood of every Filipino – the Philippines is the only Roman Catholic nation in Asia.
We Filipinos should recognize PBBM and Office of the President (OP), for reminding us to the message that a simple lantern (parol) imparts especially as the birth of Our Savior approaches. By tradition, Filipino parols, designed like star, is simply made of bamboo splits and covered with ‘papel de hapon’ – thin paper coming in different colors. A short bamboo tube fixed inside the parol with a candle lighted at night, completes the cheap, simple Filipino lantern.
During my younger years, I make parols (of different designs and sizes) as decors with the approach of the Holiday Season, for our ancestral house in Brgy. San Diego, Burauen, Leyte. My playmates would do the same, hang parols in houses
Sadly, though that the Filipino Christian tradition of hanging, displaying parols of varied designs and colors have disappeared with time especially in the rural areas. What we see are products of innovation, lanterns made of non-bamboo and papel de hapon, but metal housing and glossy plastic cover materials. I still prefer the traditionally made parols of old – let’s revive it!
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