Parol has been a symbol of Christmas season. A paról is an ornamental, star-shaped Christmas lantern. It is traditionally made out of bamboo and paper and comes in various sizes and shapes, but generally the basic star pattern remains dominant.
The design of the paról evokes the star of Bethlehem that guided the Three Kings to the manger. Whether, a parol that hangs on our houses are simple or grand, it signifies our hope and good will during the Christmas season.
The city of Las Pinas understand this tradition and once again proved that it is ‘the lantern capital of Metro Manila’ as residents of its barangays showed their ingenuity in creating the best Christmas parols (lanterns) using recycled and indigenous materials at the 7th Parol Festival’s lantern-making competition.
Parol Festival has become a popular event in Metero Manila and in other parts of the country as well. Ms. Cynthia Villar, Managing Director of the Villar Foundation has helped boost this three-generation parol making industry in the city of Las Pinas for its yearly festival.
|1st Prize ( P 20,000.00) -Rogelio Apuli Jr|
|2nd Place ( P15,000.00) - John Robert Flores|
|3rd Place ( P10,000.00)- Luzviminda Flores|
Since 2007, when Ms. Cynthia Villar was still a Congresswoman; she encouraged the city’s magpaparols (lantern-makers) to organize themselves into the ‘Samahang Magpaparol ng Las Piñas’. And to support them, the then Congresswoman Villar set up the Las Piñas Parol Center, which serves as a training area for the lantern-makers, Furthermore, the festival is also the brainchild of the Former Congresswoman of Las Piñas.
Wanting to continue this unique tradition of parol making is the reason why Mrs. Cynthia Villar continue to support the industry
This year, I was part of thousand of spectator who witness the Parol Festival which was held at its new venue - the Villar Social Institute of Poverty Alleviation & Governance (SIPAG) along C-5 Extension in Pulang Lupa Uno. St. Joseph Bamboo Organ Church was its former venue for the last six years.
Meanwhile, the younger Villar—Las Piñas Representative Mark Villar—is pleased with the entries in this year’s parol-making competition. “The residents of our barangays are really looking forward to the contest and eagerly participate every year. The entries are becoming more and more artistic and creative, reflecting Las Piñeros’ skills and craftsmanship in making traditional lanterns,” he cited.
The lantern-making competition also highlights environmental protection as participants can only use recycled materials such as shampoo sachets/bottles, cans, bottles, tetra packs, newspapers etc. and natural or indigenous materials such as coconut huks, dried leaves, feathers, shells etc. The frame of the lantern should be made of bamboo.Recycled and indigenous materials used to reflect Christmas spirit
Entries were judged according to ingenuity and resourcefulness, 30%; creativity, 25%; impact, 30% and technical skills, 15%.Consolation prizes of P2,000 will be given to all participants. The Villar Foundation extended a P1,000 cash subsidy to all those who fielded entries in the contests.