Bright and colorful parols lighting the holidaysCategories Places
This is the third Christmas feature for 2008. The other three are Bibingka, puto bumbong and simbang gabi, Divisoria Christmas shopping rush and Cordova pabuto.
You will know that Christmas is fast approaching when at the start of the “-ber” months carols are already played and the season’s decors are already on sale. Along the highways in major cities in the country especially in Metro Manila, enterprising individuals are turning dark corners and unused portions into bright places as they set up their makeshift stalls selling these dazzling Pinoy symbols: the parol or Christmas lantern.
It’s just mesmerizing as the play of brilliant colors and lights formed into elaborate stars, blooms and bouquets seem to dance around each lantern. Personally, I can’t help but look back on childhood memories as I got drawn into the then simple parol in fascination.
What used to be lanterns made from gossamer and pastel colored papel de hapon has gradually transformed into those made from metallic multicolored foils. Current versions are now electric powered decors. Of course those made from the two previously mentioned materials are still around but the latter is most prevalent along the makeshift stalls.
Translucent capiz shells seems to be the favored material in these kind of lanterns but in larger forms, plastic is used due to the limited size of these shells. Sizes can vary from a foot in diameter to several feet across. Of course, prices range from a thousand to tens of thousands depending on the size and complexity of the design.
What amazes me with these lanterns is the complexity of the designs. From simple five pointed stars inside a ring to multipointed ones that are surrounded by smaller stars or circles painted in different hues. Nativity scenes are rather common and floral motifs might sometimes be found.
Other designs are whimsical plays in geometry with various shapes forms that it will be difficult to choose. Craftsmanship is also good but it pays to check the construction and tidiness of how the electric wires are put into place.
The parol is testament to the Filipino’s creativity and ingenious use of available materials to come up with these dazzling works. If your budget allows it, get these to hang outside of your house and spread the season’s spirit.
13 thoughts on “Bright and colorful parols lighting the holidays”
those are huge and beautiful lantern estan. wala ka na talaga masasabi sa ingenuity ng pinoy. merry christmas to you and happy vacation too.
I miss those parols made of kapis. They are truly pinoy. I promised myself that one chritmas, i will have one for my home. 🙂
Very nice shots.
have a blessed Christmas bai!
Happy Christmas to all! 🙂
Hi em, thanx. Indeed, these are beautiful holiday decors.
yep, and stunning too! happy holidays!
Hi Estan, I loved this article! As this year’s holiday is fast approaching, could you do another post on just local Cebu parols and the best places to purchase them? I love parols and am always on the lookout for a new one to hang. My favorites are still the old ones made of paper with the cut paper comets hanging below. Maayong Pasko!
queeniebee, I’ll try what I can find 🙂
I just want to inquire how much is your small star parol capiz made with different colors.. I need 2 dozen may i know how much each? Please email your contact no. Upon received my message. Thanks..please reply asap.
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