I had a meeting in Angeles City last week and took the opportunity to go lantern-shopping. We went to the shops in Dau, Mabalacat where we previously bought lanterns. A friend asked us to get her a parol and told us her budget was 1,500 pesos. That seemed to be a low budget for a nice lantern but you can get a nice medium sized parol for less after some bargaining with the shopkeepers. We ended up purchasing more parol as I got one for my parents' home and my colleagues also bought one each for their homes. We already have several at our home including one like the one I got for my parents.
|The shopkeepers turn on the lanterns when customers arrive. It is a very colorful display that tends to capture your attention and convince you to get one for your home. We got one each as well as a parol for our friend who asked us to get her one.|
|Some people prefer the colored lanterns as they are still colorful even when not lighted (i.e., during the day). I prefer the simplicity of the white parol.|
|There are other Christmas-themed decors available at the shops including Santa Clauses, reindeer pulling a sleigh, and flowers. I prefer the parol over these more 'contemporary' decors.|
|My brother sent me this photo of the parol at our parents' home in Cainta. I got this for only 2,300 pesos and you cannot get a similar one with comparable size and workmanship for less than 5,000 pesos in Metro Manila or nearby places.|
The parol is one of the symbols of Christmas for Filipinos as it represents the star over Bethlehem when Christ was born. You know there is a Filipino abroad when there is a parol displayed at their homes. I remember seeing parol displayed outside the windows and balconies of apartments and high-rise condominiums around us when we were previously living in Singapore. My Ninang (godmother) in Japan also had a lantern hung outside their home that my Ninong (godfather, who was Japanese) says reminded them of the Philippines and family. We have one similar to the one I got for parents hanging from our balcony as well as a classic star that hangs over our lanai.
To our family to yours, a Blessed Christmas!-