The city of Las Pinas 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 Metro 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. Parol Festival 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.
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.
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 husks, 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.