Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Las Piñas City Celebrates 7th Parol Festival

Wazzup Pilipinas!

We all know that lanterns or "parols" are the primary symbol of the Christmas season.  We see a lot of lanterns of different shapes, sizes and made from different materials. The more colorful and unique the lantern is, the better it is appreciated.

No doubt that when we see a "parol", it symbolizes the spirit of Christmas - joyful and merry, as seen from the splendid lights, colors and ingenious designs. It becomes more amazing when people become more creative and nature friendly by using recycled materials.

Residents of Las Pinas and 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. They have proven once again that they are the "Lantern Capital of Metro Manila."

Mrs. Cynthia Villar, former Congresswoman of Las Pinas and wife of  the honorable Senator Manny Villar, wants this unique tradition of parol-making to be continued and carried on by the younger generations, so they support the industry as much as they can.

The festival is the brainchild of the Former Congresswoman of Las Piñas. In 2007, 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. 

“We are pleased that the Parol Festival is becoming popular not only here in Metro Manila but in other parts of the country as well. I always promote the festival when I attend festivals in other provinces. This is a big boost to our three-generation parol-making industry,” says Cynthia Villar who is also the Managing Director of the Villar Foundation, which is in charge of the yearly festival.

The Villar Social Institute of Poverty Alleviation & Governance (SIPAG) along C-5 Extension in Pulang Lupa Uno will be the Parol Festival's new venue this year. Before, in the last six years, it was held at the St. Joseph Bamboo Organ Church.

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.

Entries will be judged according to the following criteria:

Ingenuity and resourcefulness, 30%; 
Creativity, 25%; 
Impact, 30% 
and Technical skills, 15%. 

The grand prize winner will get P45,000 
First runner-up will get P20,000; 
2nd runner-up gets P15,000; 
and P10,000 for the 3rd runner up.

Consolation prizes of P2,000 will be given to all participants who joined the contest. 

The Villar Foundation extended a P1,000 cash subsidy to all those who fielded entries in the contests.

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