The Parol’s of San Fernando

Celebrating Christmas here in the Philippines starts as early as October. One of the  Filipino way of showing its Christmasy feels is by hanging up a Parol. Well what is a Parol? A Parol is an ornamental, star-shaped Christmas lantern from the Philippines. It is traditionally made out of bamboo for its frames and covered in paper or other indigenous materials. With some creativity the designs change and most of the more creative looking parol now include lights but still maintain a star shaped pattern.

I guess one of the best places to get one will be at San Fernando, Pampanga here in the Philippines. The Parol designs here come in different shapes, sizes and patterns and are very colorful. They actually hold the Giant Lantern Festival which showcases the best Lantern designs for all to see. This years Festival starts at December 14, 2019 to January 2, 2020. As much as I would like to attend, December and January are the most Hectic months for my job.

I frequent San Fernando, Pampanga to visit a very important person in my life,  at times  she’s busy and I try to be productive to kill time while I wait for her. One of the best ways for me to do so is by trying to explore the city and taking photos as I walk around. For someone my size I kinda walk a lot, but for someone who’s not acclimatized with the low land weather it sure feels like you’re in a sauna bath. It takes a week for me to be used to the weather depending on how hot it is.

Taking photographs can push me to do stuff that I won’t normally do. At the back of my head I complain a lot but there’s nothing gained if there’s nothing ventured. At the time I scheduled my walk it was drizzling due to the storm pestering the country. Luckily it’s not as bad, it just makes the air humid and sticky.

Walking around San Fernando feels  safe. Its not as bad as the other places I have been to, you just have to look around a lot to make sure nobody is going to gang up on you as with any other place. What I had in mind last time was to walk towards the foot bridge near the intersection to capture a photo of the lanterns  at the highway but unfortunately the lanterns  were not lighted early due to the rain that afternoon.

I ended up capturing the lantern stalls.


The colorful Parols are alluring to watch like fireflies to the candle light.


They have varying sizes from small to very large ones, that can be displayed from indoor to outdoor.


Each having a unique charm.


Others were enthralled by the designs.


Some of the Parols lights matches the beats of  Christmas Carols.

Others just there Twinkling or just simply on still lights.


People were stopping by to purchase Parols as a decor for their home the upcoming Christmas season.

_BEN9410Depending on the design the prices may vary starting from around 500 and up. All are handmade and each has its only personal touch. _BEN9418

I enjoyed shooting the Lanterns that were on display. They are a sight to behold.


And at the end of it the Lanterns in the highway lit up and was able to get one of the shots i’d like to capture.

Shiny things always attracts us mortals. Whenever we see something that twinkles, shines, glows and is colorful,  our eyes gets glued to it. Its like when we see the stars that is bright, shiny and glimmering, we stop and marvel at its beauty even if its shrouded in darkness, its light reaches far and wide. A Parol also symbolizes the victory of light over darkness and the Filipinos’ hope and goodwill during the Christmas season.

We all have our own dark times but you can be a light like a Parol to someone who needs it. Be the color that gives joy and happiness. Be the light that shines and gives light to dark. Be a symbol of positivity that lightens up the everyone’s mood.

An early greeting to everyone this season ^_^

Merry Christmas!!!

-Benderdonedat ^_^

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