By: Rodel J. Abalus
But perhaps the Philippine Christmas display that can best be associated with the celebration is the Christmas Star or “Parol.”
According to Wikipedia, “The design of the paról evokes the Star of Bethlehem that guided the Three Kings to the manger. The “Parol” “also symbolizes the victory of light over darkness and the Filipinos' hope and goodwill during the Christmas season.”
The word paról is derived from the Spanish word farol which means "lantern".
Patterns of the paról evolved from the five-pointed paper star lantern originally crafted by an artisan named Francisco Estanislao in 1928. His creation was made of bamboo strips covered with papél de japón (Japanese paper), illuminated by a candle or kalburo (carbide). This kind of lantern was used by barrio folks to light their paths during the ritual yuletide dawn Masses called Misa de Gallo,..Electricity was yet unavailable at the time in many rural areas”
Boracay, the country’s premier tourist destination and the World’s Best Island of 2012, according to Travel+Leisure, has “Parols” lining the Main Road in Balabag. One just have to look up.
The “Parols” are in red, green and gold. One Parol hangs on each light post along the road. The stars’ diameter is about 5 inches and the tail is about 3 inches.
Brightly lighted “Parols” also line the right hand side perimeter of the Balabag Plaza which were officially lighted in the evening of December 15.