Hawke’s Bay Filipino community showcases Christmas lantern tradition far from home

Hawke’s Bay Filipino community showcases Christmas lantern tradition far from home


All eight contestants stood in front of their parols, with Lara Venture, president of the Philippine Community of Hawke’s Bay. Photo / Supplied

The Hawke’s Bay Filipino community has gifted Hastings a taste of what Christmas in the Philippines looks like.

Most Filipino families display handmade parols or lanterns outside their homes during the Christmas season.

Parols are a symbol of faith, hope and love, while also symbolising triumph of light over darkness and goodwill.

As a way to celebrate Christmas while 4982 miles (8000km) away from home, the Philippine Community of Hawke’s Bay organised a parol contest for members and non-members to participate in.

The competition had eight entries, all of which represented various descriptions and interpretations of the birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem.

Traditionally, parols are made by families and are brightly coloured with a lively appearance.

All the entries used recyclable materials, integrating the importance of environment conservation, world faith to God and peace.

Recyclable materials used included tin cans, old pipes, wood debris, old newspapers, bubble wraps, succulents, plastic containers, container caps, animal feeds, and plastics.

The winning parol, created by Royden Bell, made out of driftwood and recycled materials. Photo / Supplied
The winning parol, created by Royden Bell, made out of driftwood and recycled materials. Photo / Supplied

The winners were announced during the community’s Christmas concert at the Village Baptist Centre in Havelock North on December 18.

First-prize winner was Royden Bell, who created a typical parol made of driftwood from local beaches, as well as stones and papers.

In the light, Bell’s parol reflects the image of the birth of Jesus Christ with Mary and Joseph.

Second prize went to Lisa Amor Gines, whose parol was made with a variety of recyclable materials such as tin can lids, hay, plastic cups, old pipe tube, container of hair colour samples, and placemats.



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