It’s Christmas season once again! During this season, one visible symbol is the parol, which is the iconic symbol of a Filipino Christmas.
In Bacolod City, the capital of Negros Occidental, the parols are here, there and everywhere, to use the popular saying.
A parol, according to Wikipedia, is an ornamental, star-shaped Christmas lantern from the Philippines. It is traditionally made out of bamboo and paper and comes in various sizes and shapes, but generally the basic star pattern remains dominant.
Why is the parol popular symbol of Christmas for the Filipinos?
The reason is that the design of the parol evokes the Star of Bethlehem that guided the Three Kings to the manger.
Hence, it symbolizes the victory of light over darkness and the Filipinos’ hope and goodwill during the Christmas season.
In Bacolod City, various parols of different shapes, colors, artistry, and sizes dominate the houses, buildings, and commercial establishments, such that the city can be considered as the Parol Center of Western Visayas.
One such panoramic display of parol is in the newly opened Central City Walk of Robinsons Place in Mandalagan, Bacolod City. The parols on display entertain the crowd, the shoppers, the visitors, from ages 3 to 92 years old.
The only difference is that the parols on display, with its dazzling lights, were not produced by artists but by the prisoners of different jails in Negros Occidental. This shows the artistry of the prisoners in making the parol while in jails.
Here are samples of the prisoners’ parols at the Robinsons Place Bacolod’s Central City Walk.