Delivering a year-end briefing for the policy, business and Filipino-American communities in Washington, D.C.

A parol story from DC
THIS WEEK ON PEOPLEASIA - Babe Romualdez (The Philippine Star) - December 23, 2017 - 4:00pm

Christmas is one of the most celebrated holidays all over the world. In the Philippines, the Christmas season can start as early as September when radio stations already begin playing Christmas carols.

One of the most visible signs of the festive season is the star-shaped Christmas lantern locally known as the parol, one of the most iconic symbols of the Filipino spirit of Christmas.

While there is an estimated four million Filipinos in the United States, and despite the shared history and close affinity between the US and the Philippines, the parol has not yet gained as much prominence in the consciousness of Americans as the German nutcracker or the wreaths popularized by the Greeks and Romans.

 

 

 

This is why the Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C. embarked on a project to showcase the artistry, beauty and decorative potential of the parol by displaying these colorful lanterns at the seat of the Philippine representation in the US. At the same time, it is our hope to culturally mainstream the Philippine parol in the celebration of Christmas among Americans.

Helping us in this project are Mayor Edwin Santiago of San Fernando, Pampanga (the “parol capital” of the Philippines) who, together with Ching Pangilinan and Bernadette Tapnio of the City Tourism Office, facilitated the donation of 24 capiz parols in coordination with the DFA Cultural Diplomacy Unit headed by CDU director Louella Duarte and Michelle Reyes. Assisting in the shipment are our friends from FedEx Express — managing director Ralph Carter, FedEx Express Hong Kong’s Geoff Siebengartner and FedEx Express Philippines’ John Peterson.

During the year-end briefing we conducted for the Washington, D.C. policy, business and Fil-Am communities, two of these capiz parols were prominently displayed on stage — eliciting a lot of attention and interest from guests who wanted to know where these Christmas lanterns could be bought.

For Filipinos all over the world, the parol evokes warm feelings that remind them of home and their loved ones. Our embassy staff here in Washington, D.C. with Deputy Chief of Mission Patrick Chuasoto, Minister for Economic Affairs JV Chan-Gonzaga, Vice Consul Darell Artates and the rest of the team are proud and happy to see these parols adorning the façade of the Chancery Annex and the main Chancery building.

Maligayang Pasko mula sa Washington, D.C.!

BABE ROMUALDEZ PAROL STORY
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