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Paskong Pilipino and Parol Making

Posted by lecrowder in Back To Our Roots, Events, Home on 11 30th, 2010

Here is an a wonderful parol making kit from, They provide all of the materials, instructions to start you off along with various sizes to choose from. It makes a wonderful gift for the kids and a great family activity for all.

Otherwise, if you are feeling a little adventurous, you can most definitely buy the materials on your own. Collect the required materials and follow these instructions from Youtube to make your own Parol.

“The History of Parol Christmas Lanterns

Cultural Origins

In the Filipino language, a Christmas lantern is called a parol. There’s no greater symbol of the Filipino Christmas spirit than the parol. All through the Christmas season, star-shaped lanterns can be found hanging outside homes and along the streets of cities and small provincial towns, farms and fishing villages. For Filipinos, making a parol, decorating one and lighting a parol is an expression of shared faith and hope.

The earliest parols were traditionally made from simple materials like bamboo sticks, Japanese rice paper, crepe paper, and a candle or coconut oil-lamp for illumination; although the present day parol can take many different shapes and forms. Around Manila, parols made of Capiz shell or plastic illuminate the city. One of the most spectacular innovations can be found in the city of San Fernando where 20 foot tall parols with kaleidoscopic blinking lights are paraded through the streets on truck beds. Whatever the material or shape, the parol is a recognizable symbol to all Filipinos and represents the star of Bethlehem that guided the Three Wise Men to the manger of the newly-born Jesus Christ.

The word parol (pronounced “pah-roll” with a rolling “r”) comes from the Spanish word for lantern, farol. According to World Book’s Christmas in the Philippines, the roots of the parol can be found in the Mexican piñata. The piñata came to Spain from Italy in the 1300’s, spread to Mexico and finally came to the Philippines when the Spaniards brought Christianity to the islands. The book A Child’s Pasko: Christmas in the Philippines explains that the parol was originally used to light the way to church to attend the daily Misas de Aguinaldo, or Gift Masses, which begin on the 16th of December, and ends with the Misa de Gallo, or “Mass of the Rooster” at midnight of Christmas eve. The midnight mass is followed by a usually lavish meal at home, which is always anticipated by the kids. The first Misa de Aguinaldo that is held at dawn on December 16th marks the official start of the Christmas season.

To see the peak of the Festival of Lights in the Philippines, one must travel at night from December 16th up to January 6th. There you will see all kinds of parols.

The parol is a main component in the Filipino celebration of Christmas, which has become a Festival of Lights. The festivities cover the months ending with “BER” which are September, October, November and of course December. Christmas music can be heard sporadically in the beginning of September, and one could feel an increasing sense of the coming of Christmas as more and more Christmas songs are played on the radio, and as more homes, businesses, streets and parks become brightly lit with wonderful colors. The malls and department stores are the first ones to decorate, and showcase their mangers and beautiful parols.

A Christian Tradition

The parol was originally intended as one’s offering to glorify the Lord. It was an important part of the devotion to faithfully attend the 9-day Misas de Aguinaldo, to petition for special favors. After coming home from church, instead of stowing the lantern elsewhere in the house, they would proudly hang it outside the window. At night, they would illuminate their parols with candles or coconut-oil lamps to display their art. The villagers would walk around to appreciate the work of others and see who had the nicest design. When new stylistic variations appeared, such as different kinds of tassels, streamers, or crowns around it, others would innovate their own creation, and make plans to display his “better” parol the following year. This friendly competition was encouraged by the church, and the Spanish priests offered incentives for the people to invest time and money to make their parol “the best” as a devotional offering to Jesus. That is why during the Christmas season, some made it a practice to visit various churches that yearly display these new designs and better craftsmanship.

The Spanish priests of old might have walked around the villages at night to appreciate the candlelit parols by the windows of his parishioners, and appreciated the beautiful symbol of the star that led the three wise men to Baby Jesus. Certainly there must have been friendly reminders to promptly blow the candles out before they go to bed.

During the Spanish times, the pale colors of papel de Japon were predominant in the designs.

Matthew 2:9-10
After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.

Mateo 2:9-10
Pagkarinig nila sa hari ay tumuloy na sila sa kanilang lakad. Narito, ang bituin na kanilang nakita sa silanganan ay nanguna sa kanila. Nanguna ito sa kanila hanggang sa sumapit at tumigil sa tapat ng kinaroroonan ng maliit na bata. Nang makita nila ang bituin, lubos silang nagalak.”


FWN: Election results of Fil-Am Candidates

Posted by lecrowder in Home, News on 11 4th, 2010
FWN ePahayagan

Hello Kababayan and Fil-Am Friends!

Woo Hoo! An unprecedented 25 Filipino American candidates ran for various political positions in the Nov. 2nd mid-term elections.  We were told that there may be more FilAm candidates especially in Hawaii.  They are not included in the FWN election results as we have yet to identify their Filipino heritage. The list below could actually increase!

*If you do know of other Filipino Americans who may have run for political office this election cycle, please let us know by replying to this email.

Interesting data –

  • 12 Filipina Women won out of 17 candidates.  8 re-elections; 4 were first time candidates.
  • 6 of our Pinoy brothers won from a pool of 8 candidates.  4 re-elections; 2 first time candidates.

Filipina women elected (12 from 17 candidates):
8 re-elections; 4 first time candidates

  • 1 state senator
  • 4 state representatives
  • 1 state chief justice
  • 3 city councilmembers
  • 2 school board trustees
  • 1 park and rec board member

Filipino men elected (6 from 8 candidates):
4 re-elections; 2 first time candidates

  • 3 city mayors
  • 2 city councilmembers
  • 1 district board commissioner

The following results were collected from the official election sites as of Nov. 3, 2010.


Justice Tani Gorre Cantil Sakauye (R) elected California Chief Justice

  • FWN 100 ’07
  • YES votes = 3,573,448 votes, 66.8%
  • NO votes = 1,777,534, 33.2%
  • first time candidate

Hydra Mendoza re-elected to San Francisco School Board

  • FWN 100 ’09
  • 62,438 votes, 21.32%
  • top vote-getter among 11 candidates – 3 open seats

Joanne F. del Rosario re-elected to Colma City Council

  • FWN 100 ’09
  • 158 votes, 48.5%
  • 2nd among 2 incumbent candidates – 2 open seats

Linda Canlas elected to Union City School Board (New Haven)

  • 6,195 votes, 33.89%
  • 1st among 4 candidates – 2 open seats
  • first time win to this position

Mae Cendana Torlakson re-elected to Ambrose Recreation and Park Board (Bay Point)

  • 1,275 votes or 23.95%
  • 1st among 6 candidates – 3 open seats

Myrna Lardizabal De Vera for Hercules City Council

  • FWN 100 ’09
  • 2,111 votes or 30.06%
  • 2nd among 4 candidates – 2 open seats
  • first time candidate

Pat Gacoscos elected to Union City City Council

  • 5,135 votes, 20.39%
  • 1st among 9 candidates – 3 open seats
  • first time to win this position


  • Evelyn Centeno for Contra Costa Community College Board, Ward 3
  • Ces Rosales for Berkeley City Council
  • Dorie Paniza for Daly City Council
  • Vilma B. Guinto Peoro for San Francisco Supervisor, District 2


Della Au Belatti (D) re-elected State House Representative, District 25

  • 4,302 votes, 59.4%

Donna Mercado Kim (D) re-elected State Senator, District 14

  • 8,480 votes, 76.5%

Kymberly Marcos Pine (R) re-elected State House Representative, District 43

Rida Cabanilla Arakawa (D) re-elected State House Representative, District 42

  • FWN 100 ’07
  • 2,790 votes, 54.3%

Lynn Finnegan (R) lost her bid for Lieutenant Governor (with Hawaii Lt. Governor James R. “Duke” Aiona running for Governor).

  • Currently the House Republican Leader for the State of Hawaii
  • 157,098 votes, 40.8% (votes for Governor / Lt Gov slate)
  • FWN 100 ’09


Kriselda “Kris” Valderrama (D) re-elected State House of Delegates, District 26

  • FWN 100 ’07
  • 22,962 votes, 30.47%
  • 2nd among 4 candidates)  – 3 open seats


Christopher Cabaldon re-elected for Mayor of West Sacramento (Mayor since 1998).

  • 6,592 votes, 63.9%

Jose Esteves re-elected Mayor of City of Milpitas.  Has served 3 terms as mayor; re-election is now on his 4th term.

  • 4,069 votes, 41.89%
  • 1st among 4 candidates; wide lead over his opponents

Michael “Mike” P. Guingona re-elected to Daly City Council.  Re-election is his third term.

  • 8,151 votes, 27.1%
  • 1st among 5 candidates – 3 open seats

Pete Sanchez re-elected Mayor of Suisun City. Mayor since 2006.

  • 3,312 votes 64.64%
  • 1st among 3 candidates

Rob Bonta elected to Alameda City Council

  • 6,591 votes, 20.23%
  • 1st among 8 candidates – 2 open seats
  • first to win this position

Robert Bernardo for Harbor District Board of Commissioners, San Mateo County

  • 60,225 votes, 33.3%
  • 1st among 4 candidates – 2 open seats
  • first time candidate


  • Adnan Shahab (R) for State Assembly, District 20
  • Tony Daysog for Mayor of the City of Alameda (former city council member)

About Filipina Women’s Network
Filipina Women’s Network is a nonpartisan, nonprofit association for women of Philippine ancestry living in the U.S.  FWN’s mission to advance Filipina women in the U.S. workplace has three goals:

  • enhance public perceptions of Filipina women’s capacity to lead,
  • change biases against Filipina women’s leadership abilities and
  • build the Filipina community’s pipeline of qualified leaders, to increase the odds that some will rise to the President position in all sectors.

Filipina Women’s Network THANKS the Filipina Summit Sponsors:
7th Filipina Leadership Summit