You can hear the voices of children singing their tunes of excitement and joy of the Christmas carols as they go from house to house; You can see different kinds of Filipino delicacies in every corner of the street as they are enticing you to eat them, but most importantly you can feel that Christmas is coming with all the parols that come in different shapes and sizes, lit in every house, street, and church.
Parol which comes from the Spanish word farol, meaning lantern, is a great symbol of Christmas spirit. In the earliest times, they were used to light the way going to churches, as families and friends attended the 9-day Simbang Gabi or Misas de Aguinaldo. From a simple parol made with bamboo and crepe paper, the Filipinos nowadays have become more creative in their ways of designing and making their own parols. Children in schools have a practice of crafting their parols and hang it in every corner of the room. Sometimes the school gives appraisal to the most creative craft made by the students, which double the excitement of the children during Christmas season. Usually, lighting the parols start during the month of September until the end of December; the so-called “Ber” months. During the beginning of the month, colorful lights illuminate the whole place together with Christmas songs, and smiles of children receiving their small collections from their caroling. Some parols which do not have light inside them are put inside the house, while those with lights are displayed outside, to remind everyone the symbol of a star that lead the three wise men to our newly born, Jesus Christ.
Seeing the parol light everywhere, whatever feeling you have in the moment, once you see the colorful lights that surround you, gives you hope and joy that Jesus brought when he was born. It reminds you of a new beginning, a peace that you can never get but with the acceptance of our Lord, Jesus Christ; and within us, a symbol of love, hope, joy and peace that unites every Filipino, wherever they may be, within their hearts.