Create This: Miniature Parols, A Starry Tribute to Philippines' History and Resilience

December 2023

article & photos by lovely hitchcock

The Parol originated during the Spanish colonization of the Philippines from 1565 to 1898. They were used as torches to light the way for churchgoers who attended the nine-day Christmas procession, ending with the first Sunday mass called Misa de Gallo. Parols were not always shaped like stars; they were simple rectangles or oblongs at first. But over time, as parols became part of the culture and traditions of the Philippines, they took the form of the star of Bethlehem that led the three wise men to the manger. Parols reflect the history of the Philippines, as well as their hope and resilience, just like the three kings who followed the star to something greater than themselves. Parols may have different meanings for different people, but as Ernesto David Quiwa, a local parol-making expert, once said, “The meaning of lanterns is to give love.” 

You will need seven small trees, hot glue and a glue gun, and decorations to make a miniature parol.  

Follow these simple steps: 

1. Cut the base and stand of each tree as close to the bottom as possible. 

2. Glue the five trees together into a star shape. 

3. Decorate the center of the parol with ornaments. 

4. Attach two trees by the wire loops to the bottom of the star as a tail. 

You have just made your own miniature parol! Enjoy! 

Originally printed in the December 2023 issue of Simply Local Magazine

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