Chapter 1 1.1 Background of the StudyThePhilippines is one of the many countries that celebrate Christmas during themonths of September through December. Those months are filled with colorfullanterns or what they called “Parol” in the Philippines. Parol is one the mosticonic symbol of the Filipino’s Christmas spirit and one of the Filipino’straditions every Christmas to celebrate Christmas. This tradition is to honorthe wise men who visited Jesus in its birth.
Parol or lantern in English meanslight which lights up the Christmas season and it is the sign of hope andpredominantly of the Christian country. The colonization of theSpaniards in the Philippines is the sole reason why Filipinos celebratesChristmas and is considered as one of the country’s most awaited season. Fromtime to time, Filipinos have been adapting the foreign culture about Christmasand from there, the Filipinos created their own touch and signature in creatingbright full and colorful lanterns and parols. People in the Philippines arelikely to celebrate the spirit of Christmas as creative and as full of colorfullights as possible. Pampanga held a yearly Giant Lantern Festival that attractsmany people especially the craftsmen from every part of the Philippines.
Many countries are attractedto it that leads them to support the Giant Lantern Festival and held acompetition yearly in the City of Pampanga. The culture and tradition ofPampanga shows potential in terms of marketing because lanterns are broadlyused inside and outside of the country. The showcasing of gigantic parols inPampanga is annually celebrated to which they refer to as the “GiantLantern Festival” or “Ligligan Parul” in Kapampangan. It isyearly performed in the month of December (Saturday before the Christmas Eve)in the City of San Fernando in Pampanga.
The said province has been dubbed asthe “Christmas Capital of the Philippines” because of their giganticand splendid lanterns. The predecessor of the modern day Ligligan Parul was areligious activity which is known today as “Lubenas”. The traditionof Pampanga gradually evolved as the designs goes more intricate and the sizeof the lanterns became bigger. Each resident from different nations has theircontribution in the construction of lanterns, the design and theme, materialsfrom different resources, and the labor. Thus, lanterns and parols became thesymbol of unity in the said city.
1.2 ObjectivesThegeneral objective of this study is to showcase the wonderful and bizarreculture and tradition of Kapampangan through the making of their symbolicparol. It also aims to have an overview to the history and make an actuallantern based on Pampanga and also to have an alternative material in makingthe lantern in innovating way. It also aims to know the culture of Pampangathen and now. This study aims to give the Filipinos a worthwhilecelebration of the true essence of Christmas through its most iconic symbol,the lanterns and parols in remembrance of the birth of Jesus Christ. This studywill also introduce how being the Christmas Capital of the Philippinesdrastically affect the lives and traditions of Kapampangan in terms ofeconomic, socio-culture, and tourism growth.
Also, the researchers will present how Kapampangan make their giantlanterns with a touch of modernized and distinctive style. And finally, thisstudy aims to exhibit the uniqueness of Pampanga as part of the Region 3(Central Luzon) from the other regions in the Philippines and to know how theKapampangan’s represent the City of San Fernando as the Christmas Capital ofthe Philippines. 1.3 Significance of the StudyTheimportance of this study is very essential to the Filipino culture especiallyin commemorating Christmas. This study presents the lantern culture ofPampanga in the Philippines, on how it grows and innovated time by time. Theimportance of this study is to inform the people how important and how amusingthis lantern can be when it comes to presenting their culture. Thisstudy will also be of help to spread what kind of culture Pampanga has and giveimportance of the country’s very own distinctive set of creative abilities. It will also show theartistry of the culture and it is such an interesting topic for theresearchers.
The study was made to deliver the importance of lanterns in thePhilippines.TheStudents. This study will give the students more information and knowledgeabout the beautiful culture of Pampanga. The steps and procedures presented inthis study may also help them make their very own parol with a touch ofPampanga.TheTeachers. This study will provide the teachers a more productive project togive to their students in which they can use the finished product with a goodcause.
TheResearchers. This study will help the researchers to extremely understand thetradition and culture Pampanga has. In doing this research, the researcherswill then be enlightened about the importance of Christmas and also about thelives and livelihoods of the Kapampangan.
TheFuture Researchers. This study will serve them as a guide to have an overviewor background and will serve as their reference in conducting researches aboutthe historicity of Pampanga and its Lantern Festival. 1.4 MethodologyThe researchers use aqualitative research that focuses on gathering relevant information. The dataand information were selected using source from the library, internet,observation and interview. The researchers started to read articles and relatedliteratures, to gather information’s about the parol and its historicity.
Chapter 2 2.1 Historical BackgroundA. History of ParolThe word parol comesfrom Spanish word for lantern. Parol was originated from Mexican Piñata.
ThePiñata came to Spain from Italy; they spread to Mexico and came to thePhilippines when the Spaniards brought Christianity to the country. It wasintended as one’s offering to glorify the Lord. It was an important part of thedevotion to faithfully to attend the 9-day Misa de Aguinaldo or Gift Masseswhich begin with 16th day of December and ends with the Misa de Gallo or Massof the Rooster. Parol was made by the bamboo strips covered with the Japanesepaper, crepe paper as a design and a candle or coconut oil-lamp forillumination. Parol symbolizes the star that led the wise men to baby Jesus andalso it symbolizes the victory of light over darkness and the Filipino’s hopeand goodwill during the Christmas season.
B. History of PampangaPampangacame from the word “pampang” which means living alongside the river.It was discovered in 1571 by a Spanish conquistador Martin de Goiti which thenresulted in making it as the first-ever Spanish province in the Philippines. Themale Pampangeños were known for their chivalry and leadership while the femalePampangeños were looked up to because of their unexceptional skill in cooking.Beforethe Spaniards colonized Pampanga, it already had established a society made upof 3 classes: The Chief (Datu), Freeborn (Timawa), and Slaves (Alipin). TheChiefs were known as the most powerful of them all because he was the one whorules the whole barangay, but he can also get terminated from the seat becauseof incomptitiveness or even such different rational reasons. Freeborns are theone who assists the chiefs in every planting or harvesting seasons. They havetheir own freedom to choose whom they are going to marry but not lending theirborrowed money will cost them and will eventually be the reason why they becomeslaves.
Slavery is the lowest class, people under this were the one who servestheir superiors.Pampangais one of the most elite provinces in the Philippines most especially in thefield of agriculture. Rice is the primary product of Pampanga and is also knownas “The Culinary Center of the Philippines. Diosdado MacapagalInternational Airport was also established here and can be found in ClarkFreeport Zone in Angeles City and Mabacalat. C.
Historicity of Parol in PampangaThe Parol is theChristmas symbol of the Filipinos. The name “Parol” comes from the Spanish word”Farol” which means “Light”. The Parol is the symbolism of light, theinspiration of making this parol is the star that led the wise men to the placewhere Jesus was born. The ParulSampernandu which is the Christmas lantern term in Kapampangan was named or wasfollowed to the name of the Capital of Pampanga which is the City of SanFernando, in which this town was and still known for making such colorful lanterns.Making lanterns made the city famous all over the country and around the globe.With this San Fernando City has a title of “Christmas Capital of thePhilippines,”Thesimple lantern made of paper glued over bamboo frame with rice paste hasevolved into spectacular shapes and kaleidoscopic splendor.
In replacement ofbamboo, lantern makers weld a steel frame corresponding to the design itself.It was in the year1931 when the first Giant Lantern festival started in the City of San Fernando.The designs of the Giant Lantern become more intricate, bright-colored, andhave more dancing lights. As years pass by, the designs are constant inchanging and become more technologically related. In replacement to thetraditional materials in making lantern like bamboo, the lantern makers usesteel to make the frame for it to become more sturdy. The frame is lined withcardboard and foil followed by another enormous task, placing the over 5,000light bulbs in their places and wiring them up together using hundreds of yardsof electrical wires. Large steel barrels called “rotors” also replaced thehand-controlled switches to maneuver the lights.
Strips of masking tape onthese rotors establish the sequence of the switching on and off of the lights.Hairpins, attached to the end of the wires leading to each bulb, connect thelights to the rotor, which in turn, is connected to the source of electricity.In today’s lantern,the simple lantern made from the traditional materials and designs evolved intoa new and different shapes but its message about goodwill and hope remains. Withsuch world-class design of lanterns, the City of San Fernando in Pampanga wouldnot be dubbed as the Christmas Capital of the Philippines for nothing. Indeed,the exquisite intricacy and meticulous details of how these parols are made istruly a craft of passion. 2.
4 Implications A. EconomyGiantlanterns in Pampanga has a great contribution in the aspect of economy. SanFernando Pampanga, being the “Christmas capital of the Philippines”, serves asmotivation for the Kapampangan to make more splendid and giant lanterns. Itsmanufacturing and income depend upon its demand. On the other hand, its demanddepends upon the occasion. The demand is in its highest point when ‘ber’ monthsstarts and Christmas season begins but declines when Christmas period end.Philippines is considered as the only country that celebrates Christmas seasonfor few months. The demand will mainly affect the job’s opportunity related inlantern making.
Becauseof the popularity of the giant lantern, many tourists come and purchase it. Asa matter of fact, Philippines is one of the most main retailer of lanternaround the world. Pampanga really helps our country especially in Christmasseason. B. Socio CulturalEverycountry has their unique culture, beliefs and tradition from their ancestor. Philippinesis proven having a rich culture and economy. One of its example is thePampanga, it is well known for best Kapampangan giant and splendid lanterns.San Fernando, Pampanga considered as one of the main producer of lantern in thePhilippines.
Aside from the fact that it really helps our economy, it alsonourishes the bond of people in Pampanga especially when it comes to theirtraditions and culture. To create or produce a giant lantern, it requires manypeople to accomplish it. Kapampangan communicate to each other to form anassociation who mainly creates giant parol. They’re having an interchange ofideas or thoughts on how to produce a plausible lantern. By that, it strengthens their bond that leadsto their unity.
A unites city also means having the same thoughts and beliefswhich leads in giving importance and nurture their culture. Aside from that,more splendid outputs will be produced. The researchersadvocate about the colorful Ligligan Parul or also known as the “Giant LanternFestival”. It is a famous annual feast in San Fernando City and was held priorto Christmas Eve. The festival revolves about giant lanterns computation.
Thelanterns are made in capiz shells and other raw materials, by creativity andskills in craftsmanship, the makers would create a giant parol boosting withcolors that would light up the feast.The researchers alsopromote the Pampanga’s culture in creating Lanterns by understanding thesignificance to stay true to nature and use natural materials and create themindividually by hand, like the Fernandinos have done for many years. C.
TourismThe Pampanga is known in thePhilippines when it comes to parol every December or every Christmas Season notonly here in this country but in the world, because it is good to see and isfull of lights. Other tourist goes to Pampanga to buy parol, even if they livedfar in the province, they still go. One of the reason why Pampanga is known inparol because they use bamboo frames and other resourceful materials likecolored plastic and handmade papers. Pampanga named the “Christmas Capitalof the Philippines” because of its largeness and luminous lights. It’s afun place to celebrate the festival named “Ligligan Parul”. PampangaParol lanterns every year are getting more and more profligate and dynamicwhich makes tourists come back for more. The thin line betweenculture and tourism in the created lantern is economically advantageous forboth destinations and the communities that reside in them.
It is designed tothe development of cultural tourism that benefits destinations, communities andvisitors. Chapter 33.1 SummaryParol is one thingFilipinos always enjoy with the celebration of Christmas. The parol’s design isbased on the concept of Mexican piñata and it is inspired by the light that ledthe wise men to the place where the baby Jesus Christ was born. The most commonmaterials used in crafting a parol are capiz shells and Japanese paper. Thecreative approach of the Kapampangans in making such creative lanterns andparols with the use of seashells, floral pattern, religious symbolisms, and anydecorative materials only shows how important Christmas is for them. Inrecognizing such wonderfully executed decorations, Kapampangans are also givingimportance towards their locale, their culture and tradition, their resourcesaround them, and the passion and effort they put to make giant parols is whatmakes them stand out among the rest. 3.
2 ConclusionOur country is fullof tradition and culture expressed especially in Christmas season. Bibingka,putobumbong, simbang gabi, children’s carol in the street and of course theParol. Parol is just one thing that shows how Filipinos value Christmas Day.Representing light in darkness and hope, the parol shows how the Filipinos seethe birth of Christ Jesus as the day of hope for all mankind as the savior wasborn unto us all.Creating your ownParol is not that easy but making one is a great experience. Filipinos aroundthe country who make lanterns for living just shows that they are giving theirbest efforts to make one and at the same time they are also expressing theirartistry and creativity in making them. Overall, the researchersconcluded that the culture of Kapampangans, when applied in their lanterns, cancontribute a great help in their economy, in enhancing their practices, and inattracting tourists not just in the Philippines but also in other countries.
3.3 RecommendationTheresearchers recommend this study which keeps and nurture the culture of makinga Pampanga’s lantern. Pampanga is also known as ‘Parol Capital of thePhilippines ‘because nothing compares to the bright and joyful Christmas ofthis place. The giant lantern festival or Ligligan Parol in Kapampangan setstheir lantern apart from the rest is the high degree craftsmanship involved inmaking huge colorful display. The lanterns also show that Kapampangan aregiving importance to the history of lanterns as a religious symbol as the firstParol is influenced by Spanish friars.
Studying aboutChristmas Lanterns from foreign countries is recommended for this research islimited in the study of the history of Parol in Pampanga, Philippines.Exploring different cultures in countries aside the Philippines would benefitthe knowledge of the researchers as well as their ideas regarding crafting aChristmas Lantern.For the futureresearchers, the proponents of this study recommend them to use other materialsin doing Christmas Lanterns, specifically recycled materials. Using recycledmaterials in doing Christmas Lanterns not only helps our environment inreducing waste but also challenges the craftsman to exert effort and creativitywith simple and limited materials.