After 10 years, father and son lantern makers perfect design for sturdier fabric parols

Images: Gerald Gloton
Images: Gerald Gloton

The -ber months already here, which means Filipinos are already counting down the days until Christmas and holiday decorations will soon be going up. That, of course, includes the ubiquitous parol, the bright and colorful Filipino Christmas lanterns that light up many homes and streets around the festive season.

The city of San Fernando in Pampanga is popularly known as the Christmas lantern capital of the Philippines. But not all of the city’s parol makers are satisfied with the traditional methods. A new generation of lantern crafters have designed a new kind of parol that is set to make the holidays even brighter: one made of fabric.

Pampanga-based photographer Gerald Gloton recently posted photos of these fabric parols created by Mark and Arnel Flores, a father-and-son team of lantern makers.

While the parol is traditionally constructed with Japanese paper and bamboo, modern-day lanterns have since been made using capiz shells, metal, or polyvinyl plastic.

But capiz and plastic parol are still known to break easily.  These new fabric lanterns are built to better withstand the elements and they’re embellished with sequins on their exteriors, so they can continue to shimmer in the daytime, even while unlit.

“Fabric parols have higher value because it has more materials, technology, and requires more labor,” Gloton told Coconuts.

Gloton, who also works for the provincial information office, added it took the father and son 10 years to perfect the fabric lantern design and they are finally launching them as a  product later this year.

The fabric parol will reportedly cost between PHP2,000 to PHP2,500 (US$34.19 to US$42.74).

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