Parol (Star Lantern)

In Fun
Relationship: Im/migrant
Star shaped lantern
Star shaped lantern

 A radiant tapestry full of lights, handcrafted to represent the celebration that brings families together in this festive season, Christmas. Parols, or star lanterns, have been a symbol of unity and joy, displayed in front of people's houses gracing a warm and captivating brilliance. Making parols during December has been an ongoing tradition for our town. As we tie two bamboo sticks together, it reminds us how connected we are, especially during times of tragedy. Typhoons occur almost every month destroying homes constructed by the industrious hands of Filipinos. As the community repairs the houses over time, our social bonds with one another have similarly grown stronger. Making parols every Christmas season transformed the gloomy atmosphere of our town into a spirited and jubilant one. But even with the deep bond my family has with our village, my parents decided to move to the United States for the sake of achieving a better future. Life was challenging as we just started, trying to follow the new norms. But as time passed, building a community became easier. There were many Filipinos in Las Vegas who had similar experiences as us leading to their migration. As the winter season began, my father would purchase parol materials and we, as a family, would build Parols. As I reminisce on these simple moments, I realize the impact my culture has, allowing me to fully commit to preserving these traditions, even if it is as simple as making star lanterns during Christmas.

Place(s): Leyte, Philippines and Las Vega, Nevada

– hanna bonife

Relationship:  Im/migrant Im/migrant