The parol is a unique Christmas symbol from the Philippines. It is a representation of the Star of Bethlehem that shone in the season of Jesus’ birth and paved the way for the sages from the East to find Jesus!
Traditionally, it is made out of bamboo and Japanese paper. Currently, there are lots of materials to choose from to enjoy the Parol, from Capiz shells to plastics to fiberglass, the list goes on and on, and the only limit is one’s creativity! How is the traditional Parol made?
How is the traditional Parol made?
First, the skillful parol maker chooses the right bamboo. Not too dry and old because it may break as there is a need for the bamboo to be shaped into a star. Then, with a knife, he cleans the bamboo so it would be free of splinters. He then makes ten of these bamboo sticks. After cleaning the bamboo sticks he then ties 5 of these sticks to form a star then ties the other 5 sticks to form another star. He then ties the two-star-formed bamboo sticks while inserting another bamboo stick in the five points where the sticks cross to support the cross structure.
Then Japanese paper is carefully cut and made to cover all of the star structure except for a portion where a candle or a bulb would be placed so that it could be lit at night!
What a wonderful representation of a true servant leader!
The materials from which the traditional parol is made is so fragile! Japanese paper and bamboo could burn anytime! Japanese paper could be torn with the slightest pressure! Yet as frail as the materials are, when the materials are made into a parol, the materials now represent history’s greatest event! When the God of glory, who made heaven and earth came down and took human form to show His love for all of us! A time when all stood still to watch the fulfillment of what the prophets have trumpeted about!
Leaders know their limitations, their weaknesses, and their frailty. They know how vulnerable they truly are and that keeps true leaders humble. True leaders know and have experienced the grace of God. Knowing and experiencing the grace of God, they know that even as frail as human beings are anyone could represent the God of Glory whose grace made Christmas possible!
Enjoy your early Christmas Philippines!