The bamboo tree is known for being resilient. It sways with the breeze and bends when a storm comes, but it doesn’t break and remains standing tall even with the strongest wind. This particular trait makes bamboo stand out.
Amid the pandemic and natural disasters, the bamboo symbolizes Filipinos’ resiliency.
Home of bamboos
Las Piñas City, NCR’s Parol Capital, is home to three generations of parol makers who use bamboo frames. Bamboos may have grown abundantly in the area long before, as it is home to the world-famous Bamboo Organ built-in 1824.
In 2006, when Sen. Cynthia Villar was still the representative of Las Piñas, she started the Parol Festival.
She helped organize the parol makers by launching the Samahang Magpaparol ng Las Piñas. She assisted them in setting up the Las Piñas Parol Center. The center served as a training area where new designs and packaging techniques were explored with the help of the Department of Trade and Industry technical personnel.
Villar also helped plant bamboos along the Las Piñas-Zapote River to bring back greenery in the riverbanks, prevent soil erosion, and provide parol makers a regular source of the material.
This year, Las Piñas Festival welcomed 14 entries to its 15th annual lantern-making competition.
Bryan Flores bagged the first prize, winning P20,000, while Glecy Dela Cruz won second prize, taking home P15,000. Fercival Santos ranked third, winning P10,000.
Graphic designer and event stylist Celestine Danielle Contreras, indigenous gown maker and hair and makeup artist Paul Catapia, and designer Karim Atudillo were this year’s judges.
The winners were judged according to ingenuity and resourcefulness, 30 percent; creativity, 25 percent; impact, 30 percent; and technical skills, 15 percent. The contestants used scrap or recycled materials and natural or indigenous materials. Bamboo, meanwhile, was utilized as the main material for the lantern frames.
The parols were evaluated last Dec. 10. They are now on display in Villar SIPAG HQ along C5 Extension in Las Piñas City.