Christmas will never be as colorful as the rainbow without the parol. Parol (Christmas Lanterns) here in the Philippines symbolizes the real essence of Christmas for all of us, i.e. hope and everlasting joy. All of us are hoping for something which is good and prosperous this coming Christmas. So, we look up the sky praying to the Lord to guide us and shower us abundant blessings and graces in life. It’s the same thing when we look up the parol hanging on the trees or on top of our houses. Together with our gazes toward the parols are our aspirations and expectations for something upright and worthy in life. So that’s why our parols are star-shaped which represents the character of a Filipino, i.e. full of hope, firm in faith, and highly-spirited in principles and values despite the storms, misfortunes, shortcomings, and brokenness of life.
The parol is very significant in my life. When I am down and weary, I just stare upon on our colorful parols here in the seminary, then it suddenly eases the burden of my problems. From this simple experience of mine about the uniqueness of the parol, it utters something that I should always take into consideration into my life, i.e. my faith in Christ who is to come. The coming of Christ is so near and the message of His coming is not all about fear and delusion, but joy and compassion. Just like the parol that gives joy and hope this Christmas, it’s the same with Christ who is to come. Why should I be fear in facing life’s trials and struggles if the dead-end of all these things is contentment and happiness in life? Why should I be bothered if hope is possible and promising for all seasons and out of seasons? Definitely, it takes a lot of faith. So, the parol is not just a simple decoration for Christmas, but it also disseminates a message for all of us, i.e. in Christ coming there will be no more tears to shed and no more pain to endure.