Christmas lasts for over a month in the Philippines. And every morning as the cock crows, families line the streets. Each carries their "parol" to light their way to mass. "Lola" (Grandma) helped the boys design & make their own. Mahal made up these great sparkly poles to whisk them along. Lake's looks like a woodland fairy wand up there, doesn't it?
In a very urban moment we joined our own parol parade through downtown San Francisco, 3 blocks of local Flips celebrating amongst bar-hopping Santas, giant window displays & more than a few strip bars. It was awesome. (No, I'm not pregnant, Mekhi's hiding under my sweater. See my mom wearing her pomeranian?)
We walked behind "United Playaz," a group of folks who work together to keep their youth off the street. This beautiful girl was very proud to show off her "U.P." sweatshirt, which declares the Golden Rule of Solidarity...
It always moves me to see communities clear about their needs & excited about their inherent ability to fill those needs. It's this kind of leadership that I like to fill my life with ~ response-able, tangible, playful, approachable & just plain empowered. A great model for my boys. I wasn't sure if they'd be up to the hike, in the near-freezing cold carrying around their soon-heavy stars & poles. But by the end they were cheering, "Who are we?" "U.P!"
Look at their parol!
I hope to post a tutorial ~ parols are displayed for New Year's as well, since it's technically still Christmas for the islands until mid-January. Here's few more to light your way...
corn husks + capiz shells
printed rice paper
recycled paper bags + newspaper. "Reuse, reduce, recycle"