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About this Workshop


The parol or the Christmas Star lantern has become an iconic symbol in the Philippines for Christmas.  "Parol" is derived from the Spanish word "farol" meaning lantern.  It reminds the Filipino Christians of the star of Bethlehem that guided the Three Wise Men on their way in search of Baby Jesus. The tails of the lantern mimic the rays of the star.  Hanging a parol at your home has been a tradition for more than a century to remind Filipinos of hope and joy.

In the Philippines, the parol was traditionally made out of bamboo sticks and Japanese rice paper. The practice of making parols is encouraged and resulted in the elevation of parol-making into a treasured art form. Materials have been upgraded to heavier papers, wires, capiz shells, and built-in electric lights. To this day, new innovations are still being made to the design of parol lanterns.

Some people start hanging parol as early as September and it is taken down by January. Whenever I can see a parol hanging on the street or someone's home, I can't help but be excited about the coming Christmas season!

I was taught to make parols in grade school as our school project and we decorated the classroom with our colorful parols.  I remember making my first one out of recycled plastic straws.

I am excited to make a parol with you and share this sweet and lovely part of my Filipino heritage!


What You'll Need

GLOkit What's a GLOkit?


Philippine Parol GLOkit

This GLOkit contains five templates, and two sheets of tissue paper.

GLOkit Included
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Additional Supplies

Each Learner will need:

  • 2 Cardboard cereal boxes or 4 pieces of illustration board (the sturdier the better)
  • Elmer's glue (can be shared between Learners)
  • Scissors
  • A 12 inch long piece of yarn or other type of string
  • Newspaper to cover work area
  • 5 Paper clips

Technical Requirements

You will need a device (computer or tablet) that is equipped with a camera, microphone, and speakers. For more information, please check out our Technical Requirements page.

Meet the Instructor

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Ia CocaView Profile

My name is Ia Coca, or simply call me "Aya."  I was born and raised in Cebu, Philippines. I am a medical technologist who shifted to be a full time fashion designer.  I am glad that I am able to earn a living by doing what I love and helping people feel their best through fashion and my knowledge in crafts.

Coming from a big family, I always received hand-me-downs and that sparked the creativity and resourcefulness in me.  I started upcycling old shirts by gluing rhinestones and painting on them.  I also enjoyed coming up with decorative ideas made from cardboard and putting my projects on display in every corner of our home.  I remember watching the show "Art Attack" on TV, and that inspired most of my childhood projects.

The Philippines is known for celebrating the longest Christmas season in the world.  We love decorating our homes with a star-shaped lantern called a Parol.  It signifies hope and goodwill. It is traditionally made out of bamboo sticks and colored papers.  Then around January, we Cebuanos celebrate the Sinulog festival—the biggest festival in the province.  The streets are decorated in colorful streamers and we wear colorful shirts during the event.  I am excited to share both of these traditions in my Workshops.

These crafts are very close to my heart because I grew up making them, and they taught me that we can make the most out of something. And I want to share that idea with everyone.

One of my favorite things about being in fashion is working with fabrics because I can wear them afterward!  I have worked with our locally made fabrics too that are hand-woven.

The Philippines is an amazing place to live.  My country is made up of more than 7,000 islands surrounded by beautiful beaches. And every island has an interesting story to tell! We are gentle and hospitable people and we like to welcome other people to know our culture.


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Philippine Parol