Christmas is a time for hope, celebration and cheer, but for makers of lanterns or parols that signify the arrival of the season, life has not been festive. In fact, they have encountered difficulties and challenges facing the pandemic and numerous crises that hit them. In the December 6 episode of Iba ‘Yan, host Angel Locsin would help keep that wonderful shining light in their lives.
LOOK: Angel Locsin visits parol makers for the ABS-CBN Christmas ID 2020
Las Piñas City is known to be the “parol capital” in the metropolis, having a group of Christmas Lantern makers called the Samahang Magpaparol ng Las Piñas composed of 60 families who sell their lanterns at Plaza Quezon.
One of its members is Luzviminda “Nanay Luz” Gallardo, a parol maker for 47 years. Her mother was a housewife and his father used to work as a fisherman. When she was in elementary, she had to work and help her parents. After graduating from grade school, she started working as a househelper. Nanay Luz did not know that her life would be harder with her married life as her husband physically abused her. She didn’t leave his abusive husband because she wanted to have a complete family especially for her children.
Nanay Luz has five children including Nelson Garcia, her adopted child. Nelson actually asked Nanay Luz’s sibling if he could work for her and help her make Christmas lanterns. And Nanay Luz did not refuse his offer. Nelson shared that he felt the love from Nanay Luz and her family. Nanay Luz’s family faced a difficult ordeal last February when they lost their possessions in a fire. Ever since the pandemic has started, their income lessened because only a few people were ordering and buying lanterns from them.
Iba ‘Yan gave them a noche buena package, cash assistance which they can use in buying more materials for the lanterns they’ll make, and gifts for Nanay Luz’s grandchildren. Host Angel Locsin also told her the good news that Iba ‘Yan would be buying many lanterns from them which will be given to a community.
Angel also met another member of the organization, Andrew Flores, a parol and belen maker for 47 years. He learned how to create lanterns when he was making Christmas decors for church. The pandemic has also affected their family business because they didn’t have income as much as they did for the past years. Andrew’s youngest daughter, Riza, admitted that it’s hard sometimes to participate in the blended learning system at school because of their poor internet connection, and at the same time because she doesn’t have a computer at home.
Iba ‘Yan gave them a noche buena package, cash assistance which they can use in buying more materials for the lanterns they’ll make, additional capital for their small carinderia, a tablet and Wi-Fi connection for Riza, and dental package for Andrew. Iba ‘Yan also ordered many lanterns from them which will be given to a community.
Another hardworking parol maker is Ilyn Tinao who has been crafting Christmas lanterns for 11 years already. She has always been hands-on with the work and she’s always been helped by her husband. Ilyn admitted that Christmas this year is definitely not going to be extravagant because of the situation. She has three children who are currently attending modular classes. But it’s hard for them since they do not have laptop at home. Iba ‘Yan also gave Ilyn and her family a noche buena package, and cash assistance which they can use in buying more materials for the lanterns they’ll make. The show likewise offered her three tablets and Wi-Fi connection for her children. Iba ‘Yan additionally ordered many lanterns from Ilyn which will be given to a community.
Iba ‘Yan brought the Christmas lanterns purchased from Nanay Luz, Andrew, and Ilyn to Sunshineville, Las Piñas City. Angel got to talk to one of its residents and the vice president of the homeowners association, Maria Liwanag. Their families were relocated in the subdivision in 2006 and as a community, they helped each other in building their houses. One of Maria’s friends, Gia de Vera, shared that they really treat each other as family and when one needs help, the other one is always willing to give one.
Aside from the parol makers, Iba ‘Yan also brought smiles to more Kapamilyas including Ricardo Cabulosan, a hardworking PWD traffic enforcer who went viral on social media. Angel handed him a noche buena package and a ligtas bag. Another lucky Kapamilya who received a noche buena package and a ligtas bag was Sarah Camposano, a devoted and loving mother who provides for her family through collecting and selling garbage.
Iba ‘Yan airs Sundays at 6:45pm on the Kapamilya Channel, Kapamilya Online Live, and A2Z Channel 11.