15 December 2012 – The Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur will bring the Filipino Christmas tradition to Malaysia as it holds a Parol (Christmas lanterns)-Lighting ceremony at its Chancery on the evening of December 17.
Featured during the event are 30 parols from the San Fernando City government, fresh from its celebration of the Giant Parol Festival this weekend.
"The Embassy has been bringing the best of the Philippines to Malaysia during the past months. The Philippines has one of the longest, liveliest Christmas celebrations in the world. We are honored to share it with the Malaysian people," Ambassador J. Eduardo Malaya said.
"At the same time, the commemoration is also an opportunity for a get-together with friends to thank them for all the support they have extended to the Embassy and the Filipino community during the year. Christmas is a time for family and friends, and through the parol festivities, we can experience the Christmas spirit like what we have in the Philippines," he added.
The parol, traditionally shaped as a star, symbolizes the Star of Bethlehem, which illuminated the Child Jesus and his family, and led the shepherds and the Three Wise Men to their location to offer their gifts.
Located in Pampanga province, San Fernando City is the home of the Giant Parol Festival and has been nicknamed the "Christmas Capital of the Philippines". The Festival is held every December, usually the Saturday before Christmas Eve, where the city's different districts show off their skills in the yearly parol¬-making competitions, made of traditional materials such as colored paper and cellophane and modern materials such as plastic and fiberglass. Residents and visitors alike flock to witness how the giant parols light up the streets of San Fernando, as the lights of the lanterns flash and whirl in a kaleidoscope of colors.
There will also be a mass celebrated by the acting Apostolic Nuncio in Malaysia, Msgr. Marek Zalewski, and a celebration of Filipino Christmas traditions, from the singing of Christmas carols to the food to be served.
Expected to be present are officials from the San Fernando City government, led by San Fernando City councilor Alex Patio, members of the diplomatic corps, friends of the Embassy and members of the Filipino community.
The newly-formed Philippine Embassy Chorale will also perform their repertoire of Christmas songs to add further cheer to the celebration.
The parols will be on display at the Embassy grounds starting on December 17 and will be there until December 31. Members of the Filipino community and other interested individuals are invited to stop by the Embassy to behold the beauty of these parols. END