It was in December 2013 when our company decided to launch a contest for lantern making or in Filipino parol making. Since it was Christmas season, lantern making would be the perfect team activity where everyone could participate. It was also my first time to make a lantern.
Lanterns have been part of every Filipino Christmases so my officemates like the challenge.
Lantern is an important Christmas symbol for Filipino families. Most houses, especially in my childhood, will have a Christmas lantern hanging on their windows. It comes in different sizes and designs. One thing is for sure it should be as bright as the star in Bethlehem which the three wise kings followed to find the newborn, Jesus Christ. Lantern making contest is also an important yearly event in my hometown province, Pampanga.
Criteria for the lantern making contest was:
- All items for making the lantern are made of recycled materials
- The lantern should only be done inside the office (after working hours).
- The winners would be picked by our offshore counterparts who were in Manila that time.
Our team had a brainstorm of what our lantern would look like, what materials to use, who had the talent to do it and when we should do it. Honestly, we lack the creative part so we haven’t started early. After all, we are all IT people who only know how to check out how-to’s in YouTube. At least, we have an electrical engineer who would later on worked on the lights of our Yakult lantern.
As I said, we are expert in searching YouTube for how-to’s. One of my teammates saw this nice video on how to create a lantern out of Yakult bottles and we were all eager to create our very own lantern out of Yakult bottles.
How we created our own Yakult bottles
After watching the video, we first planned how we can have all the Yakult bottles we need. We were about 12 people in the team so each of us bought a pack of Yakult and drank three to five bottles per day. Even if I really love Yakult, I got tired of drinking it every day.
When there were enough bottles and all the materials were prepared (wires, glue stick and gun, Christmas lights), the boys started creating our star-shaped lantern. Since the time was limited, we spent two hours per day sticking the bottles together and we had to drink more Yakult to get more bottles. Our officemates were happy to drink some Yakult for us. Thankfully, we didn’t have stomach problems after the contest!
We were able to finish the lantern on the day of judgement and our star shone the brightest that day. See picture below:
Did We Win?
Given that the judges were foreigners, we did not win. I didn’t want to sound bitter but the judges did not see the real meaning of a lantern/parol. Only our lantern was brightly lit and most of our materials were recycled. Also, I no longer have the pictures or video of the other lanterns to let you judge. I just know that we won the hearts of our fellow officemates. They love our parol especially when its lights are on. We even got an offer from one of them to buy our lantern for Php 1500 but we did not give it.
Overall, it was a fun and creative activity. I am highly recommending it on your next Christmas activity at home or in the office. There are a lot of creative ways in YouTube on how you can make your own parols from recycled materials.