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SEAS holds a parol-making workshop

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SEAS holds a parol-making workshop
Rosetta Lucente holds bamboo-made parol samples for the parol-making workshop at SEAS St. James Community in Toronto.

The Support Enhance Access Services Centre (SEAS) at St. Jamestown Community, located at 240 Wellesley Street East in Toronto, will host an all-ages parol-making workshop on Saturday, December 3 from 3 to 5 p.m. The workshop is an initiative of the Filipino youth project “Programang Pinoy sa SEAS.”

The parol, a traditional Christmas lantern shaped like a star, is the most popular Christmas decoration in the Filipino community. It differs from commercially available lanterns that are lit by a bulb and made of more durable materials such as plastic, capiz (shells), or other transparent materials in that it is made of bamboo, strings, and Japanese craft paper.

Rosetta Lucente, a Filipino program worker at SEAS, asserts that Christmas lanterns, also known as parol, are an integral part of the holiday celebration for every Filipino who was raised in the Philippines. They are irreplaceable symbols of the culture and tradition of the Philippines. She commented that the Christmas lanterns remind her of the joy and holiday spirit she felt as a child.

SEAS parol-making workshop at St James Community in Toronto.
In the Filipino community, the parol, a traditional Christmas lantern shaped like a star, is the most popular Christmas decoration.

The workshop, according to Lucente, also introduces participants to Filipino culture and traditions, as well as the various ways in which Filipinos express their creativity, craftsmanship, and artistry. However, Lucente added that these Christmas lantern workshops also provide a space for the social services that SEAS offers to the community, particularly the Filipino community, which lacks access to social services.

“We want young Filipinos raised in Canada to experience the joy of the holiday season simply by viewing Filipino-style Christmas lanterns, and we plan to provide them with a space to connect with grassroots or community-based organizations in Toronto that can support their needs for community-building and advocacy work,” Lucente said.

Filipino parol is made of bamboo, strings, and Japanese craft paper, which is different from lanterns you can buy that are lit by a bulb and made of more durable materials like plastic, capiz (shells), or other clear materials.

“Programang Pinoy sa SEAS”  has partnered with the Toronto-based Filipino organization since the hiring of Lucente as a Filipino program worker at SEAS. Focusing on newcomers, youth, seniors, and migrant workers, SEAS promotes family harmony, individual well-being, and community integration through services and programmes that are all-inclusive, easily accessible, and of the highest quality.