In a Bid to Survive—Pampanga Parol Sellers Goes Online

A good number of businesses had to be closed down during the onslaught of the pandemic. Some of them were not able to quickly adapt to the changes of the time and a majority of those who managed to survive crawled their way through cyberspace. Now, that the holiday season is upon us, the lantern makers of Pampanga are the latest to join the online selling bandwagon.

“Sa totoo lang, apektado rin naman kami (ng pandemic). Pero kasi itong mga buwan na ito talaga kami malakas, di ba kapag magpapasko. Tapos nag oopen na di ba ang ekonomiya, so kahit papaano may bumibili naman,” says 64-year-old Evangeline Roxas, one of the sellers of Christmas lanterns who shifted to online selling.

Christmas lantern

Image: Facebook/Pampanga PIO

She added that they are posting their products on social media. When someone buys, they have the lantern delivered to the customers.

Evangeline also shared that online selling is very much in use now that some customers were afraid to buy directly from Pampanga.

Parol buyers came all the way from Batangas and Laguna. Though the prices of the Christmas lanterns did not increase, the buyers are still few.

Parul Sampernandu

“Parul sampernandu is regarded as a Philippine icon. It gives hope to people amidst the pandemic, that everything will be okay soon,” the San Fernando City Tourism Office said.

The giant Christmas lanterns of San Fernando, Pampanga features a series of multiple spinning lights that can illuminate dark streets and are still visible even if placed at the height of six meters.

Christmas lantern

Image: Facebook/Pampanga PIO

The smallest lantern, which measures 14 inches, costs P700 while the largest and the most expensive at P14,000 measures 48 inches. Sellers typically start selling the lanterns as early as July. For this year, they started late in September.

With proper care and storage, a lantern could last up to five years.

Prior to the pandemic, parol sellers earn an average of P100,000 per month.

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