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    Posted November 27, 2011 by
    Muntinlupa City, Philippines
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Are you a slavery-free consumer?

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    Slavery-Free Christmas Decors For Sale In The Philippines

    Parols are ornamental star-like Christmas lanterns from the Philippines. Such Christmas decors are usually made out of bamboo and paper and come in various sizes, colors (usually red, green and blue), shapes and designs; however, their star-shape facade and basic design remain dominant all over the country.

    Parol is the most popular Christmas decor during the Holiday Season. The shape has been inspired by the star on the Nativity of Jesus that guided the Magi to the manger. It also symbolizes the victory of light over darkness and the Filipinos' hope, cheerfulness and goodwill during the Christmas season.

    I chanced upon a small stall of 'parols' (star-shaped Christmas lanterns) along the National Highway in Barangay San Vicente, San Pedro, Laguna yesterday- November 26.. The stall is being operated by a husband-and-wife team. They are in their mid-30s and they're selling the parols like hot cakes because Christmas is fast approaching. The husband is the one who carefully constructs the lanterns with his bare hands and the wife does the selling and the auditing of the sales and expenses. They don't want to be identified and don't like to have their pictures taken for this i-Report.

    The owners of the said stall are proud that they are selling "slavery-free Christmas decors". I have witnessed with my own eyes how Mr. Bong (the nickname of the man who makes the 'parols') makes such decors with his own hands without the help of an assistant. His wife (she only wants to be called as Nena) sometimes assists her husband in constructing such 'parols'. Bong and Nena have 2 children aged 10 and 12 years old.

    Bong, with the help of his wife, sells fish-balls and other snacks at the stall from January to the early part of October. Bong and Nena sell their 'parols' instead of snacks from mid-October up to December 23. The husband and wife go on vacation from Dec. 24 to January 1. I bought a big red parol from the couple. The 'red parol' that I bought from the couple can be seen at the seventh photo of this i-Report. I paid 120 pesos (about 2 dollars and 25 cents) for such huge parol. At least I know that the 'parol' that I bought is 100 percent a "slavery-free item". Merry Christmas!
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