The ceiling is hung with the skeletons of what will
soon be brightly colored parols. Poles of matinik
na kawayan or tunay na kawayan rest against the walls.
Pakong maliliit (the same nails used to make bakyas),
tansan, glue, newspaper, brightly colored plastic
or paper, doily cut-outs and shiny colored garlands
are strewn all over. You have stepped into a parol
makers house and such is Mang Nonoy's house.
A carpenter by profession, Mang Nonoy has been making
parols for almost thirty years. By October, he drops
all carpentry work to concentrate on parol making.
Even as early as May, when it is too hot to think
of Christmas, Mang Nonoy has already begun to make
parols. He starts with the small, simple five star
variety and by the start of the 'ber months has begun
work on the larger more complicated parols. His favorite
designs are the tala or shooting star and the walohan
or the double star. The tala parol has only four points
with one being longer than the others, while the walohan
is the four pointed star back to back with all eight
points equal and visible. Mang Nonoy is presently
working on a new design that is more complicated than
Mang Nonoy's skill as a parol maker
has not gone unnoticed. He has won two contests for
two barangays and is often commissioned to design
and fashion special parols. For a hospital, he made
a five-foot parol that opened to show the inside of
the human body.
Of his six children, his two sons,
Marvin and Michael have learned the craft from him,
just as he learned from his future father-in-law,
with whom he apprenticed. He boasts that he was able
to build his house through his parol earnings. His
is a happy profession and all it takes, Mang Nonoy
says is, "konting tiyaga at pagod".