Boost Your Income this Holiday Season by Selling Christmas Lanterns

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The Filipino Christmas lantern, locally called a paról, is an iconic symbol of the holiday spirit in the Philippines. You’ll find these star-shaped décors displayed outside a house, in small towns, and along the busy avenues of the metro. Filipinos look at the paról as a sign of light triumphing over the darkness, as well as an expression of shared faith. If you’re looking to augment your 13th month pay or your business earnings for the year, consider paról selling as a profitable business venture during the Christmas season. This holiday lantern isn’t difficult to produce. Plus, you can brighten up the streets with your DIY creations.

Making a Christmas Lantern: A Quick Guide

Here are the materials you’ll need to make a traditional paról:
  • Glue or glue gun
  • A pair of scissors
  • Thread
  • 10 Seven-inch wire strips
  • 5 Three-inch wire strips
  • Two 32-inch bamboo strips
  • A ruler
  • Transparent tape
  • A pencil
  • Tinsel (or any decorative material you can attach to the paról)
  • Shiny gift wrappers, Japanese papers, or any other colorful paper
  • (Optional) Printable star template
  • (Optional) Glitter
christmas lights outside the houseWith your materials ready, take note of the following steps:
  1. Form two circles by using the thread to tie the ends of the bamboo strips together. Make sure that your thread is durable, as these shapes will serve as the foundation of your entire paról.
  2. Construct a circular frame for the Christmas pattern using the two formed shapes. Do this by twisting the ends of five seven-inch wire strips and attaching them to the ends of the circles.
  3. Get your colored paper, fold it in half, and use your pencil to draw a five-point star. Alternatively, you can use a star template to make things easier for you. Make sure that the dimensions of the shape fit the circular frame perfectly.
  4. Cut out a star from the folded paper using a pair of scissors.
  5. Attach a star on both sides of the circular frame.
  6. Construct a star frame by using the remaining seven-inch wire strips. Mount the wires to the five points where the star angles touch the frame of the wire.
  7. Give your Christmas lantern a three-dimensional appearance by attaching the three-inch wire strips in the middle of the frame.
  8. Use a thread to tighten the ends of the star frame.
  9. Use any remaining colored paper to fill any gaps you see in the frame.
  10. Get creative with your paról decoration. Attach the tinsel on two ends of the lantern to give your paról decorative tails. You can also use glitter (or any other decorative items) to make your paról shiny, beautiful, and unique.

Paról Selling Success Stories

Whether you plan to sell Christmas lanterns on your own or with a partner (both business types are fine), achieving success by pursuing this seasonal business venture is possible.
Take the case of Cristobal de Leon from Gerona, Tarlac. He started his paról-making business with a meager capital of P1,600. He used that money to make approximately a hundred lanterns. Thanks to perseverance and hard work, this ex-veggie vendor became a millionaire years later. Apart from de Leon, a former OFW and janitor has achieved fame and success in making and selling paról. Rolando Quiambao from San Fernando, Pampanga became the province’s “Paról King.” He started his humble lantern business back in 1986, when he sold his first paról for just P450. Many years later, his paról-making business was producing a whopping 3,000 lanterns per year. On top of that, he’s one of the largest suppliers of Christmas lanterns in the Philippines. If you’re going to make and sell paról this holiday season, remember two things: Hard work goes a long way, and make sure that you pour your heart in every Christmas lantern you produce.
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