June 08, 2015

Posted in How to make a parol, Parol

PangBahay (meaning "for the home" in Filipino) was created by a Filipino/American family in the United States. We felt it was important to share the Filipino culture with our children. Although we lived in an area with a large Filipino population, we found that it was difficult to find symbols of Filipino Christmas, such as the parol. We realized there are many Filipino families just like ours, living in other parts of the United States (and the world!), who would also like to foster the Filipino culture on to their families.

PangBahay came about as an online source of traditional and contemporary Filipino products. We feel that being an online retailer allows us to reach Filipinos all over the United States and Canada. In the future, we hope to reach Filipinos around the world.

We want to make a positive difference: In the United States and Canada we help families continue to nurture and foster the Filipino culture for the next generation.

How Capiz Parols Are Made

The capiz parols of PangBahay come from Pampanga where generations of capiz parol makers have lived. The Filipino capiz parols we offer are not made in factories, but in people’s homes or community buildings. The capiz parol makers are family-owned businesses employing their neighbors during peak times making it a source of much needed income for a number of families.

Capiz parols are well-known not only in the Philippines but the world over as Filipinos have migrated just about everywhere!

It’s amazing how such a beautiful capiz parol comes from a simple shell which comes naturally in white.

Our parols are made of capiz shell. Although these shells are a very thin material, they are surprisingly sturdy. Unless of course you man-handle the product then it’s bound to break! The panes are translucent and allow light to pass through it making it a great material for a window or door as was common in old-world Philippines. Capiz shell was used to make a farol or lantern to light the way to Simbang Gabi. From there, the traditional parol was born.

How to make a parol

You start by washing the raw capiz in a tumbler. This cleansing method also brings a nice sheen to the panes.

Capiz panes ready to be cut and made into a parol

Each piece is hand cut to the size and shape that’s needed for the design.

Cutting capiz to make into a parol
Cutting capiz to make into a parol

To hold the capiz pieces together, thin metal sheets are used to edge the capiz shell and secure it to the connecting pieces to create the design. These thin sheets are molded by hand and attached to capiz shell.

Edging capiz panes

The capiz pieces are held together by a thin piece of metal (also hand cut) and soldered together to form the shape of the parol design.

Once the pieces all fit together in their intended designs, the interior lights and blinkers are strategically placed to maximize the effect of light on the capiz shell panes.


The final product is this beautifully handcrafted parol.