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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Where to buy lanterns or parol in Pampanga

A friend from Manila asked me to buy her a pair of Christmas lanterns or parol when I go to Pampanga. You can't miss the lantern stores along the main highway since lanterns and dancing Christmas lights have been on display in the evenings as early as September. 

So by default, we stopped by to check the prices along Olongapo-Gapan Road.  A store quoted us Php2,500 for a 24-inch lantern made of capiz shells. We asked for their best price if we get 2 parols and the store's best price was Php2,100 each.  But the sellers were Tagalog-speaking so it made we wonder if the parols were made by Pampanggo craftsmen.

My mom suggested to check out the stores along MacArthur Highway which I remember seeing when we went to the cemetery last All Saints Day.  And guess how much was their best price for a 24-inch lantern? Only Php1,200 - almost half the price than those along Olongapo-Gapan Road. Wow! Then add Php40 if you want the lantern to be packaged in a box.  So for only Php2,480, I got my friend a pair of 24-inch Christmas lanterns made of capiz shells.

A couple of years back, I also bought a lantern for a friend based in the US (though at that time, I didn't know the huge price difference among vendors).  Anyway, my discovery then is you can also ask the sellers to change the voltage and plug for you.  Just tell them to which country you're sending the parol and they'll take care of it. 

So if you've been wanting a Christmas lantern, the best place to buy parol in Pampanga is along MacArthur Highway near the Good Shepherd Memorial Park in San Fernando, Pampanga.  If you're coming from Manila, take the San Fernando exit in NLEX, then go straight along Olongapo-Gapan Road.   Don't take the flyover when you approach the intersection but instead, turn left to MacArthur highway under the flyover.  In less than 200 meters, you should see the lantern vendors on your left as you approach the Good Shepherd Memorial Park. 

Sorry forgot to take photos. Photo is courtesy of

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