Parol-making couple brings Pinoy Christmas to Canada

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 27) - A Canada-based couple is spreading the holiday cheer in their local community through the traditional "parol" - a star-shaped Christmas lantern common in many Filipino households.

Speaking to CNN Philippines' New Day on Wednesday, Ilonggo couple Jemlyn and Melita Demegillo shared how they started their parol business, 6,000 miles away from home.

"Nag-start ako para lang sa amin. Gumawa ako ng parol para lang sa amin. Naka-hang lang 'yan dyan sa porch, nakita ng ibang Pilipinong kababayan natin so sabi nila sa akin kung pwede ko silang magawan ng parol," Jemlyn said.

[Translation: I only started creating one for our household. I only hung it in our porch, then our kababayans saw it and asked me to make one for them too.]

Using Chinese bamboo and yarn, Jemlyn and Melita started running their lantern business last year, helping each other in creating the lanterns, which would then be adorned with different colors and designs.

"Hindi ako marunong maggawa ng parol but 'yung husband ko is the one making it, so katulong ako sa kanya sa pag gawa ng dekorasyon, palamuti," Melita said.

[Translation: I don't know how to make a parol by myself but since my husband is the one making it, I help him with the decorations.]

It usually takes three days for the couple to finish one lantern, but with their booming business, they still have dozens of orders to complete ahead of the holidays.

"Madami talaga. Sa ngayon, ang mga pending orders namin aabot ng 50 yata (We've got so many orders. Right now, I think our pending orders have reached 50)," Jemlyn said.

The septuagenarian couple - who both survived cancer a few years back - also briefly shared their transition to a healthier lifestyle with the help of their family.

"Of course, (we managed) with the help of our children, they are all nurses," Melita said.

"Continue praying, and just think positive. Follow the order of doctor, sleep well," Jemlyn added.