By Marie Tonette Grace Marticio
CAN-AVID, Eastern Samar –Giant lanterns made by barangay residents in this interior town from recyclable materials lined a highway during its first Christmas lantern festival.
Mayor Gil Norman Germino said the month-long festival is said to be the first in Eastern Visayas.
“We want to show that we are united in carrying out our plans for Can-avid. The parols (lanterns) may not be as good like in other areas, but we are doing our best to show what is good in a rural town like ours,” he said.
Recyclable materials such as plastic cups, spoons and bottles were used to promote the town’s campaign in solid waste management and to attract tourists heading to Northern Samar or other towns in Eastern Samar.
“We are happy that even people from other places come just to see our giant parols. It has always been our tradition to make everyone feel the spirit of Christmas despite our meager funds,” Germino said.
Sylvia Balagapo, chair of Barangay 4 said the village’s lanterns are made of materials taken from last year’s giant Christmas tree, which won the grand prize.
Balagapo said she required each barangay official to contribute at least three sacks of empty bottles for the lantern.
“We impose a ‘no plastic bottle, no barangay clearance policy’ wherein every person is required to donate at least two empty bottles before they get their clearance from us,” she said.
Everyone in the village participated in making the parol and hopes for a back-to-back win, Balagapo said.
The competition will run until December 28.