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In Manila, where Christmas is longest, holiday stars are everywhere

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In one neighbourhood in Manila, people prepare for Christmas as early as May as families start to make thousands of parols – star lanterns that are traditional Christmas decorations unique to the Philippines. “Orders come in by the thousands and we start deliveries by August,” says Alicia Bencio, a 65-year-old parol-maker in the village of Elias Aldana in Manila’s Las Pinas City. “By September, you will see parols on display everywhere.” “They signal the start of the Christmas season, the happiest time of the year,” she added. The parol is traditionally made with bamboo sticks shaped into a fi…

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