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Disney’s tear-jerking Christmas advert inspires Pinoy designer to make this ‘barong parol’

Disney’s 2020 Christmas advert about a Filipino girl who helps her lola remember her childhood hit many of us right in the feels.

Inspired by the Filipino tradition of parol-making that was featured in the animated video, local brand Glorious Dias created a stunning hand-embroidered “barong parol.”

It looks ultimately Filipino, with the lantern’s traditional sheer fabric and batok motif allowing a warm, incandescent glow to shine through.

“This parol brings new life to a hand embroidered ‘batok’ motif that was emblazoned across the nape of a what would have been a dashing baron,” said the barong parol designer Jodinand Aguillon.

“Finally put to use my spool of vintage cotton lace trim as I was going for Tropical Gothic Lola Lolita na Home Alone Bahumbug realness,” he added. 



The animated holiday advert shared by Disney UK went viral on social media for its tear-jerking portrayal of family and Pinoy traditions.

The three-minute short film features a grandmother who treasures a yearly tradition of making Christmas lanterns with her granddaughter at home.

Through the years, the granddaughter pays less attention to her lola, their yearly parol-making, and her Mickey Mouse toy, which her lola had passed down to her.

The apo eventually realizes that this breaks her lola’s heart and makes up for it by surprising her with more handmade parols on Christmas morning, transporting the old woman back to her childhood memories where lanterns adorned the church and town plaza. 

Making parol from old newspapers

In an interview with GMA News Online, Jodinand said they started making their annual parols a few years ago, and Disney’s short film reminded him of how his own mom showed him how to make lanterns out of newspapers.

“A friend had sent me the link and within the first few seconds of seeing the parols in the opening scene I immediately got goosebumps followed by a wave of ugly-crying,” he said.

The designer had facilitated parol-making workshops for an art space in Canada called Kapisanan Philippine Center for Arts and Culture.

“It’s kid-friendly and something families or friends can create together. I’ve always enjoyed making them and experimenting while up-cycling different materials,” said Jodinand.

Glorious Dias celebrates celebrate fashion and our collective heritage through the legacy of vintage treasures.

The group started out as part of the Pineapple Lab art gallery’s retail experiment called the “The Hollowblock,” which gave designers and creatives a platform to test drive their products within a physical retail space. – Margaret Claire Layug/RC, GMA News