Prior to the pandemic, sellers of Christmas lanterns and decorations in Las Piñas City would have their stocks ready for purchase even before the “ber” months set in.
In the time of COVID-19, however, sellers and makers of the iconic “parol” and other Christmas decorations have been forced to trim down their staff and inventories.
According to Katrina Son’s report on “24 Oras” on Monday, this has led to an increase in lantern prices from P3,500 to P4,000.
“Kahit alam po naming may pandemic, nagbabakakasali po kami dahil alam niyo naman po ang buhay, ‘pag wala pong kayod, wala pong kakainin,” said Michael San Pedro, a lantern and decor maker of 30 years.
Due to COVID-19, San Pedro had to reduce his staff from 10 people to five.
“Sa ngayon po hindi po kami sigurado kaya ang prepare po namin [decorations] is kaunti lang po,” he added.
Andrew Flores has similarly been creating Christmas lanterns and decorations with his family since a community quarantine was enforced.
“E ngayon talaga, alam kong mahina pero laban lang din kami. Malakas man o mahina, diretso rin kami,” he said.
Other sellers have turned to online platforms amid the pandemic.
“Nag-aalok kami, online selling. Puwede naman online selling pino-post na namin ‘yung mga product namin kasi more on social media na tayo ngayon e,” Eric Christian Suarez said. — Julia Mari Ornedo/DVM, GMA News