HONG KONG (SE): Filipino communities in Hong Kong will for the first time be invited to vote online for their favourite Christmas lantern in a annual parol-making competition sponsored by the consulate general.
Vice consul, Alex Vallespin, who has responsibility for the organisational end of the competition, said the online voting is intended to add spice to the activity and drum up interest by involving a wider section of the community in the judging process.
Close-up photographs of all entries, which are required to be made exclusively from recycled material, will be uploaded in the competition Facebook page.
Vallespin explained that people who tick like in the vote on the Facebook page will support their preferred entry.
The likes entered for specific photographs of the entries that have been uploaded will be counted to determine which one will be given the People’s Choice Award.
He is encouraging participating groups to invite their friends in Hong Kong to vote. The online voting will begin on December 17 and end at 5.00pm on December 23.
Winners will be announced at the open air Mass on Christmas Eve.
“We are not a bit worried about a single organisation using its membership to win the People’s Choice Award. We have almost 200,000 migrant Filipinos in Hong Kong. So other votes will definitely come from outside the membership of participating organisations,” he explained.
Vallespin said that the parol has a special meaning to the Philippine celebration of Christmas, as the season is by far the biggest and most important celebration in the country, starting as early as September, and lanterns with matching blinking lights are one of the most prominent and ubiquitous decorations.
“Christmas for Filipinos would not be complete without a parol displayed in the house, whether in the window, above the door, or even on the Christmas tree. Hence, the consulate holds the parol-making contest here in Hong Kong among the Filipino organisations every year,” the vice consul told the Sunday Examiner.
As a major part of the competition, the parols will be screened by a panel of judges. Five entries will be chosen as winners based on their creativity, visual impact and relevance to the theme.
A presentation ceremony will be held at the end of the Christmas programme or prior to the Misa Aquinaldo on December 24. Winners will receive cash prizes ranging between $5,000 and $1,000.
The entries will be displayed at the LBC North Point Branch in Electric Road from December 17 to 23 and later at Chater Garden, Central, on Christmas Eve.
The competition, entitled, Pastaran 2015, is organised by the Philippine Consulate General to Hong Kong and LBC Mabuhay Hong Kong Limited, in cooperation with the chaplaincy to Filipinos.