LOS ANGELES – Historic Filipinotown (HiFi) Council officials announced on Wednesday that they will hold a Lantern Festival and a Christmas Chorale Competition on Dec. 14, 2013 at the Silverlake Medical Center grounds.
During a press briefing held at the Philippine Consulate, HiFi officials said that there will also be a parol designing competition where community members can enter their hand-designed lanterns for a chance to win cash prizes and to be featured as one of the parols on the first day of Simbang Gabi at the Our Lady of Angels Cathedral.
Criteria for judging the parol design competition are as follows: originality, 30 percent; workmanship, 40 percent; relevance to Christmas, 20 percent; and presentation, 10 percent. The theme for the parol designs will be Faith and Family.
For the choral competition, the neighborhood council officials said that they are expecting a variety choral groups to join in the tiff, including choirs from the Hispanic community, the Korean community, and other Filipino groups like El Shaddai, Iglesia ni Cristo, and Jesus Is Lord.
Aside from the Lantern Festival and Christmas Chorale Competition, the neighborhood council will also arrange for 31 pole-mounted parols to light up on Nov. 25, exactly a month away from Christmas. The parols will be placed along a segment of Temple Street which spans from Glendale Boulevard and Hoover Street.
According to HiFi officials the pole-mounted parols are made of steel and waterproof materials, and are approved by the LA Dept. of Building and Safety.
“When we think of Christmas, the holidays, we always think of a place or food [that] reminds us of our culture back home. The Historic Filipinotown Neighborhood Council is responding to that need,” HiFi Council President Cecilia Ramos said.
According to Ramos, the pole-mounted parols are sponsored by individuals, businesses, and organizations that share the family and faith-oriented values of Christmas. She also said that the 31 pole-mounted parols will also make Historic Filipinotown a tourist destination in LA during the holiday season.
This will be the 6th year that the HiFi Council will be putting up the pole-mounted parols on Temple Street, Ramos said.
Consul General Hellen Barber-De La Vega said that the community really needs to come out and support these endeavors by the HiFi Council because “Historic Filipinotown is where our beginnings have to be continuously nurtured.”
“It’s part of our heritage,” De La Vega said.
“When we look at Christmas, it’s like linking ourselves to our roots,” she added.
The Consul General also added that it will also be good for the Filipino American youth to join in the Christmas festivities organized by the HiFi Council.
For more information about the Lantern Festival, Christmas Chorale Competition, or the parol design competition, you may contact the Historic Filipinotown Neighborhood Council at (213)-413-3323.

(www.asianjournal.com)
(LA Weekend November 2-5, 2013 Sec A pg.4)
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