Before the inauguration and blessing of Villar SIPAG, some of the guests also witnessed the yearly Parol Festival of Las Pinas, which is known as 'the lantern capital of Metro Manila'. It was the first time that the Parol Festival was held at its new venue—the Villar Social Institute of Poverty Alleviation & Governance (SIPAG). It used to be held at the St. Joseph Bamboo Organ Church.
The festival is the brainchild of the Former Congresswoman of Las Piñas, Cynthia Villar. In 2007, she encouraged the city’s magpaparols (lantern-makers) to organize themselves into the ‘Samahang Magpaparol
ng Las Piñas’. And to support them, Mrs. Villar set up the Las Piñas Parol Center, which serves as a training area for the lantern-makers.
The lantern-making competition also highlights environmental protection as participants can only use recycled materials such as shampoo sachets/bottles, cans, bottles, tetra packs, newspapers etc. and natural or indigenous materials such as coconut huks, dried leaves, feathers, shells etc. The frame of the lantern should be made of bamboo.
And to further market the lanterns, she organized the first Parol Festival, the highlight of which is the lantern-making competition. This year, there were 30 entries. The parol which bagged the grand prize was created by Rogelio Apuli, Jr.