Celebrating Pasko in Historic Filipinotown

LOS ANGELES — Christmas has arrived in Filipinotown, as cars blaring OPM music proudly carry parols along the Southern California palm trees.
The annual parol parade has been a 12-year tradition in Historic Filipinotown, and each year, the holiday spirit gets bigger and brighter.
“We started walking in the sidewalk and I think 4 or 5 years ago we started making big, big parols and put it on cars and said we arrived in America. Parade with lights and traffic,” said Cecile Ramos, from the HiFi neighborhood council.
For the neighborhood, it’s a chance for Filipinos to come together. All of the parols are made by the community members themselves.
“I’m proud of Historic Filipinotown because there’s teamwork, and parang bayanihan talaga,” said Jun Caringal.
But most importantly for the participants, the bright lights bring back fond memories of home.
“It’s like way back in the Philippines, it’s our tradition,” said Ric Arcaina.
While the parade halts traffic for a couple hours, the lights will keep shining, as many Los Angeles churches now celebrate Simbang Gabi, continuing to bring Filipinos together for the holiday season.
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