Iloilo City’s streets light up with 1500 Christmas lanterns made by inmates

Iloilo inmates Christmas lanterns
Iloilo City District Jail inmates were provided additional income as they were made to feel part of the community even if they were in jail. Screengrab from Iloilo City Christmas ID video.

Iloilo City’s holiday festivities were heralded this year with its streets adorned and lit up by over 1,500 Parols or Christmas lanterns that were hand-made by inmates of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP)-Iloilo City District Jail.

The holiday star lanterns were presented in the city government’s Christmas ID video released on November 16, the same day the Parols were lit simultaneously for the first time.

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Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas revealed that there are two purposes for having inmates of BJMP create the Christmas lanterns – to give them income and make them feel a sense of community.

“They will feel that even if they are still there, part sila sang aton society,” the city mayor shared.

An inmate works on a Christmas lantern for Iloilo City streets. Screengrab from Iloilo City Christmas ID video.

The Parol-making project was a partnership between government and private groups and individuals led by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) Iloilo chapter and the Zonta Club of Iloilo City who paid Php1,500 for each parol in exchange for their name, brand, or logo appearing on the lantern.

“This project sends a message of inclusivity and strong partnership among us all Ilonggos. And that there can be unity in diversity if we have love for our city, aafter allwe are the city of love. Here in Iloilo City, as we level up, no one is left behind!” added Mayor Treñas.

Iloilo City, home to the world-famous Dinagyang Festival, has been named as the recipient of the ASEAN Clean Tourist City Award, a badge that recommends the city in Western Visayas as a tourist destination for global travelers.

The Parols made in jail now hang on lamp posts in Iloilo City. Screengrab from Iloilo City Christmas ID video.

San Carlos City in Negros Occidental and Baguio City in Luzon were the other two Philippine cities given the ASEAN badge of approval for being tourist-friendly.

Iloilo City has also been tagged by Forbes Magazine as one of the Most Beautiful Places in the World and favored by international celebrities like Vikings star Katheryn Winnick.

SEND congratulations in the comments below to the people of Iloilo City for leading the way towards inclusivity during this festive season of Christmas!

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