by JOHN PATRICK A. MAGNO RANARA
THE START of Paskuhan is usually marked by the illuminating of Christmas decorations.
From glittering lights and intricate ornaments to the towering Christmas tree in the University’s grandstand, these decorations are what make the Paskuhan event more enjoyable, said Andrew Joseph Chanco, a Theology instructor.
“The different themes of the decorations displayed around the campus make the people feel the vibes of the Christmas season […] it makes the Thomasian experience more memorable,” he told The Flame.
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic struck, and for two long years, Thomasian students were unable to delight in the University’s decorations.
Despite this stress-filled situation, it’s not too late to enliven the Christmas spirit. You can still recreate the festive glow of the University’s decorations by tidying your own home with ornaments from these online Christmas stores.
A Filipino-style Christmas
Hinabi.Natives offers Christmas handiworks that will make you proud of your Filipino roots. The online store mostly uses native materials to craft their products, such as abaca fibers and coconut husks. They add a humble yet charming Filipino appeal.
Raquel Abayon, co-owner of Hinabi.Natives, shared that her business aims to promote locally-produced handicrafts from her hometown in Albay.
“What inspired me to start this business is my love with handmade products and my desire to promote and showcase the talent of our local craftsmen,” Abayon said.
The store initially sold native planter baskets and other home accents, but they released their Christmas collection this holiday season. Abayon believes that her products are unique, since they are made from sustainable materials.
“The raw materials that we use to create our Christmas decors are mostly derived from high-grade Abaca Fibers. The beauty of this raw material is its versatility. […] The production of each type of decoration varies, but mostly it involves processes such as bleaching, designing, and assembling,” she said.
While Christmas decorations come in all shapes and sizes, the merry season wouldn’t be the same without the star of the show—the Christmas tree. Hinabi.Natives offers tabletop abaca trees with various color options.
It also has various angel ornaments made with high-grade abaca fibers, which give an elegant and intricate impression. The decor store also has reindeer decorations made from coconut husks, Santa Claus faces, and Christmas balls made from abaca.
Hinabi.Natives’ products not only celebrate the joyful season, but also showcase the hard work and diligence of Filipino craftsmen.
Christmas in our pots
It is not amiss to say that homes are cozier when it’s surrounded by plants radiating a fresh and serene ambiance.
D’Pot is an online Christmas store that will delight plant enthusiasts with its Christmas-themed clay pots. Managed by 21-year-old architecture student Ma. Rayvie Pascual, D’Pot offers good-quality, affordable, and personalized hand-painted clay pots.
Pascual’s passion for painting and her parents’ love for plants inspired her to start the business. With her trusty paint brushes by her side, she first sketches on the pot before coloring and applies coating as a finishing touch.
With Christmas coming up, Pascual took advantage of the occasion by creating Christmas-themed pots that marvelously capture the festive feeling of the yuletide season while also aiming to help others ease their burdens.
“Decorating your house the way you want can help lessen your stress, especially now during the pandemic,” she said, “I would be so happy if my Christmas pots will relieve their stress.”
The pots feature all sorts of iconic Christmas figures such as penguins, snowmen, gingerbread cookies, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and even Santa Claus himself.
More than just ornaments
While gift-giving may be the main event for Christmas, decorating is also an indispensable aspect of the occasion.
Chanco believes that the pandemic is the best time to decorate houses as it makes people busy and diverts their minds from the worries and tensions around them.
“Putting up and re-arranging Christmas decors or even revamping our old decors by expressing our creativity becomes a bonding moment for the whole family,” Chanco said.
“For us Filipinos, decorations are more than ornaments at home; they symbolize hope and goodwill, mainly as we express our love through sharing and giving to people around us.” F