Jesse Bethel High school’s Christmas Parol Festival

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Jesse Bethel High school experienced a very colorful and joyous Filipino Christmas tradition on Tuesday – a “Parol Festival .” A parol is a highly decorative brightly colored star with ornamental attachments, made from bamboo and paper. Parol festivals include a contest for the best parol. Sixty-eight teams of students in teacher Lucy Marte’s Filipino Language class competed in this festival’s contest. first displayed their newly created parols in a parade from their classroom to the school’s theater, and then presented them on stage to a panel of judges, who awarded prizes (donated by local businesses) for the five best parols. The winning student teams were:
1 Jacob Meneses and Myliyah Tuvera
2 Raquel Lopez and Leyana Sunga
3 Fleuryda Albano
4 Cyon Bais and Kristen Deleon
5 Amario Valenzuela and Nathan Viray
The judges were Tony Ubalde (Vallejo School Board Trustee), Reyna Rodriguez, Mariella Dela Cruz, Geordan Arenal, Diose Bande, Eloise Scott, Norma Placido, Chris De Asis, Larissa Guarino, and Aiza Garabato.

“This is our eighth parol festival, and our most successful yet,” exclaimed organizer Lucy Marte.150 students participated, and we had 200 guests…The Parol Festival was part of our Project Based Learning concept – which I strongly encourage because I want my students to know more than just the Filipino language. I want them to fully enjoy the culture too. And the best way for students to enjoy it is to create something. That way they are fully absorbed, and they are having fun at the same time. That is the best way to learn. And at events like this, we can involve the community.”
The festival also included awards to local “Pinay Visionaries” – Filipino American women who have contributed to the community through their service. Awards went to: Dr. Rozzana Aliga, Atty Ruthe Ashley, Eloise Scott, Norma Placido and Annie Ramos. More awards went to teachers and other individuals at Jesse Bethel for their efforts on behalf of the school’s community: Riza Garabato, Annalisa Quilala, Lydia Alejandro, Lucy Datu, Elvie Avila, Diosa Bande and the festival organizer, Lucy Marte.

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