They started appearing as early as September at about the same time that supermarkets and department stores started selling Christmas trees and decor, and playing Christmas carols. Along Sumulong Highway in Antipolo, seller of Christmas lanterns are everywhere. We passed two… three… four but their lanterns were either too few or too garish. Then, I spotted one that had a lot of lanterns. I asked Speedy to stop and kill the engine so I could mount the G10 on top of the window and take a shot with no camera shake.
An old man, probably the owner, started approaching, perhaps thinking, or hoping, that we were potential customers.
But I only wanted to take photos. There was nothing on display that I’d care to put up in our house. Seriously.
We already have a lantern. It’s a few years old but we’re not going to change it. Because I like its simplicity and the fact that it isn’t multi-colored. I don’t find too colorful decor particularly attractive. I prefer quiet elegance. In fact, I would have preferred an even simpler Christmas lantern but we couldn’t find what I wanted. And what was it that I wanted exactly?
Several years ago, outside every window of the Manila Hotel hung a capiz Christmas lantern. Very simple. Just a white five-pointed star with white tassels hanging from the two lower points. No flickering nor running lights. Just steady lights hidden inside the lanterns that emitted a warm golden glow. From a distance, the rows of stars looked magnificent in their simplicity.
That was the lantern that I wanted. Three of them. Hanging on the balcony. But we couldn’t find anything similar. Speedy said they were probably a custom job for Manila Hotel. So, we settled for the simplest that we could find. And we’ll stick with it until… Well, until it conks out or until I can discover who did the custom job for Manila Hotel.