Consul General Ma. Theresa Dizon-De Vega led the Parol Lighting Ceremony at the Philippine Center which kicked-off the holiday season and the Simbang Gabi sa Konsulado at the Philippine Center on Dec. 6, 2016. Behind her are the Singing Teachers of the Association of Filipino Teachers in America (AFTA).

A Parol Lighting Ceremony, led by Consul General Ma. Theresa Dizon- de Vega and joined by the Filipino-American community, on Dec. 6, 2016 signaled the opening of the holiday season at the Philippine Center New York.

It also served as the kick-off event for the traditional Simbang Gabi sa Konsulado. 

The event was  held in coordination with the Philippine Center-New York and the Philippine Department of Tourism-New York.

The traditional parols made from capiz shells were set up at the Lobby Gallery of the Philippine Center as a way to showcase Christmas celebrations in the Philippines.

The parols were sourced from San Fernando, Pampanga, a city best associated with the Parol Festival.

Alongside the parol lighting was the launch of the screening of a video on Christmas celebrations in the Philippines on the Philippine Center video window.

The video will screen throughout the month of December.

The Singing Teachers of the Association of Filipino Teaches in America (AFTA), the winning group during the 2016 Christmas Caroling Contest organized by GMA Pinoy TV and other organizations rendered their version of Filipino holiday classic “Simbang Gabi” during the event.

AFTA is the partner organization of the Consulate in its yearly Paaralan Sa Konsulado flagship project.

In her remarks, Consul General Dizon-De Vega stated that the ceremony is the Consulate’s way of welcoming the holiday season in the Philippine Center in New York.

“This season is a time for thanksgiving, appreciation, reflection and rededication of our values as Filipinos, our love for country, the spirit of bayanihan, and our active engagement within the community,” remarked the consul general.


The Filipino-American community attended the Parol Lighting Ceremony which preceded the first day of Simbang Gabi sa Konsulado on Dec. 6, 2016.

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