72-year-old man in Las Piñas creates Christmas lanterns made from scraps
A 72-year-old man creates handmade Christmas lanterns using recycled materials, bringing the holiday spirit into his home in Las Piñas City.
Photos of Jose Gico and his self-made lanterns were shared on Facebook by his neighbor Maureen Angely Recto on Saturday, November 21.
Christmas Lanterns all made up of recycled materials by 72 years old resourceful man Jose Gico. 😍😍😍
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“Si [Tito Jo] po ay mag-isa na lang [sa kanyang bahay] kasi nag-asawa na ang panganay niya tapos yung bunso ay nasa Canada na po nagwo-work. Yung wife po niya ay namatay na po (Tito Jo lives alone in his house as his eldest child already got married and his youngest is currently working in Canada. His wife has died,” Recto told INQUIRER.net in an interview.
Recto said Gico has been making do-it-yourself (DIY) lanterns made of reusable stuff like plastic bottles and scrap materials since 2018. This year, Gico started creating lanterns in mid-September.
“Taon-taon niya po itong ginagawa para po icelebrate ang kapanganakan ni [Jesus Christ]. At sobrang resourceful po talaga ni Tito Jo kasi kahit anong bagay pa ‘yan, kayang kaya niyang gawan ng kung ano man ang maisip niya.”
(He does this every year to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. And Tito Jo is really very resourceful because no matter what material he has, he can do whatever he can think of from it.)
“Kapag tuluy-tuloy po ang gawa, kaya niyang tapusin ang isang lantern [sa loob] ng isang araw. Sabi po ni Tito Jo, kung meron pong gustong bumili, ibebenta niya po yung mga parol na gawa niya [sa kanila] (If he works continuously, he could finish a lantern in a day. Tito Jo said if anyone wants to buy his lanterns, he would sell them the lanterns he made),” Recto added.
Aside from lanterns, Gico has also been designing picture frames and vases made of dried “nganga” (betel nuts).
Recto said she thought of sharing Gico’s creations on Facebook as she was amazed and inspired by her neighbor’s efforts and productivity despite his age, and she hopes to inspire others to create homemade holiday decorations as these do not necessarily have to be so upscale.
In 2019, INQUIRER.net featured Edwin Fernandez, a homeless lantern-maker in La Paz, Makati City, who roams the town every day to look for junk shops and collects rejected plastic bottles that he can use for his lanterns to help him make ends meet.
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