The Parol or Christmas Star is a stronger symbol of Christmas in the Philippines than is Santa Clause or the Christmas tree. It is traditionally made using flexible bamboo strips for the frame and paper for the exterior, trim, and ring.
This nipa hut frame is constructed from bamboo and bohol, while the walls use nipa leaves or cogon grass.
In case you missed it, the non-food objects on the table are gifts between the family members (cigars for dad, a hair comb for mom, a doll for the daughter, and a school drawing for the parents).
The workflow includes texture hunting through Google and Yahoo image databases for a photo fragment detailed enough to be cloned or pattern stamped in Photoshop. On occassion, you are rewarded with something like the crochet tablecloth that can be duplicated and stiched together.
A single quadratic light in the hut yields harsh raytraced shadows as is appropriate for a provincial setting where there is only one light bulb in the room..
All textures are standard maya textures (i.e., no mental ray textures)
The beautiful cigar box picture found at http://palhbooks.com/home.html.