It describes the way a butterfly flies through the air - I agree, a lovely word!
Lol. Pilipala in Chinese is an onomatopoeic word. It's used to describe the sound of firecrackers, the sound when a box of crystal balls fall onto the ground, or other sounds like that. XD
I learn several interesting new things every day in these discussions. Never know what'll be next. Thanks! :-)
Its semi-repetition kind of reminds me of the filipino word for butterfly, paru-paro