A night of lights

Lights enlightening people.

Classes at the University of the Philippines-Diliman would always end with a festival of lights, commonly known as the Lantern Parade, before students enjoy their December vacation. People from all walks of life gather around the outskirts of the academic oval to witness colorful and fancy floats made by various colleges and organization, and brandished around the oval.

It’s my second time to be part of this historic event, the first time when I was a freshman student. I was even holding the banner of our organization, the UP Journalism Club (then celebrating it’s emerald, 55th, year) and paraded in front of the crowd and cameras at the Amphitheater. The amphitheater is where hosts announce the winners of the Lantern Parade.

This year’s winners were: UP National Institute for Science and Mathematics Education (NISMED); College of Home Economics (CHE); and College of Engineering in the 3rd, 2nd, 1st places respectively.

The college of Engineering won 2nd place last year.

The parade started in 1922 under the term of then UP President Jorge Bacobo. For him, the parade is held “so that students can have a frolicsome activity before the year ends.”

This time, I wanted to be situated in a different perspective, not among those parading their respective lanterns but among those who capture moments of joy, enlightenment, and triumph. The day before the parade held on December 17, I was able to purchase my first DLSR camera. It was the during the parade that I ‘christened’ it, among the first shots will be featured on this blog post. I could say I’m still an amateur but practice would surely make things way too perfectly. I got a Flickr account too, by the way.

The lanterns featured many of the country’s most pressing issues – journalist killings, insufficient government subsidy, plagiarism, request for tenure for professors among others. The lantern of the College of Mass Communication where I belong was a huge iPod made from old magazines and newspapers, and used ice cream pint cans. We named it as iPot. Covered by the recyclables is a huge TV screen where videos depicting the issues were played. A video camera, as the lantern was being paraded, was connected to the piece itself capturing smiles from the participants and from the audiences.

*If you wish to obtain any of these pictures for posting, please credit them to my name Jon Lindley Agustin and include a link to this site. Thank you.

Many of the floats also were voices shouting for justice as the year 2010 also is a crucial year with events that shocked, grieved, and moved the nation – the presidency of another Aquino, the first year anniversary of the Maguindanao massacre, plagiarism cases, and alleged flaws in the judiciary. The Lantern parade makes it historic because it is not just an arena for feast but an arena for contemplation and commemoration.

Below are more pictures taken from the Lantern Parade. They’re not complete, I wasn’t able to take pictures of all of the lanterns. Some of creatively done, superficially looking empty of meaning (we do not know), and some simply crafted but uneasy with so much issues wishing to get resolved, like tantrums in a baby.

College of Law

UP School of Library of Information Studies
College of Human Kinetics

The Statue of Liberty
Taj Mahal in India


Through the Oblation. A student from the College of Human Kinetics strikes a pose mimicking the Oblation.

And as always, according to tradition, the parade ends with a fireworks display shown over the Quezon Hall where the Oblation stands.


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