With the start of December, the Christmas spirit is slowly being felt all around the University of the Philippines Diliman (UPD) campus. Beyond the stunning set-up of lights and stars in Quezon Hall and the anticipation for the coming Christmas break, is the palpable excitement of the students and administration for the annual UPD Lantern Parade.
The annual UPD Lantern Parade is a UP tradition that showcases large lanterns and floats, parading around the oval of the UPD campus, with each college and UP unit competing for the title of Best Lantern. For obvious reasons, the College of Fine Arts (CFA) is no longer allowed to join the competition, having won every year from 1929 to 1989. The parade usually takes place on the last day of classes before the Christmas break (on the same day as the Oblation Run).
Last year, the Asian Institute of Tourism (AIT) was awarded third place for a Sarimanok inspired float made of painted corn husks which successfully met the judgment criteria of cultural character, use of recycled materials, and representation of its college or group.
With the theme “Dangal at Kahusayan sa Paglilingkod sa Bayan” this year, the volunteers and planners have their sights set on first place.
“[sa] mga foreigners napakita natin na ‘wow!’ may something dito sa Philippines dahil sa mga tao na ito.(So that we can show the foreigners that ‘wow!’ there is something here in the Philippines because of these people.)” Said Lady Razen Singson, UP AIT Lantern Parade AdHoc Head, on the tourism aspect of this year’s float, which seeks to honor the silent Filipino heroes – the overseas Filipino workers (OFW) – and showcase the Filipino concept of bayanihan.
She adds, “Kailangan na kailangan manalo talaga. There’s no other place but first.” She believes it is the concept and the details of the float that will give the AIT lantern an edge this year.
Abegail Igna, the president of AIT Volunteer Corps (VolCorps), feels the pressure to win as well.“Ngayong year na ‘to super pressure samin, kasi last year nag-third [place]…ngayon kasi ang aim ng AIT is mag-champion, so ambitious talaga ung float namin. (There’s a lot of pressure on us this year, because we were third place last year…now the aim of AIT is to be champion, so our float is very ambitious)”
The AdHoc team and VolCorps have felt the strong support of the AIT community with a positive and enthusiastic response to their call for volunteers, stating that there are more volunteers this year as compared to last year – a display of the bayanihan spirit which the float wishes to represent.
“Sa atin magsisimula yan e, sa AIT magsisimula ang pagkapanalo. Kung lahat tayo tutulong…Di lang ito para sa AIT SC, VolCorps o AdHoc, para ‘to sa buong AIT.(It’s going to start with us, the win will start with AIT. If everybody helps…This is not just for AIT SC, VolCorps or AdHoc, this is for the whole AIT)”Abegail stressed.
Currently, the Lantern Parade AdHoc team and Volunteer Corps are preparing the raw materials which they plan to assemble by next week. Day for judging of lanterns is on December 10 and 11. -Nadine Gutierrez