I just knew that by the coming of dusk, I’d be wishing for the day to never end.
December 14 was a momentous day; floats and lanterns of different forms and colors traversed the academic oval in celebration of the UP Diliman Lantern Parade. Colleges and different organizations came up with their interpretations of the theme, “Dangal at Kahusayan sa Paglilingkod ng Bayan (Honor and Excellence in the service of country.)” Around 2000 spectators witnessed this awaited event – it was a perfect way to welcome the season of merry-making.
As a freshman, I was more than thrilled for the Lantern Parade. I have been religiously checking posts and countdowns for this occasion. When the day finally came, I felt like a 6-year old highly ecstatic to attend my very first children’s party.
I actively participated with the whole AIT community and I really felt the spirit of “One AIT.” We were all gathered, wearing pink, ready to take part in the whole thing.
I will never forget that moment when we crossed Commonwealth Avenue. We were breaking free. “Beating the odds,” which, in this case, were the speedy cars on the busy street of Commonwealth. We assembled with the other participants along the University Avenue. Then, a few minutes later, the parade started with a bang. Chanting and shouting all the way, the whole AIT populace walked around the academic oval with the lantern. We concluded with a mob dance in the Quezon Hall Amphitheater to the song of “Kanta Pilipinas” by Lea Salonga. Finally, the night was sealed by a magical fireworks display.
In the end, though AIT did not receive recognition this year, we still felt like champions.
Fun does not even begin to describe the experience. Though it was tiring, it felt so fulfilling to be a part of the beacon of tradition and culture that UP Diliman embodies, and I am personally looking forward to my future lantern parade experiences.
Want to know what made that day even more unforgettable for me? That same day was my 17th birthday. – Anne Rochelle F. Ella