Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Christmas in UP Diliman 2015

Pag-iilaw based on design concept of artist Toym Imao.

The University of the Philippines Diliman campus closed 2015 with Christmas festivities that played on the motif of light and embodied in the theme "Dingas: Adhikaing Diliman, Adhikaing Bayan [Sparks: Diliman and Country Aspirations]'.

'Ang "dingas" bilang simbolikong kahulugan ng Kapaskuhan,' Chancellor Michael Tan said, 'ay napakagandang pagsasalarawan sa UP. Bilang lunsaran ng mga radikal na kaisipan, kamulatan sa mga usaping pambayan at mga pagkilos, ang pamana ng UP ay mistulang maliit na ningas ng apoy na unti-unting lumalagablab. Pinag-aalab nito ang damdaming makabayan at pagmamahal sa bayan ng ating mga mag-aaral, guro at kawani.'  [The spark as symbol of the meaning of Christmas is a beautiful description of UP. As platform for launching radical ideas, consciousness of national issues and actions, the heritage of UP seems to be a small spark that slowly spreads out to fire the patriotism and love of country among our students, faculty and personnel.]

The festival mood was turned on by Aninag [Reflection] 2015 on 27 November: a procession around the campus led by university students carrying intricate Pampanga lanterns mounted on bamboo poles, which was capped by Pag-iilaw, the lighting of the campus, the Oblation and plaza through the latest installation art of sculptor Toym Imao. One hundred seven (107) lighted balloons, representing UP's 107th anniversary, were also released to symbolize the new hope of the nation, 

College of Social Work and Community Development.
The Aninag was inspired by the Lubenas, a Kapampangan tradition of evening processions to the church during the nine days of the “simbang gabi” leading to up to Christmas Eve. In Diliman, it stopped at six stations where a light show, puppel show and choral singing of Christmas songs were staged, and culminated at the Oblation plaza where universty officials turned on the lights for the Pag-iilaw

With multi-color lighting and three flame components, Imao refashioned the Oblation to symbolize a sulo [torch], the three towers in the Quezon Hall as lighthouses, the lights in the Oblation Plaza as sails and the trees around Quezon Hall, adorned with red lights for the season, as fire trees. According to the Imao, these metaphors are for the University’s roles as a spark for new ideas, a guide to action and the beacon for public service.

"The Pag-iilaw," explained Chancellor Michael Tan, "played on the theme of dingas, a spark that catches on and spreads, lumalagablab,"  

Other festivities followed:

The Carillon Plaza became the concert arena for the Krizzmazz Jazz of the UP Jazz Band on 10 December for all jazz enthusiasts and music lovers.  The bells also opened, closed the concert with UP Naming Mahal and rendered Christmas songs for some time in the early evening,

College of Arts and Letters
The UP Filipiniana Folk Dance Gorup, including some 50 alumni, in celebration of its 80th anniversary staged Tanglaw 2015: Isang Pamaskong Konsyerto [Beacon 2015: A Christmas Concert] on 11 December,  The dance concert comprised two parts: folk dances from all over the archipelago, and modern dances choreographed to local love and Chrismas songs.

The climax, of course, of Christmas in UP Diliman, was Parada ng mga Parol [Lantern Parade] 2015 of 14 December evening.  This is the lastes continuation of a university tradition that started almost a hundred years ago (1922), albeit interrupted by the Second World War and the hiatus due to martial law in 1970-1976, or cancelled due to 'security threats' in 2006.  

It was also inspired by the folk custom of carrying lanterns of various shapes and sizes to light the way to the church for the nine-day early morning misas de aguinaldo or the midnight misa de gallo of Chrismas eve during the Spanish period.

The Lantern Parade has evolved with the times reflecting the changing social and political landscape of the University and the country. Modern technology like computers and robotics has also influenced the creation of lanterns and floats. The parade has also shown the diverse faces of university such as the LGBT sector (UP Babaylan) and the Muslim community,

This year, several academic units highlighted their foundation anniversaries with colorful lanterns: College of Social Sciences and Philosophy (float/lantern depicted a 'solar system' of thoughts), College of Dentistry (used a fully-dressed female figure ala Oblation with the iconic sablay), School of Urban and Regional Planning (had Oblation with symbolic urban structural icons), and the Cesar E.A. Virata School of Business (float/lantern a towering 100th birthday cake).

Institute of Islamic Studies.
UP Mindanao had a delegation in southern Philippines costume; their float/lantern was a typical Muslim house; likewise, the participants from the Institute of Islamic Studies, Other academic units had the vinta and sari-manok as motif. The College of Architecture had a massive Muslim Mindanao house from which a giant sari-manok emerged when it split into three.  The College of Arts and Letters used the Manobo story as float theme: man and woman confronting an eagle.

University and national issues were subjects of the protest floats/lanterns of SAMASA (the student political party), College of Mass Communications and the All UP Workers Alliance.

SAMASA: Never Again! Never Forget!
SAMASA had a 'military tank' painted with the slogans protesting 'the resurgence of fascism' and enjoining spectators  to 'Never Again! Never Forget!' martial law and the Marcos dictatorship. This is the same tank sans the slogans and the mounted lights that Toym Imao and his friends use in the reenactment of Second World War scenes during Independence Day or Bataan Day celebtations.

The College of Mass Communications had a giant microphone decorated with CDs and live-streaming TV sets vis-a-vis their protest theme of 'Stop Killing Journalists!'.

The All UP Workers Alliance came with banners, streamers and a float/lantern to voice out their concerns about university policies affecting them.

The most awaited part of the parade featured the depiction by the College of Fine Arts students of classic Filipino films:  
  • float/lanterns for Dalagang Bukid (vintage 1919), Dyesebel (the original had Edna Luna as the mermaid), Pedro Penduko, Juan Tamad Goes to Congress (directed by and starring National Artist Manuel Conde), Facifica Falayfay (a Dolphy movie), Asiong Salonga (Joseph Estrada in the starring role), Ang Panday (Fernando Poe as Flavio), Burlesk Queen (Vilma Santos as the dancer), Ganito Kami Noon (National Artist Eddie Romero film) and Maynila Sa Kuko ng Liwanag (National Artist Lino Brocka film); the last one was intriguing - a massive box painted black being pulled with large ropes; and
Juan Tamad Goes to Congress
  • costumed participants for Genghis Khan (National Artist Manuel Conde film), Sister Stella L (Mike de Leon, director; Vilma Santos, title role), and Bagets (UP alumnus Mario de los Reyes, director).
Sister Stella L served as a vehicle for protest: re-enactmenf of violence during labor union strikes, and some participants carried protest slogans like 'Stop Lumad Killings!'.

Asiong Salonga

Fine Arts, already a Hall-of-Famer was not in the competition for the best lantern (won by the College of Engineering). The different classes competed among themselves. Ang Panday was declared best; Juan Tamad and Asiong Salonga were the runners-up.

Ang Panday

To us the winner was 'Juan Tamad Goes to Congress'. The congressman was depicted as a pig wearing the Juan Tamad mask: an allusion to pork barrel and the workstyle of our lawmakers.

Maligayang Pasko 2015!!

No comments:

Post a Comment