WATCH: Giant UP lantern shines, and it has a political message
MANILA, Philippines – On Friday night, December 2, a newly lit installation in the University of the Philippines in Diliman (UP DIliman) gave the Oblation a bright Christmas look. But the installation, created by artist Toym Imao with soundscape by Solaiman Jamisolamin, also conveys a timely political message.
Designed to include lantern elements that look like "budyong" (conch shell) and "tambuli" (a bugle made of horn), the giant installation is inspired by the traditional use of the instruments that date back to the pre-colonial times.
"In its 108 years, the University of the Philippines has been one of the country's metaphorical 'budyong' or 'tambuli', gathering inspired and enlightened minds from different islands of the archipelago who answer the call of higher learning and service to the nation, into its community," the university said in an article posted on UPDate Diliman.
"In its tradition of vigilance, progressive thought and action, the UP community will always sound the alarm and move against imminent threat to the liberties of the Filipino people," the university added.
Thousands of UP students and faculty members from UP Diliman and other UP campuses have joined the growing protest against the burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos in the Libingan ng mga Bayani and what they call "historical revisionism."
The Alpha Phi Omega (APO) fraternity in UP Diliman earlier staged its traditional issue-oriented Oblation Run, running naked to protest against the hero's burial for the late strongman Marcos and to ask the Duterte administration to stop extrajudicial killings.
The fraternity called on the Filipino people "to seek accountability and an honest unrevised history."
Himig ng Diliman
The UP community was active in fighting against the Marcos regime. On February 1, 1971, the academic community set up a massive barricade that lasted for more than a week to block government forces. The community declared itself the "Diliman Republic."
Based on estimates of Amnesty International (AI), during the Martial Law period, 70,000 people were imprisoned, 34,000 were tortured, and 3,240 were killed. The Marcoses had also been accused of amassing ill-gotten wealth with various estimates putting the total loot at between $5 billion to $10 billion. (READ: Recovering Marcos’ ill-gotten wealth: After 30 years, what? and What Bongbong Marcos knew of Swiss deposits)
The giant lantern highlights the historical role of the university in protest movements even as it celebrates the College of Music's centennial with the theme "Himig ng Diliman (Hymn of Diliman)."
"Himig ng Diliman is the narrative of the struggle and dissent of its community, a hymn that serves as a beacon of direction amidst the darkness, a familiar voice in the wilderness, a song with a melody that sparks hope amidst a State that may be out of tune," the university said.
UP Diliman also announced other events that are lined up for the season including the Lantern Parade on December 16 and Paskong Pasinaya, a presentation of Handel’s “Messiah” by the College of Music on December 15 at the Abelardo Hall Auditorium. With Exxon Ruebe for video/Rappler.com