UP lantern parade: lighting the way for Yolanda recovery
MANILA, Philippines - Lanterns made out of different materials that can be donated to relief operations in aid of Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) victims that hit the Visayas Area were showcased by different colleges in the annual Lantern Parade held in the University of the Philippines (UP) - Diliman on Wednesday, December 18. (READ: AS IT HAPPENS: #LanternParade2013)
This year’s theme, “Maalab Na Serbisyo Publiko ng Mapagkalingang Kampus” (passionate public service from a caring campus) is in solidarity with the recent tragedy that struck the nation. In line with this, the organizers requested the lanterns and floats of the colleges and organizations in the UP community be 30% made of relief goods such as instant food, slippers, and toiletries.
The administration previously cancelled the parade and opted to settle with just exhibiting stationary lanterns in their respective colleges. Due to the demand of the whole UP community, they went back to the original plan but cut down the usual expenses.
According to the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Community Affairs (OVCCA), all the savings from this year’s lantern parade will be donated to the Yolanda victims, together with the relief goods from colleges.
An estimated crowd of 3000 people witnessed the parade of more or less 50 floats that carried the lanterns around the Academic Oval. Participants also performed in front of the audience situated at the steps of Palma and Melchor Halls before taking a final bow at the amphitheater behind Quezon Hall.
Professors and officials also joined the students as they flaunted their colleges' prowess in this annual contest that also marks the start of the holiday break in the university.
'Simple yet relevant'
Students and employees of participating units interpreted the theme with the typhoon survivors in mind.
Employees of the Office of the Chancellor carried donation boxes as they paraded around the Academic Oval and approached spectators for monetary donations.
Several lanterns such as the School of Labor and Industrial Relations (SOLAIR), the National College of Public Administration (NCPAG), and the School of Statistics incorporated household essentials into their designs.
SOLAIR paraded a replica of a C130, a known icon in the rescue operations, with slippers lining up its side while NCPAG and Statistics made a Christmas tree and a boat made of canned goods and shampoo sachets, respectively.
The College of Education paraded a lantern made with pencils, books, crayons, and notebooks - highlighting the need for school supplies for thousands of affected children.
Tindog Tacloban, a group composed of families, friends, and supporters of Typhoon Yolanda survivors, joined the parade to show that they are recovering.
"We stand before you as not as victims, but as survivors," one member said. "We chose to be survivors."
The lanterns will be disassembled and the materials will be donated for the relief operations in the Visayas.
Last year’s champion, the College of Mass Communications (CMC), with their lantern entitled “Midya, Ina, Gasera, at Yolanda”, was beaten by the lantern of the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy (CSSP), College of Science (CS), and the College of Arts and Letters (CAL) as the Most Creative Lantern. CAL, CS, and CSSP joint forces this year to celebrate the 30thyear of branching out from the previous cluster of the College of Arts and Sciences.
National Institute of Science and Mathematics Education Development (NISMED) bagged the Most Eco-Friendly/re-usable lantern award with their nature-themed lantern made of umbrellas.
The lanterns were judged based on originality, imagination, and appropriateness to the parade’s theme. READ: IN PHOTOS: UP lantern parade 2012
The UP Diliman Lantern Parade is one of the most attended events during the Christmas season in Metro Manila. The event attracts both members of the UP Community and the general public. This year's parade had a message of hope: that the country will weather the challenges that struck the nation in 2013. - Rappler.com
Jodesz Gavilan is a former Rappler intern.