MANILA, Philippines – In the University of the Philippines campus, the streets spill with color as people march in festive costumes, dragging large, bright floats and carrying lanterns made of recycle materials.
Gearing up to win the Hall of Fame award for the best lantern at the annual UP Lantern Parade on Friday, Dec. 16, 2011, the College of Engineering is working on an ambitious project.
They will try to float a 5-kilo lantern, a replica of UP’s Quezon Hall, fueled by 500 hydrogen balloons.
Made of styrofoam, LED lights and light plastic, the lantern isn’t that heavy. It’s as light as the weight of two laptops.
The college has won in the past two consecutive years. Winning again on Thursday would make them candidates for the Hall of Fame.
So far, only the College of Fine Arts is in the Hall of Fame.
Hours before the parade, various colleges and groups gathered in their respective areas to finalize last-minute preparations. They tailored their costumes, painted their faces for this year’s parade, and more importantly, did the finishing touches of their lanterns, in hopes that theirs are triumphant.
It’s a culmination of campus-wide Christmas activities that began the first week of December.
The UP Lantern Parade started as early as 1922, when members of the UP community, including students, faculty and employees carried lanterns through the streets. The lanterns were used to light their way to church for the traditional simbang gabi. – with reports from Carmela Fonbuena and Natashya Gutierrez/Rappler.com