The “Pag-iilaw 2019” ceremony at the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman Carillon Plaza on November 29 signaled the start of the Christmas season in UP, as University officials formally switched on the decorative lights of the Carillon and all the major buildings and avenues in the campus.
With the theme “Pumailanlang”, or “to soar”, the celebration for this season is centered on the Carillon Tower and Plaza, now adorned with bird-like lanterns to symbolize UP Diliman as a sanctuary for wildlife and humans alike, of marginalized sectors seeking refuge in the University, as well as for advocates of civil rights and academic freedom, especially in times of uncertainty and social turmoil.
After the ceremony, a live band concert, featuring Moonstar 88 and We Got, and a potluck street party, in celebration of the achievements of the UP athletes who participated in the UAAP Season 82, were held at the Washington Sycip Garden, which is located at the same block and faces the UP Bahay ng Alumni. Most notable of those present were the Men’s Basketball Team and the UP Pep Squad.
As a tribute to its historic significance and continuing relevance to the UP community, the Carillon, also known as the Andres Bonifacio Centennial Carillon Tower, serves as this year’s centerpiece and venue for the Pag-iilaw, which is traditionally held at the Oblation Plaza. The bells of the Carillon were rung as part of protest actions marking the ouster of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, the burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos in the Libingan ng mga Bayani, and the excesses of the Philippine drug war under the present administration, which has claimed the lives of many innocent victims, among many other social issues. Just like the previous years’ Pag-iilaw designs, the mythical birds for this season were also designed by Toym Imao.
The much awaited Lantern Parade will be held on December 13 to cap the University’s Christmas and year-end celebrations.