The Diliman Commune. Photo from The University of the Philippines: A University for Filipinos, edited by Gloria D. Feliciano (1984).

The University of the Philippines, the country’s national university, is known globally as a university system that fosters the ideals of academic excellence, freedom and human rights, nationalism and development, and progressive thinking, hence its campuses, especially the UP Diliman and Manila campuses, are also famous for being centers of student activism and dissent.

For 34 years, it was a highly anticipated UP event, promoted and covered by national newspapers and magazines. It was the Cadena de Amor festival, a grand parade that met the sunset with its three festival queens and university seniors in their white gowns who carried and passed on a vine of cadena de amor—the floral signature of Diliman—to juniors in pink.