Arts

‘Himig ng Diliman’: UP Oblation’s conch-shaped lanterns symbolize ‘giving light to dark times’

UP Diliman ushers the Christmas season with  the ceremonial lighting of the Oblation and other parts of the university. Photo by Romsanne Ortiguero, InterAksyon.

UP Diliman ushers the Christmas season with the ceremonial lighting of the Oblation and other parts of the university. Photo by Romsanne Ortiguero, InterAksyon.

The University of the Philippines-Diliman officially kicked off its Christmas festivities in the university through its annual “Pagiilaw” or switching of decorative lights around the Oblation and throughout the campus on Friday night, December 2.

With the theme “Himig ng Diliman,” the ceremony revealed the Oblation adorned with lantern elements reminiscent of a budyong or conch shell.

According to multimedia artist Toym Imao, creator of the installation with soundscapes from Solaiman Jamisolamin, the budyong was used as a horn during pre-colonial times to  ”signal the start of festivities, or call to the community for a gathering.”

“In times of imminent danger, the budyong sounds the alarm to take cover from calamities or rally the army to engage an enemy on the battlefield. The tambuli, fashioned from carabao horns, functions the same way,” the artist mentioned in a statement.

The statement continued that UP, in its 108 years, has been one of the country’s metaphorical budyong or tambuli, and with 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.

“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 statement further said.

Echoing this, Chancellor Michael Tan, in a speech addressing the UP community, said, “Ang Pagiilaw ay tradisyon na sa UP, hudyat ng pagsimula ng kapaskuhan. Nagpapatuloy ang tradisyong ito na may malalim na kahulugan sa atin dito sa unibersidad na kaugnay ng diwa ng kapaskuhan ang panahon ng pagasa. Ang mga ilaw ay sumisimbolo ng pagasa lalo ngayon na ang mundo at ang ating bansa ay dumadaan sa pagsubok.”

Tan mentioned the moments when the university was able to give light in “one’s life, for the country, and even for the whole world.”"Naging saksi tayo sa pagpapatuloy ng tatlong libong magsasaka na nagmula sa iba’t ibang bahagi ng Pilipinas para sa State of the Nation Address noong Hulyo. Naghost tayo dito. Isang gabi silang namalagi sa ating campus. Noong Oktubre, nagpatuloy muli tayo ng tatlong libong kasapi ng minorya na nagmula pa rin sa ibat iabng bahagi ng bansa—mga Igorot ng Cordillera, Negrito ng Central Luzon, Southern Tagalong at Panay, mga Lumad o katutubo ng Mindanao at mga Moro—at sila ay namalagi ng dalawang linggo dito sa UP Diliman,” he said.

Tan also recognized how the community gathered to protest a burial, without mentioning names, but clearly pertaining to that of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

“Nagbigay liwanag tayo nung nagmobilize tayo kahit daglian ang panawagan upang tutulan ang pagpapalibing ng isang bangkay. ‘Di ko na babanggitin kung kanino. Sa madilim na raw na iyon ng ating kasaysayan, sinamahan natin mga Iskolar ng Bayan ang mga Mariang Katipunero, mga estudyante ng Miriam, at ang mga Blue Eagles ang mga estudyante ng Ateneo upang magbigay liwanag,” he said.

Magpapatuloy tayo sa pagbibigay liwanag sa pamamagitan ng paglaban sa pagtatangkang takpan ang katotohanan, sirain ang mga institusyong pangedukasyon ng ating kasaysayan at ating lipunan. Tutulan natin,” he added.

Tan also recognized various varsity teams who brought honor for the university.

As a parting word for the students and the whole UP community, Tan said, “Sa pagpasok ng bagong taon, sana’y ipagpatuloy natin, mga atleta ng UP, mga guro, mga estudyante sa pagbibigay liwanag sa ating buhay, sa bansa, at sa buong mundo.”

Meanwhile, other highlights inside the university this Christmas season are the Lantern Parade, slated to happen on December 16; and UP College of Music’s Paskong Pasinaya, a presentation of Handel’s “Messiah” happening on December 15 at the Abelardo Hall Auditorium.

InterAksyon.com
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