UP Diliman (UPD) signalled the start of the Yuletide season with the annual Pag-iilaw or lighting ceremony on November 24. The UPD community gathered at the Oblation Plaza to witness the event, where it was also treated to performances by the UP Staff Chorale Society, the UP Rondalla and Marynor Madamesila, UP Dance Company and Sandwich.
This year’s theme, “Paaralan at Palaruan” (“School and Playground”), emphasizes the University as a place of holistic learning, where intellectual growth is harnessed and psychosocial development is nurtured.
As in years past, the highlight of the campus festive decor is the installation at the Oblation Plaza. Artist Toym Imao’s “Mulat” is this year’s featured work. Mulat is the Filipino word for opening one’s eyes or being aware or conscious.
In this installation, the Oblation is in the middle of a giant eye, decorated with woven threads of varying colors, which the artist describes as representative of diverse views and ideas. The plaza, which the eye overlooks, is decorated with outlines of children playing, some made with woven threads and some without. This interplay of absence and presence, memory and reality is a commentary on a “land threatened by a culture of death and impunity.”
Illuminated by black light, the installation is “meant to absorb light and radiate it back,” which Imao hopes inspires viewers “to overcome the darkness and be sources of light” themselves.
UP President Danilo Concepcion, in his message, said that because of Imao’s design, the Oblation serves as a beacon and constant reminder of the importance of social consciousness in embodying the University’s traditions of honor and excellence.
The campus Christmas installations are lit every night at 6:00 pm. (Arlyn VCD Palisoc Romualdo, UP MPRO)