The annual Lantern Parade in UP (Diliman) is a showcase of the creative minds and artistic skills of the students of each of the participating colleges and organizations in the university. This year, I got to participate in the production of the lantern of UP Diliman-Parish of the Holy Sacrifice’s Campus Ministry. I also joined the parade on December 16 (Friday), which is why I didn’t see the other lanterns. It’s alright though, not seeing the other lanterns. Why? Well, I actually worked on a participating lantern, and I saw it on the parade. That, I think, is a far greater experience that seeing all the lanterns.
Why did we decide to make an angel anyway? Well, I think it’s to remind the community why we’re celebrating Christmas. I hope we were successful in sharing that message. Now, back to the lantern(s)!
I saw the photos of the other lanterns just now. Of course, it’s a little inevitable for me to compare the lanterns. I can’t decide on whose lantern look the best, but I think the Campus Ministry (CM)’s lantern was the greatest in its simplicity. Although some details weren’t executed, it was still beautiful. Although our lantern looked plain, people still took photos of it. Some even posed with the lantern, and some recognized that it was the parish’s lantern (since our banner said “Parish of the Holy Sacrifice”). It was a beautiful lantern, the most beautiful lantern in our eyes.
It took us 48-72 hours, I think, to make the simple lantern. I was in charge of doing the angel’s wings, and boy I worked on most of it. We also had help from other members of the Catholic Students Community. I had fun, and that’s the important thing about it. We had A LOT of struggles while making the lantern, but the biggest problem we had was lighting up the lantern.
Lighting up the lantern was so epic: from buying the lights, testing them out, working on the electrical stuff, working on how to put the lights, making the lantern light up, and keeping the lantern lit up.
On the morning before the parade, my friends in CM were trying to make our power generator work. In was already 3pm, and it still won’t work. So we decided to borrow a power generator. It took a while to get one. As we were putting on the final touches, our friends from Emmanuel School of Mission (ESM) Manila came and helped us, especially in putting the lantern on the carriage. Everything was a struggle after finishing the production. But the most remarkable experience is how we managed to light up the lantern during the many times the generator went off DURING the parade.
Every time the power generator went off, we would pray…and refill it with fuel. We would rejoice every time it our angel would light up! But then I grew so tired and so hungry, so my friend MJ and I left to eat. We were not able to join the rest of the CM team to present the lantern during the main program. That’s quite sad, but hey, at least I saw the spectators’ good response. MJ and I headed back to the CM office and found our friends resting there. Then, we played The Resistance: Avalon, and the rest ate. We had a good bonding experience before everyone goes home to their provinces.
Light…oh light. I never knew that keeping light on could be a struggle.
This year’s Lantern Parade was the best for me, so far. It’s not just because of the lantern itself; it’s more of the bonding experience with CM, the experience of helping, and the productivity. I wish for more opportunities like this. 🙂
PS: I think this looks a little rushed.