All photos below did not come from my camera, I got them from the web, just google "UP lantern parade 2012 photos".
Thousands of participants as the different colleges bring in their faculty members and students, they have modest lanterns or exhibits which are either pushed or carried by people or mounted on a truck or a pick up. And there are several more thousands of spectators and visitors. It is a festive and joyful exercise done every year.
Last Friday night, December 14, I attended the parade, after more than a decade of missing it. I brought my family and even my two young girls appreciated the various lanterns and the festivities. We sat at the Palma Hall steps where parade participants show off their wares and talents.
The most impressive lanterns for me were the following.
First, the UP College of Fine Arts (CFA). This group is a hands down winner each year in the parade competition. Since last year I think, they have been “disallowed” in the prize category because no one, not a single college can put up a serious competition to them. But they are given a special award or citation for their endless and non-tiring effort at entertaining the public. This year, they have a long parade of various lanterns, ranging from scary characters like a monster cockroach and monster “”aliens”, to children characters like tinker bell and forest fairies, to airplanes and different fishes, large and small. The CFA guys are really cool. Their annual participation is almost always the “highlight” of the UP lantern parade.
Second, the UP College of Human Kinetics (CHK). The participation and exhibition by the world famous UP Pep Squad was really awesome. Beautiful young men and women performing high acrobatics like throwing three girls high up in the air, the girls make 2 or 3 somersaults before landing on their back in the arms of 4 boys catching them. Even my two young girls were speechless at those acrobatic performance. The college also paraded the various UP sports teams – swimmers, divers, rowers, others.
Third, the UP College of Engineering (CE). For one, they have the most number of participants, hundreds of students from the different departments (Chemical, Industrial, Civil, Mining, etc.) participated and have their respective lanterns. One department showed a transformer mounted on a truck: an innocent-looking jeepney that later transformed into a giant robot standing high in a ready to fight stance, fascinating.
Fourth, the UP Babaylan. This is an organization of gays, lesbians, transgenders. Their costume was fantastic, some in two-piece attire. One participant looked like a real woman. They are cool and are very open about their chosen gender.
My college, the UP School of Economics (UPSE) also participated, the Dean and some faculty members were there, plus school administration staff and many students. They brought a replica of a bull mounted on a truck, to represent the bullish picture of the economy.
These two guys, they simply danced on a pick up and having a good time, the crowd cheered them as their dance were really funny.
Fireworks at the University Avenue, in front of the Oblation and the UP Administration building. I did not see this, we went home past 7pm. I think the fireworks were set off past 9 or past 10pm.
I did not like the prolonged mini-rally of the activists like the League of Filipino Students (LFS). They held up and delayed the parade of the Fine Arts, Babaylan and other more colorful, more entertaining participants.
Well, the lantern parade attracts not only the most creative but also the most mediocre minds in UP. We see both of them there, and others in between.