UP Diliman Unveils Their Festive Christmas Display Tonight

It's another poignant piece by Toym Imao.

(SPOT.ph) "De facto-proxy bonfire ang UP [Pag-iilaw]," jokes artist Toym Leon Imao in a Facebook post following the big win of the University of the Philippines' men's basketball team against Adamson University in a do-or-die game on November 28. Kidding aside, the much-awaited lighting ceremony (a.k.a. Pag-iilaw) of the state university's Christmas display is scheduled to happen tonight November 29 at the Oblation Plaza in Diliman, Quezon City. The event's central piece features Toym Imao's "Kamalayag," which is a giant lantern in the form of a kumpit (traditional boat).

The artist's sculpture follows this year's Christmas theme: "Paglaot, Pagdaong," which is a nod to the forthcoming 70th anniversary of the transfer of the Oblation from the University of the Philippines - Manila to the Diliman campus in February 1949. "Every paglaot carries the promise to return either physically—those who have safely navigated its waters and brought home the day’s catch, or in spirit for those who are forever embraced by the sea, they come back as stories of inspiration and hope," Imao explained about his piece.


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"Kamalayag" is made of bamboo, which represents the blades of wild grass that was abundant in the Diliman campus during its early years. Its mast is shaped like a cruciform with an arrow on the tip similar to a compass' pointer. "[This] represents members of the UP community's paglaot to the four corners of the archipelago," the artist added. The boat's sail has a cavity in the form of the Oblation statue.

Pag-iilaw is on November 29, 6 p.m. at the Oblation Plaza, University of the Philippines - Diliman, Quezon City. The Lantern Parade is on December 14, 5 p.m. at the University Amphitheater and Academic Oval. For more information, visit University of the Philippines - Diliman's website.

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