The annual festivity that is the University of the Philippines Lantern Parade in Diliman celebrated campus grounds as a playground — a place where ideas flourish and where it is safe to explore.
Dr. Nestor Castro, Vice Chancellor for Community Affairs, in an interview with Athena Imperial said that the theme “Paaralan, Palaruan” touches on the university being a political and cultural playing field.
In a statement shared with the press, the UP Information Office added that the theme “is inspired by ‘Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play Element in Culture,’ a book written in 1938 by Dutch historian and philosopher Johan Huizinga, who used the term ‘homo ludens’ to describe the nature of man and society to create ‘play’ which in turn forms their culture.”
Over 50 contingents created lanterns with this in mind, interpreting the idea as they see fit.
For the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy, children are meant to be protected and have a safe haven like a playground. Featured on their float is a faceless police officer armed with a gun and surrounding him are children. On lanterns adorning the float are names of the young children who have become victims of the war on drugs.
The UP College of Social Sciences and Philosophy’s lantern / float features a faceless cop taking aim with children surrounding him. pic.twitter.com/s83IBG9GXD— Aya Tantiangco ???? (@ayaruim) December 15, 2017
The war on drugs also makes an appearance in the float of the UP College of Social Work and Community Development lantern, where PNP Chief Bato Dela Rosa, President Rodrigo Duterte, and Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II loom over a slain alleged criminal.
PNP Chief Bato Dela Rosa, President Duterte, and Justice Secretary Aguirre make an appearance on the UP College of Social Work and Community Development lantern / float. pic.twitter.com/iNAp3hfzad— Aya Tantiangco ???? (@ayaruim) December 15, 2017
Duterte also makes an also makes an appearance in the All UP Workers Alliance float, where he is depicted as the villain Darth Vader.
The All UP Workers Alliance feel like the President has joined the dark side. pic.twitter.com/YF48T9egDV— Aya Tantiangco ???? (@ayaruim) December 15, 2017
UP Mass Communication, meanwhile, took aim at the proliferation of misinformation — the truth has become nothing but a toy in a playground so to speak.
UP MassCom presents a carousel of fake news, misinformation, and alternative facts. Kara David will be joining the contingent. pic.twitter.com/vhZIJEt9O3— Aya Tantiangco ???? (@ayaruim) December 15, 2017
UP College of Law had a more hopeful note interpretation. Their lantern is of a child who is aware of human rights and will hopefully grow to stand for truth and justice
The UP College of Law presents an infant who is “woke” — children should know their rights and grow up to be outstanding citizens who stand for truth and justice. pic.twitter.com/vvAyCF8c0p— Aya Tantiangco ???? (@ayaruim) December 15, 2017
De Castro said that this year’s criteria are how well the lanterns confrom with the theme, the use recyclable materials, and creativity. —NB, GMA News