Pag-iilaw 2022

UPD holds first in-person Pag-iilaw

Anna Regidor

After two years of remote celebration, the annual Pag-iilaw ceremony was celebrated physically, with the participation of the UP Diliman (UPD) community on the evening of Dec. 9.

Hours before the event, the students, faculty, staff, families from barangay UP Campus and the surrounding communities, and alumni began to gather in front of the Oblation Plaza to see the Christmas lights turn on for the season.

The program began with a message from Vice Chancellor for Community Affairs Luis Maria Bo-ot, PhD, who expressed happiness at the gradual and inevitable resumption of normalcy in the University and the presence of the community at the Pag-iilaw.

Pagkatapos ng higit dalawang taon muli tayong nandito, nagkikita-kita, nagtitipon ngayong gabi, at handa tayong harapin ang mga bagong kabanata, ang mga bagong landas na ating sasalubungin, na ating tatahakin, at kasama ang tapang, talino, at ngayon, galak,” said Bo-ot.

He invited those present to all the other official activities planned for the Year-end: The UP Diliman Busker Festival 2022: A Fundraiser for Taguyod UPD on Dec. 11, at the UP Town Center Acacia Courtyard; Jazz for Christmas on Dec. 16 at the UP Carillon Plaza; and the culminating activity of the celebrations, the UP Lantern Parade, on Dec. 21 which will be held in person in the traditional format for the first time since 2020.

His speech was followed by homegrown a capella group Iskollas, who sang a medley: Heto na Naman composed by National Artist (NA) for Music Ryan Cayabyab, Bibingka by Ben&Ben, and Noche Buena with lyrics by NA for Music Levi Celerio and music by NA for Music Felipe Padilla de León.

This was followed by a message from UP President Danilo L. Concepcion delivered by Vice President for Public Affairs Elenia Pernia, PhD.

In a message to the UPD community, UPD Chancellor Fidel R. Nemenzo mused on UP’s resilience as it transitions from the pandemic to a new normal. 

Naniniwala ako na ang tatak ng ating komunidad ay nag-uugat sa mga bagay na ating pinapahalagahan: Ang dangal, ang husay, talino at serbisyo publiko. Ito ang mga bagay na humuhubog sa atin at nagbibigay ng edukasyong Tatak UP. Ito rin ang mga bagay na ating dadalhin sa mga bagong landas na ating tatahakin,” he said.

This was followed by a performance of Antonio Vivaldi’s Concerto in D Major RV 93 arranged by James Edwards and performed by Solaiman Jamisolamin, a professor of strings and chamber music at the UPD College of Music (CMu) along with CMu student and Gawad Tsanselor Natatanging Mag-aaral awardee, RJ Balledos.

The kalesa of the Pag-iilaw. Photo by Jefferson Villacruz, UPDIO
The Oblation surrounded by KAThATAKATAKA. Photo by Jefferson Villacruz, UPDIO

It was then time for the Pag-iilaw ceremony itself. Two members of the UP Filipiniana Dance Group (FDG) riding a kalesa were driven from the portion of the academic oval in front of the CMu towards the main stage, where they joined other FDG members onstage. They then performed the traditional Pangasinense dance, wasiwas.

After the performance, every other light in the area was switched off and UPD College of Fine Arts Abdulmari Imao’s art installation KAThATAKATAKA was switched on.

The design was inspired by the katakataka or “miracle plant,” the same plant found at the base of the Oblation. According to Oblation sculptor National Artist for Sculpture Guillermo Tolentino, the katakataka’s ability to grow almost anywhere “symbolizes the deep-rooted patriotism in the heart of our heroes. Such patriotism continually and forever grows anywhere in the Philippines.”

The main lantern surrounding the Oblation is shaped like a katakataka leaf, its veins alluding to the branches of the “tree of life” or the arbol de la vida and luhul, folk art forms originating from Mexico and Tausug tapestry, respectively.

(From left) Balledos, Nemenzo, and Jamisolamin. Photo by Jefferson Villacruz, UPDIO

After the lighting ceremony, Balledos and Jamisolamin took to the stage joined by Nemenzo in a musical tribute to the UPD community. They performed Payapang Daigdig by De León with lyrics by Brigido C. Batungbakal.

The whole program concluded with the return of community singing as part of the Pag-iilaw, the first since 2014. All those present joined Soundscapes Manila in a merry medley of holiday favorites: Kumukuti-kutitap and Paskong Walang Hanggan” both by Cayabyab with lyrics by Jose Javier Reyes, Himig Pasko by Serapio Y. Ramos, Munting Sanggol by Cayabyab, Pasko na Naman by De León and Celerio, Ang Pasko ay Sumapit by Vicente Rubi with lyrics by Celerio, and Jazz Hallelujah, Mervyn Warren’s arrangement of the Hallelujah Chorus from George Händel’s Messiah.

The event was also livestreamed via the UPD Youtube Channel.

Makibahagi sa pagdiriwang ng Kapaskuhan sa UP Diliman (UPD) at sama-sama nating saksihan ang seremonya ng Pag-iilaw 2022 na may temang “Bagong Tahak, Bagong Galak” ngayong Biyernes, Disyembre 9, 6 n.g., sa Quezon Hall.

Mapapanood din ito nang live sa opisyal na YouTube channel (


Traffic Advisory