My 8,766th day on earth was showered with twenty-four blessings from a clear Bataan sky.  I waited until I was rewarded with two dozens of these Geminid meteors. They say that shooting stars grant wishes.  But I didn’t ask for 24 wishes to come true.  I only had one, hoping that each meteor will cast their power to the fulfillment of this one simple wish.  What did I wish for?  I’d better keep it to myself. 🙂

Actually, I first heard of the Geminids in the news just the day before.  How I wished I knew earlier that they had been playing annual performances on earth’s night sky since the day I was born.  This was the first time I saw a shooting star.  And I was overwhelmed by its beauty. So from now on, I will make it a habit to enjoy God’s gifts every time the clock strikes twelve every 14th of December.

And so for this very special day, I had a parade, an awesome fireworks display and a royal banquet.

before the parade

before the parade


This is where I witnessed my parade, or rather the U.P. Lantern Parade.

It’s always so refreshing to be roaming around U.P. Diliman again.  I couldn’t even remember the last time I witnessed this impressive display of lights.  Because of that, I observed a lot of addition to this Christmas Isko/Iska tradition.

Silver Oble

First, student organizations participated in the parade.  This is a glossy silver representation of Oble from the org “Students of Destiny”.  I believe they are quite a new org since I haven’t heard of them when I was still in college.  Or are they?

Junk the Cybercrime Prevention Law

The UP Monorail Project

The UP Monorail Project

Other members of the UP community were heard during the parade.  The UP Manininda showcased their elegant food carts.  Barangay UP Campus also had a representative.  Even the UP Police and Fire Department were present.  Activists waved their red flag on the event.  Casiguran farmers uttered their protest for the APECO project.  The UP Ikot drivers expressed their opposition to the monorail project.  Other groups like Gabriela also proclaim their beliefs.

Other campuses, like UP Pampanga, UP Open University and the UP College of Medicine also joined the spectacle.

The UP Pep Squad

Of course, the UP Pep Squad was present.

And then there was the battle of the colleges.

Tin Man and the Warrior

Tin Man and the Warrior



College of Architecture had the Tin Man and its Warrior as offense and these miniature university buildings for defense.  They may be mini but when put together, they assembled an intact cover.

ENGG's Optimus Prime

ENGG’s Optimus Prime

The College of Engineering wouldn’t let their guard down with their version of Optimus Prime.  And yes, their jeepney sure transformed.

Because of these, I can say that other colleges finally had a chance against FA.

And the reigning champion for several years now, the College of Fine Arts, chose the mystical and magical creatures of the wind to sweep all the machineries away.  From the candy planes to the Magic Carps to the UFOs to the drunkards, the CFA surely captured the audience, literally and figuratively.

Why literally?

I was surprised to see these barricades in front of the A.S. steps.  I thought it was a good idea to segregate the audience from the parade participants.

But then, midway before the sun came down, people started occupying the space in front of the barricades so all we saw were their backs.  The dark welcomed all these people taking their “VIP” seats at the viewing area.  I wondered where all the ushers and tanods went because during my time, I believe there were people controlling the crowd, especially if the floats were kinda big.  And true enough, the floats only had a very limited space and some were even “dragging” the people out of the streets.

After the parade, I gave a “royal” banquet treat to my friends. And so we went somewhere nearby, to the great kingdom of Technohub where we found Mezza Norte.  Food was sure good: from grilled pork, chicken and fish, to pizzas and pastas, to seafood and rice meals, to shakes and cocktails, but don’t worry, they assure that these did not contain alcohol. And I really craved for cake that night.  Oh yes, they have cakes and gelatos.

And while we were enjoying a sumptuous feast, the fireworks, still from U.P., beamed in the night sky.

At the royal banquet with fireworks on the background

At the royal banquet with fireworks on the background

And so my 24th birthday started with shooting stars from a clear sky and ended with some magnificent fireworks display that lit this Friday night.  The skies surely had a plan for me on this special day.

Rukia look-alike :-)

Rukia look-alike 🙂

Ang magaganda kong kaibigan :-)

Ang magaganda kong kaibigan 🙂

And I want to thank my wonderful friends for joining me in this celebration.  Ami, Jombits and Mai, I wanna thank you all.  And Sheig, we already miss you.  Looking forward for your homecoming next year. ❤