CPU Festival of Lights and Music 2016 Opens with 15K Attendees
COLORS OF THE CENTRALIAN CHRISTMAS SPIRIT – Photo by Perseus B. Gamuza Jr., CPU Junior High School, winner of the 1st Festival of Lights and Music At Central Photo Contest.
A night of celebrating the Centralian Christmas spirit – the 2016 CPU Festival of Lights and Music drew an estimated crowd of 15, 000 Centralians and guests on its opening night at the Centennial Walkway last December 2, 2016.
Spearheaded by the CPU Alumni Association, Inc. (CPUAAI), the annual event aims to gather CPU alumni, students and guests to experience the Centralian Christmas spirit and welcome in the yuletide season in a grand event of lights and music.
Bannering the theme: Sharing The Centralian Christmas Spirit Beyond Borders, the festival showcased Centralian talents, outstanding alumni and the beauty of the lighted CPU campus which was named as one of the 18 most beautiful campus by BuzzFeed.com in 2015, and listed by TripAdvisor.com.ph as one of the Top Ten Things to do while you are in Iloilo City.
BEYOND BORDERS, The Centennial Walkway illuminates with lights – Photo by Vanessa Joie Rapirap, CPU Junior High School, 2nd Place winner of the 1st Festival of Lights and Music At Central Photo Contest 2016.
During the opening celebration, Engr. Isagani J. Jalbuena, Over-all Chairman of the Festival of Lights and Music 2016, thanked Centralians and guests for contributing to the success of this year’s festival. He also encouraged Centralians to take care of the campus as CPU celebrates its 15th year of being one of Iloilo’s educational tourism sites. “Today we are celebrating the light of Christ and as we celebrate the 15th year of CPU as one of Iloilo’s tourism sites, we also look forward to the the 115th Founding Anniversary of our beloved university, may we share the Centralian light and spirit not only this yuletide season but all year round.”
On the other hand, Rev. Joniel Howard H. Gico, Vice President for Student Affairs and OIC President shared the reason why Centralians observe the tradition of celebrating The Festival of Lights and Music. “We celebrate the significance of the festival because of the birth of our Lord, and just like our theme: Sharing The Centralian Christmas Spirit Beyond Borders, Jesus dared the cross beyond the borders of death to bring us the light of His salvation – the light of Christmas.”
Hon. Jed Patrick E. Mabilog, Iloilo City Mayor, graced the event together with other key city officials including Iloilo City Councilor Jeffrey P. Ganzon. In his speech, Mayor Mabilog emphasized the value of observing the Christmas season, quoting John 3:16 he encouraged Centralians and guests to always be reminded that we celebrate Christmas because of Christ and His gift of salvation. “Christmas is about heaven, it is about sharing the light of Christ, just as you have shared the lights in your campus.”
CHRISTMAS CROWD , Centralians and guest walk to and fro the University Church – Photo by Mat Autajay, 3rd Place winner of the 1st Festival of Lights and Music At Central Photo Contest 2016.
Before the switching on of the “Lights of Hope”, 111 LED balloons were released by students. The balloons symbolized the 111 years of CPU+s existence, and more so the joy and gratitude of Centralians as the Christmas season ushers in the spirit of selflessness and thanksgiving.
Key persons present for the switching on of the “Lights of Hope” were Atty. Von Lovel D. Bedona Vice Chairman, CPU Board of Trustees, Rev. Joniel Howard E. Gico, Vice President for Student Affairs, Hon. Jed Patrick E. Mabilog, Iloilo City Mayor, Mr. Daniel P. Dorillo, CPUAAI President A.Y. 2016-2017, Engr. Isagani J. Jalbuena, Over-all Chairman, Festival of Lights and Music 2016, Prof. Sharon Rose G. Munar, 1st Runner Up, 2016 Alumni Homecoming Queen and Mr. Jayson Troy F. Bajar, CPU Republic President.
One by one, they switched on the “Lights of Hope” as the CPU Symphonic Band conducted by Mr. Ascencion O. Bautista played Christmas songs in the background. The lights first illuminated the college buildings then the Half Moon Drive, the Smile Hill, the Rose Memorial, the Centennial Walkway and finally the University Church – CPU became a spectacle of lights and music.
Simultaneously while the lights were switched on, the fireworks display started. The 15-minute fireworks show captivated the attention of Centralians and guest alike. Colors of every spectrum covered the sky and the campus.
CPU celebrates the Festival of Lights and Music as a reminder that we must always be covered by the Light of Christ – that we must let our light so shine before others, so that they may see our good works and praise our Father in heaven./Keziah G. Huelar