MANILA — In its first major gathering on-campus since the pandemic, the De La Salle University (DLSU) Manila community welcomed the month of December in lights, sounds, and festivities with its “Animo Christmas” event Friday night.
A 15-meter-high Christmas tree decorated with star lanterns and adorned atop by the university’s star emblem was lit up for the occasion.
The giant tree also featured lights and decorations inside, allowing students and other visitors to stay and take photos for a limited period.
For the first time as well, the front of the iconic St. La Salle Hall along Taft Avenue was bathed in a lights and sound show featuring Christmas music.
Students, many of whom had only stepped into the campus for on-site classes this year, flocked to the facade which showed silhouettes of the Nativity of Jesus and other scenes.
“Super ganda and at the same nakaka-enjoy kasi very festive ang design. First memory ito, so super nakaka-excite and super-fun na ma-experience namin as Lasallians,” said Levin Salac, a 2nd year student.
Freshie student Aljane Hannah Bathan also made the most of the sights in her alma mater before visiting her family abroad for the holidays.
“It’s actually really overwhelming because it’s my first time here studying in university here in the Philippines, because I came from UAE,” she said.
“I find that it enhances La Salle, our school. It’s so nice to be here, to witness these lights.”
DLSU president Bro. Bernard Oca FSC noted the attendance to the Christmas event on campus that Friday was their biggest gathering since 2020.
He said the activity again allowed La Salle students, faculty, staff, and parents to feel joy and a sense of community as one.
Oca added the displays and festivities were in keeping with their Christmas theme this year: “Mabuhay ka, Hesus!” (Live, Jesus!), an adaptation of the Lasallian prayer “Live Jesus in our hearts forever”.
“Gusto naming ipahiwatig na si Hesus talaga, sana mabuhay sa ating mga puso lalong-lalo sa Paskong ito,” he said.
“Kitang-kita mo ang sarap, ang saya ng energy. And I hope that this energy will be, that they gain a deeper faith in Jesus and that they will be able to find true happiness this season by making other people happy.”
Other DLSU campuses such as Laguna also joined the Manila campus in lighting their own Christmas trees and buildings
Aside from the displays, a local Christmas-themed bazaar for food and other goods will be open at the campus for the next few weeks.
The university also announced it would reopen “Simbang Gabi” or dawn pre-Christmas Masses on the campus grounds beginning December 16.