ORMOC CITY, Leyte, August 9 (PIA) - “Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four three, two, and one,” the countdown reverberates from the loudspeaker and the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) lantern was lighted.
This was not the only countdown of the ASEAN Grand Celebration Landmark Lantern Lighting Ceremony in Ormoc City held at around 7:00 o’clock in the evening of August 8 but also in the cities of Tacloban, Maasin and the towns of Palo and Balangiga in Region 8 as well as in more than 70 cities and municipalities across the country.
The event which was also participated by the ASEAN member states and anchored on the theme “Under One Light, We Are One ASEAN,”is a centerpiece of one of the major celebrations commemorating the 50th ASEAN milestone under the Philippines’ Chairmanship of ASEAN 2017.
Awareness of every Juan on ASEAN
“Is it Christmas now” a 68-year old female Ormocanon bluntly spoke as she passed and saw the ASEAN Lantern at the top of the second floor of the Ormoc City Old City Hall Building, the site of the ASEAN Landmark Lighting Ceremony in Ormoc City a day before the event.
“Will there be a pre-Christmas celebration in the city?,” said also a 18-year old male teenager Ormocanon who used to visit the mini-park fronting the old city hall every afternoon.
These are just of the few remarks of Filipinos at the grassroots level whose awareness on the ASEAN still need leveling up for them to be able to join the bandwagon of Filipinos who were in the know of what and how important ASEAN is in the lives of Filipinos being the country as one of the 10 ASEAN member-states.
What is in an ASEAN Lantern?
In one ASEAN periodicals, it describes the Ceremonial Lantern as the reflections in the richness of the ASEAN region’s diversity.
It is inspired from a famous Filipino Christmas ornament called parol, in it are the vinta sails, symbolizing the water that connects us, connects the countries, the ASEAN, the colors of the ASEAN member states, the color of the flags of the ASEAN member states, and the Anahaw leaf, the jasmine and sampaguita flowers.
ASEAN Lantern lights onwards
The 68-year old female and the 18-year old male Ormocanons whom I saw among the throng of Ormocanons from all walks of life witnessing the ASEAN Landmark Lantern Lighting Ceremony on August 8 at the Ormoc Old City Hall Building, is but just one of the activities in bringing, guiding, informing, and let the Filipino people at the grassroots level embrace and understand the importance of ASEAN in their lives today and of the future days to come in their lives.
The ASEAN Lantern lights will continue to brighten the minds and to open the hearts of the Filipino people even to the remotest nooks and corners of community in the country onwards for it is then where the objective of leveling the awareness of the Filipino people on ASEAN will be attained. (rsv/PIA8-Biliran)