Of Wishing Lamps and The Battle of Manila

The rain which Carlos Celdran called rather as “climate change” may have forced the Manila Transitio 1945 event to change venues but it didn’t stop those glaring paper wishing lamps to fly up the Manila Cathedral and above the sky.  Sixty-six years ago, one hundred and twenty thousand Filipinos lost their lives during the battle between Japanese and Americans for a month. Believed to be the worst urban fighting in the Pacific during WWII, these wishing lamps were lit up in memory of these people.

From La Castellana where the concert was held, at around 10PM the participants started walking to Plaza Roma. Those who don’t have umbrellas, they put these still plastic-enclosed wishing lamps on top of their head to cover them from the drizzle.  Their eyes show a bit doubt if they can light themselves these lamps up. But  the spirits of these 120, 000 people may have helped to clear the sky because after 10 minutes or so the drizzle stopped.

One man started to light his wishing lamp. Another hand helped him to turn it upside down so slowly not to  burn the sides of the lamp. Then these hands should hold this lamp for a while until it floats up. The crowd clapped their hands like little children so eager to do for themselves too. One by one, these glaring lamps all going up slowly creating a soothing sight to those watching.

The instruction says one should write a wish to the lamp first but I guess everyone forgot to because they are so eager to let theirs fly quick. I have one in mind though, that I was thinking while holding my wishing lamp that if ever this got bumped to the trees like a few others and won’t be able to fly up above, this wish won’t come true. At first it went up but went down, but thank you to a hand who helped me hold it until it did went up and up the sky.  I hope my wish would turn this way up too soon…








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