In the full HD resolution of Hibalag, people see booths, tattoo artists, food stalls and guest bands. The lights seem pixelated in the dark like colored circles in the dim skies. In the melodic noise, partygoers hear it as the eternal sound of party music and groove. The colored lights reveal the smoke from the grills. Blenders rasp as a customer orders his/her favorite shake. Teeth grind as the people enjoy their corn in a stick. Every sip, burp, and gulp are heard. The library mocks as the sound bounces to the walls of Silliman Library, producing an echo of notes and beats. The booths are set on fire by the red and yellow lights from the stage. Drizzles fall like reminders of incoming rain, but people still continue to enjoy every inch of the Hibalag. Everyone crazes about the Miss Silliman pageant. The fire ignites once again as the colleges fight for the Cheerdance competition. Students raid in the student dorms as the dormers open their rooms for the open house. Food is everywhere, and so are visitors. Shouts echo from AH as the students continue to scare the patrons who enter the Horror chamber. Little did they know that something more spooky and daunting lurk between the halls of Katipunan. This is Hibalag, just a beautiful speck of Silliman’s 114 years.
My views about Hibalag changed this year. Last year, I’ve seen it as a festival full of surprises, color, and fun. I was attracted by the lively lights dancing as the beat drops. I’ve seen Hibalag in that way last year. But now, I’d like to see Hibalag in pixels. The word “pixel” is actually an abbreviated form of “picture element.” Pixels are tiny colored dots that represents a certain color. Zooming out, we see a picture, not pixels. I’ve always seen the full picture of Hibalag: decorated booths, dancing lights, booming speakers and appetizing aromas of food etc. However, I see Hibalag differently now. I like to see it in a way that the smallest things that are unseen should be the one to be given the loudest applause. Have you ever thought of the organizing committee behind all this? Would this event be possible without them? You probably would’ve thought about that. People don’t praise the people behind the curtains. Their focus is VJ Chino’s appearance or Hale’s opening performance. The people hiding behind the curtains deserves to be applauded. Remember, there’s no house without a carpenter.
Did you try the delicious food sold in Hibalag? I bet you do. You probably threw the wrapper on the grass thinking that no one is looking. Have you ever thought of the maintenance personnel picking up that trash for you? Every speck of something contributes to our appreciation of Hibalag. Like invisible beings, people don’t see these maintenance personnel roaming around the Ravello field. I did ignore them as if I’ve never seen a real person. Just imagine Hibalag without them. Instead of becoming a “Wonderland”, it will become a “wasteland.” Anyways, you might want to pick up your own trash. We are grown-ups, matured citizens. Let’s be sensitive enough.
Have you thought of the hard work of the different organizations in building those booths? Before, I looked at them as if they were easily made. I then realize that building a booth is the most strenuous thing to do. Even an ounce of praise can cause an overflow of joy to the hearts of these hard working organizations.
Dorms welcomed a lot of visitors during the open house. People chew and drink food. Boys, girls, alumni, and faculty goes back and forth to see the rooms of the dormers. But, have you thought of the great effort these dormers exerted just to make their rooms beautiful? They’re literally broke. Just take into consideration the food they’re serving the visitors. Those foods were expensive. Have you thought about that? Or did you just get in the room and eat all the food you can consume?
One article is not enough to say everything. As for me, seeing the pixels of the picture gives more emphasis to the effort of the artist. Every color has a meaning. Every color has a role to the bigger picture. Every smidgen of help can build a mansion. Even a small amount of appreciation to the people behind Hibalag’s success can be the best reward.
Hibalag is one of the highlights of Silliman University’s Founders Celebration. It is held every August and lasts for a week. The said event dates back since 1950. The name was derived from a Visayan term which means “to come together.”