Light, video show in Kawit cheers Filipino spectators
KAWIT, Cavite—Those big red buttons, for taking pictures or videos, were waiting to be pushed as everyone held up their cell phones or computer tablets.
A few minutes more, and the crowd broke into cheers as the first streaks of lights cut across the shrine’s facade.
“The lights were amazing, Mommy,” a boy cried in Filipino to the woman behind him.
A group of women in the audience was surprised at how the number of spectators doubled on the second night of the show. “This was not like yesterday. There were a lot of people now,” one of them said.
For five nights until Monday, the Aguinaldo Shrine in Kawit, where the Philippine flag was first unfurled in 1898, has come alive with a light and video mapping show.
The shrine’s bare white walls were transformed into a brick house, a fiery red tribal cloth, the Philippine flag, or a mosaic of images of Filipino heroes all in a single show of dancing lights that run for 20 minutes.
“It tells the story of the nation’s journey from (the declaration of) Independence to the present,” said shrine curator Angelo Aguinaldo, a descendant of General Emilio Aguinaldo, the first president of the Philippine Republic.
It was from the window of the Aguinaldo ancestral home, which is now the Aguinaldo Shrine, that the declaration of Philippine independence from Spain was read on June 12, 1898, the same day that the Philippine flag was first unfurled from the same window.
The video mapping was done for the first time at the Aguinaldo Shrine. In fact it was the first time that such show was done in the Philippines by lighting design and consultancy firm, Optimum Show. It costs P24 million and paid for by the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority.
Optimum Show managing director and French national Richard Thomas said setting up the show took them five months and 15 men for the surveying or location mapping, the historical research, and the programming of the video, lights and sounds.
They used six large and “powerful” projectors imported from Europe, three of which were about 45 meters away from the shrine’s facade, to flash images from six different angles.
“The complexity, here, was that the building had a lot of details,” Thomas said, referring to the intricately designed Spanish-era Aguinaldo mansion.
Unlike a clean, flat wall, “we had to take into consideration every single detail (like) the trees in front of the view, (and) every column and window (of the house). It has to be very precise. One thing (misplaced) and the effect is gone,” he said.
The video, played thrice every hour from 7:30 p.m., was a general presentation of Philippine history.
Thomas said they had to work closely with the Aguinaldo family and the DOT for the story line, as they tried to be “careful” in dealing with the historical and political facts.
The crowd cheered the loudest as the lights resembled fireworks, making the shrine appear as if they are alive and glimmering. Toward the end of the video, some in the audience were heard singing when a portion of the national anthem was played, while some children even placed their right hands over their left chest.
“It was beautiful,” said Kawit resident Felix Aninao, 31, who came with his wife and son. He said they became curious after they saw pictures of the video mapping on Facebook.
A special viewing is scheduled on June 15 with Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. as guest.