[UA&P] truly has belen-making down to an art form and has become a tradition that eludes almost no member of its community, least of all the university president himself, Dr. Jose Maria Mariano, who has been a prime instigator and a technician of the craft.
Nearly every year since beginning his tenure as president in 2000, Dr. Mariano has devoted hours from his busy schedule during the Christmas season to roll up his sleeves and join various members of the faculty and staff in creating the centerpiece of the school’s displays: its biggest and most elaborate belen in the heart of the school chapel, the Stella Orientis Oratory. The name translates, fittingly enough, to “Star of the Orient,” and much like how the Star of Bethlehem led the Three Kings on their voyage that fateful night, so does Stella Orientis bring people from nearby homes and businesses to UA&P to take a gander at the spectacle of the belen.
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