Rudy Man­gio, in­ven­tor of lan­tern flash­ers, leaves a legacy

Sun.Star Pampanga - - STORIES! -

eden­tor Man­gio, the man be­hind the fes­tive play of lights of the San Fer­nando lanterns, passed away at the age of 72 last Fe­bru­ary 28, 2019.

RRudy, as he was fondly called by fam­ily and friends, peace­fully joined his creator after more than one year of be­ing bedrid­den from his pre­vi­ous stroke. His wife died three years ago of a heart at­tack after also be­ing bedrid­den for 10 years.

Rudy, who in­vented lan­tern flash­ers and se­quencers, grad­u­ated with a de­gree of B.S. in Elec­tron­ics from Feati Univer­sity. After grad­u­at­ing, he worked at Ra­diowealth Cor­po­ra­tion as­sem­bling am­pli­fiers and at the same time su­per­vis­ing the car­pen­try work of the cab­i­nets for the am­pli­fier, speak­ers and the speak­ers’ danc­ing lights.

After his stint at Ra­diowealth, he es­tab­lished his busi­ness called “Au­diomas­ters” in the garage of his par­ents’ house in Palawi, San Fer­nando, Pam­panga. There, he as­sem­bled am­pli­fiers and speak­ers and ran a ra­dio re­pair shop. He also went into video cov­er­age and sound sys­tem rentals. His break-in busi­ness was when he pi­o­neered the tap­ing of mu­sic on a car­tridge and cas­sette in the 70s for jeep­neys and buses.

The tap­ing busi­ness slowed down with the ad­vent of dig­i­tal mu­sic and CDs. He started mak­ing blink­ers or flash­ers for the

San Fer­nando lanterns. Later on, he im­proved the flash­ers to have fade-in and fade-out features. He con­tin­ued to in­no­vate by de­sign­ing a chip board that he pro­grammed by se­quenc­ing the many lights of the lan­tern, so that the lights flashed in dif­fer­ent se­quence of col­ors and some­times to the beat of the mu­sic, or as spec­i­fied by his cus­tomers. Since there was no pro­gram avail­able at that time, he de­signed it man­u­ally, draw­ing it on graph­ing pa­per. The graph showed when a cer­tain light should light up.

His pro­grammed chip­board was also used in the flexi-lights of Santa Claus on a sleigh, Christ­mas trees, flexi-light lanterns and he­li­copter pro­pel­ler lan­tern. He pi­o­neered the mak­ing of mini 12inch, 12-volt lanterns that were hung on the back wind­shield of ve­hi­cles and buses.

His or­ders were man­u­fac­tured the whole year round and peaked in the last six months of the year, where he em­ployed 15 work­ers to rush the or­ders. He sup­plied most of the lan­tern mak­ers of San Fer­nando in­clud­ing those in Manila and Cebu, de­liv­er­ing al­most 10,000 pieces of dif­fer­ently pro­grammed chip boards in a year. His se­quencer later on was adapted to the se­quenc­ing of LED lights in the lanterns and the use of dig­i­tal con­troller.

Aside from the pro­gram­ming of the lan­tern lights, he an­i­mated Christ­mas dis­plays, pro­grammed elec­tronic chime bell for the churches, the Lakeshore light­house re­volv­ing tower light and the boats’ flexi-lights, dumb wait­ers and pipe- in mu­sic for res­i­dences and build­ings.

Up to his last day, he re­quested his daugh­ter to buy new ink for his com­puter so he can de­sign a new pro­grammed se­quencer for the new lanterns. He told his daugh­ter Eme­line to con­tinue the busi­ness of bring­ing cheers dur­ing the Christ­mas sea­son and to con­tinue to make fes­tive pro­grams for the dig­i­tal con­troller of the LED lights of the lanterns.

He is sur­vived by his chil­dren En­gel­bert, Karen and Eme­line, broth­ers and sis­ters Aman­cio, To­mas, Sal­vador, Nestor, Jaime, Grace, Rene and Ai­lane.

His wake is at Sanc­tu­ario de San Fer­nando and in­ter­ment is on Tues­day, March 5, after the 9 AM mass.

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