Rudy Mangio, inventor of lantern flashers, leaves a legacy
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.