UP-Diliman Oblation Run calls for justice to victims of Maguindanao massacre

December 15, 2009 10:39 pm 

MANILA, Dec. 15 – A group of male neophyte student members of the Alpha Phi Omega (APO) chapter of the University of the Philippines (UP)-Diliman in Quezon City made the Oblation Run on Tuesday afternoon throughout the school campus.

The oblation run is an annual tradition of the members of the APO, one of the prominent U.P. fraternities.

Members of the fraternity run around the campus naked (a concept known as streaking) as part of their initiation or air their sentiments about a current political or economic situation.

This year, the APO members called for justice for journalists killed in the Maguindanao Massacre.

The tradition started in 1977 to protest the banning of the movie, “Hubad na Bayani” (Naked Hero), which depicted human rights abuses in the martial law era.

Contrary to popular belief, neophytes are forbidden to run. All those who run are full-pledged members who have volunteered are allowed to run.

“There is a misconception that the Oblation Run is something our neophytes have to undergo as part of their initiation. That’s not true. We never allow our applicants to join (the Oblation Run),” said Ojie Santillan, the APO fraternity's Auxiliary Chancellor.

He said there used to be an Oblation run conducted by Alpha Phi Omega (APO) in support of the brods of the fraternity who will be taking the bar examinations.

During every last Sunday of the bar examinations the members of the APO would also run naked and even give flowers to those women present.

However as of September 2008 the City Hall of Manila has prohibited the Oblation run from being conducted allegedly due to complaints by examinees, visitors and relatives of those taking the bar.

The Oblation Run symbolizes UP’s The Oblation (Pahinungod) which is a concrete statue by Filipino artist Guillermo E. Tolentino which serves as the iconic symbol of the University of the Philippines.

It depicts a man facing upward with arms outstretched, symbolizing selfless offering of oneself to his country.

The Oblation was made by Tolentino, then a professor of Fine Arts and posthumously declared a National Artist of the Philippines, with the help of Anastacio T. Caedo, his student apprentice. According to a book tribute to Guillermo Tolentino, it was his friend, Ferdinand Glenn Gagarin, not director-actor Fernando Poe, Sr. (PNA)RMA/JCA

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