Palma Hall in UP Diliman was once again filled with students on Friday, December 14, as Alpha Phi Omega (APO) Fraternity, one of the known organizations inside the campus, conducted their yearly event: the Oblation Run. It’s the tradition of the much-awaited activity to coincide with UP’s Lantern Parade.
Friday’s Oblation Run marked APO’s 35th founding anniversary and as expected, members of the fraternity ran naked with only their faces covered by masks along the halls and lobby of the Arts and Sciences building of UP Diliman while fellow students cheered them on.
But the Oblation Run is not only about the thrill and fun of seeing college men sprinting in their birthday suits around the campus. Along with the practice of running bare and naked, members of the APO fraternity traditionally make it a point to use the activity to air out a cause or make a statement regarding a burning issue each year.
According to Rekon Velasquez, APO member and Oblation Run 2012 Event Head, the full pledged members of APO fraternity participating in the run could be compared to the Oblation, the iconic symbol of the university.
“Like Oble (the Oblation’s moniker), members of the APO bravely offer themselves to make the public become aware of current university or national issues,” said Velasquez in an interview.
“The public should know that the APO fraternity, being students of the University of the Philippines, would have a specific and important reason for doing the Great Oblation Run and that is, to inform UP students and the general public about the current issues in the Philippines,” he added.
Velasquez also explained that the Oblation Run started during the Martial Law period as a promotional stunt for the play “Hubad na Bayani.” Through time, the run is done every December as a tradition to celebrate the fraternity’s anniversary which is every December 16.
Call for clean elections
For this year’s Oblation Run, members of the fraternity called for a free, fair and clean 2013 national elections. The fraternity also urged not only the UP community but the Filipino people as well to exercise their right to vote and to continue the commitment to be guardians of democracy.