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100 UP fratmen, alumni join Oblation Run for centennial celebration

June 18, 2008 12:26pm

MANILA, Philippines – A hundred fraternity members and alumni sprinted naked along the campus streets in the University of the Philippines (UP) before noon Wednesday to commemorate the premiere state university’s centennial anniversary.

A radio report said that 100 resident members of the UP-based Alpha Phi Omega (APO) Fraternity and several UP alumni participated in the “UP Centennial Run," which started shortly after 11 a.m.

Donning only shirts wrapped around their heads and gold masks covering their faces, the naked runners dashed from the UP Vinzon’s Hall to the nearby Palma Hall, where they stopped for a short photo opportunity.

The group then proceeded to the Quezon Hall, which houses the school's administration office, and posed in front of the iconic UP Oblation statue, which has inspired the fraternity's 31-year-old naked jog.

As in every Oblation Run, the naked participants also handed out red roses to female college students who witnessed the event.

The annual Oblation Run, which started in 1977, is usually held every December of the year to voice the group’s protest on certain national issues but was held earlier this year in time for the centenary.

The report also said that Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay was among the UP alumni who dropped by the campus to join in the opening celebration.

Binay, an APO alumnus, was a member of the fraternity’s "Black Jack Group" and acted in 1960 as the group’s prime chancellor – the second highest position in the fraternity.

Contrary to popular belief, the famous Oblation Run was created not as part of the fraternity’s initiation rights but rather as a promotional stint for the organization’s 1977 play “Hubad na Bayan" – an homage to one of the group’s members who was killed in a rumble.

The APO has said that more than a form of protest, their running bare-naked was more like a reminder to the UP students of the symbolism of the Oblation statue – a selfless offering of the Filipinos to their country.

The UP, which was founded on June 18, 1908, started out as a humble campus in Manila and later grew to include seven constituent universities all over the country. - Mark Merueñas, GMANews.TV




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