Thursday, August 24, 2006

A different kind of protest

There's another thing that I remember about my college days, so bear with me.

Each time the month of December rolls around, an air of excitement permeates the air at the Diliman campus of the University of the Philippines, our state university (Henry has some nice pics of the campus over at his blog, The Expat. The halls are decked, not with boughs of holly, but with students and the media. Nobody, but nobody, cuts classes. And it isn't just UP students who are there either; people from other schools make a special trip to be there on that day. Everywhere you look, your eyes behold a sea of anticipative humanity. They've come to experience one of the ways public protests are done in UP. But it ain't your typical rally or demonstration, oh no sirree.

It's the annual Oblation Run.

The Oblation is UP's most recognized symbol, and the annual Oblation Run is one of the university's most famous traditions.

To protest against certain political or social issues, some members of one of the university's most well-known fraternities, the Alpha Phi Omega (APO), streak buck naked throughout the campus. Everything (except for the running men's faces) is hanging out for all the world to see. This tradition will never die out because in UP, people are always finding something to complain about.

The atmosphere is festive. People jockey for the best positions; everyone is craning their necks; the cheers and shouts of support are deafening. It happens every year, and the Run's popularity shows no signs of abating.

I wasn't there, but I heard about the added twist to last year's Oblation Run: two women, wearing nothing but masks and flip-flops and holding their protest posters, posed for the media by the Oblation. These women's appearance wasn't sanctioned by APO, and I don't think they were affiliated with the fraternity. They didn't do the Run, but they caused quite a stir nevertheless. Go girls! LOL! I wonder what this year's Run will have in store for us.

Filipinos. We're crazy, and I ♥ us. :-D

*Photos courtesy of Peyups - "where bright minds meet."


Corky said...

Hi Lizza,

I'd seen photos of the 2-lady oblation run also, as soon as it happened. News about that spread like wildfire all over the country. A few batchmates were there, with their cameras.

Did you hear the rumour that these chicks aren't Filipino? Supposedly, they're exchange students wanting to join APO's sorority.

The nature of the protest involving the 2 gals had to do with equal rights on campus.


Lizza said...

Hi Corky,
Really? I didn't hear that rumor. But anything's possible, I guess. A newspaper article said they didn't make the run; they just posed for photos at the Oblation then fled into a waiting car a few minutes after.

Reeholio said...

Ah, the birthday-suit run. Something I haven't done for a while. My friends and I (both male and female) used to have a tradition on New Years Eve that involved nuding-up and skinny dipping just after the big countdown at midnight. Good fun but it takes a lot of liquid courage though. hehehe

Lizza said...

LOL Rhys. I'm adding skinnydipping to My List of Things to Do Before I Turn 40. Haha!

Mike said...

Hmm, I guess you could say this is some sort of bare bones grassroots's nice to see students interested in current events and wanting to expose the naked truth to people.....

I'm going to go look into the women's pictures a little more now, I'll see if I can find out any new information, etc., etc. Their perky attitudes have got me in quite a political frame of mind now.

dirty joke sir said...


Lizza said...

Butt, does running around in nonexistent attire make socioeconomic/sociopolitical problems any easier to bare?

DJ sir,

Jessie said...

Hey your the bestest today! How fun is that! Congrats!!!

Lizza said...

Thank you, Jessie! I'm tickled pink at the idea. :-D