Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Birthday Suit

UP Diliman's Quezon Hall


THE 28-year tradition of the annual “Oblation Run” was breached December 15 when two young women showed up naked moments after 20 male streakers did their ritual “Dance of the Brave” in front of the Oblation Statue at Quezon Hall of the University of the Philippines Diliman campus.

While the 20 hooded male students belonging to the UP Alpha Phi Omega (APO) fraternity carried placards bannering the most pressing issue (denouncing government move to cut the state university’s budget) of the day , the two women demanded equal rights for women.

Wearing masks and long curly wigs of reddish brown hair, the women emerged from a car in the parking lot and raced toward the Oblation Statue (a naked man with hands thrust to the sky), prompting the clicking of camera shutters. They posed for photographers amid a cheering crowd and fled toward a waiting car, which sped away.

Saying it felt insulted, the UP APO stressed it had no idea who the women (who didn’t look like Filipinos but had Oriental features) were. It also said the incident was not part of the Oblation Run, adding that it would conduct an investigation into it.

My campus friends and I were saying that what the heck! The UP APO itself deviated from tradition in this year’s run as members graced Quezon Hall, upon the request of newly-installed UP President Emerlinda Roman.

The first Oblation Run was done in 1977, with five masked members running on campus to promote the UP APO-sponsored play “Hubad na Bayani” (“Naked Hero”), a political satire on the iron rule of strongman Ferdinand Marcos.

It has since become an annual campus event attracting hundreds of students, teachers, office workers, visitors, and the media.

The acacia trees on campus


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