MANILA, Philippines– The Oblation Run yesterday at the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman rallied to mainstream disaster risk reduction and management and misuse of public funds for disaster preparedness programs.
Oblation Run is an annual tradition in the UP community wherein members of the Alpha Phi Omega (APO) Fraternity run wearing nothing and faces covered with masks. Some carried placards calling for social justice while some handed roses to women.
APO fraternity said that if public funds were properly spent for disaster preparedness and basic social services, the country could have been better prepared for super typhoon Yolanda.
Actor and Director Menggie Cobarrubias is a former leader, called the prime chancellor, of the APO fraternity. He is from Batch ’70 of the group and he is one of their senior members who came over to show their support.
Cobarrubias said he was happy how the Oblation Run has evolved from an advertising stint for his movie into a sought after socially-relevant, albeit naked gathering. He is also delighted to see the new generation’s take on their role in society.
“This is why the reason I came back. I wait for the resident brods to surprise us. The alumni association does not impose on the resident brods on what to carry. It may be political, it may social,” Cobarrubias said.
“Although some would say that Oblation Run is just nudity, it’s actually more than that. It is part of our tradition and every year, we have reasons why we run,” APO publicity officer Darien Mitchell stated.
First timer witness reacts
A College sophomore student and Journalism major named Soeui Lee was shocked on her experience seeing naked students.
“I have to take pictures for our assignment in photojournalism class. I was shocked because I’m a foreigner and I am not prepared seeing this for the first time. They’re naked and not embarrassed at all. There’s a lot of pushing too and it’s hard to get a shot,” Lee said.
Lee is one of the hundreds of students and guests that crowded UP Diliman’s Palma Hall on Friday as around 30 Alpha Phi Omega (APO) fraternity members streaked anew for its annual Oblation Run.
Furthermore, this year’s run was also meant for continued support to victims of Typhoon Yolanda, raise environmental awareness and ask the government for proper budget appropriation for disaster risk reduction
In the previous years, it has called attention to several national issues including the 2010 Philippine Bar exam bombing, justice for the victims of the Maguindanao massacre, and the appeals for the ouster of former President Joseph Estrada.