Tuesday at noon, Alpha Phi Omega held their annual Oblation Run at the University of the Philippines Diliman. The Oblation Run is the event in which APO pledges run naked around the campus. And I mean naked. No leaves or socks covering sensitive areas. All natural, all the time.
The event, which originated as a form of protest during the Martial Law era of President Marcos’ reign, is a spectacle that must be observed by every Iskolar ng Bayan at least once. At noon in Palma Hall, hundreds (perhaps thousands) of students, as well as representatives from every major network from ABS-CBN to GMA, pack the steps outside and the space inside the building, waiting for the Oblation Men to run by in their uncensored glory.
In reality, the Oblation Run is more like an Oblation Walk, since the rose-carrying pledges tend to have a tough time navigating the crowd, especially inside Palma Hall. Still, it was definitely a unique sight. Perhaps more entertaining than the run itself was the reaction of the girls crowding around the Oblation Men – they either screamed with glee, or looked away in embarrassment and turned red as tomatoes. All in all, the Oblation Run is a fun, quirky, and perhaps a tiny bit perverse tradition that is unique to UP.