OBLATION RUN: A FORM OF INSTITUTIONALIZED SPECTACLE

How can the people understand the naked truth behind the annual tradition of the Alpha Phi Omega (APO) freedom run or the so-called Oblation run if their acts of expressing protests against the system brought different meaning and ambiguous message to most of its viewers and as the public looks at it as run just for fun or just an expression of insanity?
The oblation run started at the University of the Philippines (U.P) Diliman main campus which has been emulated by other of its campuses and various universities in the country including Bulacan State University (BulSU). It is an annual tradition done by the members of the APO, one of the prominent and influential U.P fraternities inspired by the Oblation, a statue of a naked man offering himself to the nation sculpted by Guillermo Tolentino. Members of the fraternity run around the campus naked with a purpose, to protest their sentiments about a current political or economic situation.

It was last Wednesday December 9 when the APO freedom run held at BulSU with advocacies, katarungan para sa lahat i-upo ang nararapat, no to commercial education, junk education act of 1982, no to budget cut and justice for lumads. Different reactions from people watching it either BulSUan or not was incurred. 

As Janyca Estabillo from De la Salle College of St. Benilde stated, “I am one of those who are originally anti-annual oblation run because I don’t see any depth of doing this kind of activity all for the thought of expressing freedom through nudity. UP calls it Ritual Dance of the Brave and I see it in another form of art which reveals the souls of our fellow men.” “But to me, there are much better ways for them to convey the main purpose as to why they include themselves in this annual event,” she added.

The factual reactions of people together with the government watching this kind of annual tradition is that they just ignore the signs and advocacies they are promulgating. Mostly, they considered it as a form of frenzied spectacle happened yearly. According to Coco Pimentel, this inexorable practice was nothing more than a blatant display of the male genitalia and a wanton disregarded of the rules of a descent society and of the country’s anti-obscenity laws.

It is said that the freedom and unquestionable power of bare truth will only understand by those who are liberated and active thinkers. But it is also said that naked or not, it will not decide whether your advocacy will magnified.

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