WEARING nothing but face masks with shades of blue and orange, 49 members of the Alpha Phi Omega (APO) fraternity ran around nude in the campus of the University of the Philippines-Cebu yesterday.
The annual Oblation Run, a fraternity tradition, never fails to draw spectators and shrieks from female students.
APO members held up placards with varied messages on human rights, environment protection and tuition hike protests.
“We highlighted human trafficking, womens’ rights, gay rights and the conservation of water and the Clean Air Act,” said UP Cebu APO Grand Lady Chancellor Nee Loreto.
Loreto said this year’s event was “different” because they used special masks and gave out roses and music sheets to female spectators.
“This is in line with our advocacy for the environment,” Loreto said.
Coed Danielle De Los Reyes said she felt “happy and shocked” after being given a rose by one of the naked runners.
However, she said the issues raised may be overshadowed by the masculine nudity.
Third year Mathematics student Rarry Abatol said he thought the run could be a good marketing stunt.
“The more people watch, they would take time to hear of their advocacy,” he said.
Carlo Cabatingan, chairman of the UP Cebu Student Council, said the Oblation Run is still “relevant and effective.”
“It’s a good eye-catcher, and there’s media coverage so they could get attention. As long as UP education is relevant, the Oblation Run is relevant,” he said.
The Oblation Run started in the late ‘70s in UP Diliman in Quezon City to commemorate the death of an APO frat member, who first ran naked around the UP campus to promote the play, “Hubad Na Bayani.”
It has since become an annual event. Correspondent Sean Timothy Salvador