MANILA, Philippines ? Some 30 fraternity members continued yesterday a yearly tradition by running naked from Palma Hall at the University of the Philippines campus in Diliman, Quezon City to gleeful shrieks and yells from spectators.
It was the Alpha Phi Omega (APO) fraternity?s 30th annual Oblation Run (See related story on page A21).
Covering their faces with colorful ski and yuletide masks, APO members streaked through the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy holding placards of the Student Alliance for the Advancement of Democratic Rights-UP (STAND-UP) that called for the ouster of President Macapagal-Arroyo.
Other placards denounced government corruption, protested enforced disappearances, sought more state subsidy for education, and the suspension of tuition increase.
Before the start of the run at around 12 p.m., some 2,000 students and onlookers armed with cameras and cellular phones had already lined the street across Palma Hall and the rest of the runners? route. The annual event is named after the Oblation, a bronze sculpture of a naked man outside Quezon Hall, the university?s administration building.
Some of the onlookers sang ?Here come the birds,? as the runners approached. The runners? cry for the ouster of the President was drowned out by screams and shrieks.
Kevin Roldan, a UP College of Law graduate and member of the APO, said this year, the runners were calling on all UP graduates and students to do their bit for the country. ?This school molded us to do something great for the country,? Roldan said.
He added that if the President could not do anything to stop corruption and other issues hounding the administration, ?we can do something about it.?
Roldan said the run started in 1977 to protest the banning of the movie, ?Hubad na Bayani,? which depicted human rights abuses in the martial law era.
The event became an annual protest action, usually held on Dec. 16. This year the run was held earlier because Dec. 16 falls on a Sunday.