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Oblation Run

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Every year, the University of the Philippines holds a traditional event where a fraternity called Alpha Phi Omega , more commonly known as APO, of every UP college lets their members run around the campus in the nude.

“This started when an APO member named Rolly Abad first ran naked in the A.S. lobby to promote a play the fraternity was sponsoring called “Hubad na Bayani,” or “Naked Heroes” in the year 1977. It was said that Oblation run was just for fun or just an expression of insanity but with a closer look inside it you’ll able to learn that it’s not just an ordinary run, but it’s an expression of protest against the system.” (tripod.com)

During this event, several people, not just from the University of the Philippines but from other schools as well, watch young men run around the campus wearing nothing but masks on to hide their identity. Some people go to the trouble of preparing themselves for the occasion. They dress fancily or what they think they look best in. The Oblation Run is an event where people can show off their best appearances, especially the runners.

According to Megan Aguinaldo, a UP freshman who watched the Oblation Run, these spectators oddly enough dressed their best clothes like dressing for an occasion even if they were just there to watch the event. Even though she said that some people dress their best clothes, “fashion-wise,” it still looked like wearing something of the ordinary. As for her opinion on the runners, she thought that being nude was the runners’ self-expression of freedom. Their nudity could also mean the representation of their opinions among the student body of the University of the Philippines. This was their way of attracting the attention of the student body to make them listen to their opinions.

Ms. Aguinaldo adds to fashion as a way to change a person’s perspective towards the wearer of that trend or in this case, not wearing anything.

From another perspective, Edwin De Leon, an Ateneo de Manila University freshman who also watched the Oblation Run, said that you can distinguish the high class \ from the middle class status of people based on what they are wearing. They were also competing with each other with their clashing outfits under the warm weather. Edwin also said, “The viewers are mostly consisted of the middle class so they wore appropriate attires like jeans, plain light colored shirts, and rubber shoes for the event I guess. Their main purpose was to feel comfortable while watching wild young men run as they lay bare.” As for the runners, he noticed the masks were too plain. The Oblation Run was supposed to be an activity of self-expression yet the masks still represented being ordinary and did not stand out.

Edwin suggests that they design the masks to make them stand out more and become more of a fashion statement rather than a fashion disaster.

People try to look the best they can during several events that they go to. They prepare themselves to either impress others or sometimes show their social status just by their appearance. Like the Oblation Run, people dress their best clothes to stand out in the crowd even though they are just spectating but who stands out the most are undoubtedly the runners since they are the people who really set the fashion trend for that event.

Fashion is one a way of expressing yourself even if you are not wearing anything at all.


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