MANILA, Philippines – Members of the Alpha Phi Omega (APO) fraternity of the University of the Philippines-Diliman streaked naked on December 16, in the university’s annual Oblation Run.
The event, which initially began as a celebration of the fraternity’s December 16 anniversary, has evolved into a popular campus tradition.
This year, the fraternity is advocating for the protection and saving of the Philippine rivers.
The program began around 10 am, with welcome remarks from Alpha Phi Omega-International Collegiate Service Fraternity chancellors Amancio M. Melad III and Giovanni G. Bautista.
The crowd, which reached a hundred, was also treated to musical performances by Noel Cabangon, ambassador for the Save Philippine Rivers Movement, and the UP Kontra Gapi.
“This year will be a different Oblation Run–it’s a run for the rivers,” Bautista said in his message. He added that the university is accepting the challenge to take care of Philippine rivers.
Citing the fraternity’s cardinal principles — leadership, friendship and service — Melad agreed with Bautista: “Today’s task of Alpha Phi Omega is for us to take the leadership to address the problems that we have with the environment.”
“Today you will witness that APO is not about bruteness or the reality of frat-related violence. It’s more than just that,” he continued.
“Rite of Passage”
Cabangon highlighted the importance of rivers during the circumcision of males in the earlier days. Before, those who were just circumcised would soak themselves in rivers to ease the pain.
A memorandum of agreement signing between the fraternity and the Save the Philippine Rivers Movement followed, after which a letter from one of APO’s notable members, Vice President Jejomar Binay was read. Binay was supposed to be the keynote speaker of the event.
At noon, the fraternity members — some of whom wore masks or donned painted faces — emerged from Palma Hall into a crowd waving cameras or offering roses. The event was over in 15 minutes, as the dense crowd allowed the runners little space for movement. – Rappler.com