Departing from tradition, around 30 masked yet naked members of the Alpha Phi Omega (APO) fraternity on Friday ran around the Diliman campus of the University of the Philippines for the 41st annual Oblation Run, their mouths taped over and carrying blank protest signs.
They did so to call for an end to the attacks on the media and press freedom, even as they urged the public to invoke their right to free expression.
Usually held around late November to early December, this year’s Oblation Run was moved to the same week as the founding anniversary of the APO chapter in the state university’s flagship campus.
“We stand behind every Filipino who wants to say their piece—be it for themselves, their own sector, or for all of society. We support everyone who seeks to chart their own path out of historical injustice and structural prejudice plaguing their communities. We open the Oblation Run to everyone who wants to express themselves,” APO said in a statement.
“Ultimately, our exercise in free expression—running naked for a cause—will be done in deference to all sectors of society who want to be heard,” the fraternity added.
Running naked in the Oblation Run is an homage to the UP Oblation statue, a spread-eagled male statue in the buff except for a leaf on its genital area.
This year’s run carried the theme, “Sa Aming Sariling Landas: Takbo Para sa Kalayaan ng Pamamahayag at Pansariling Determinasyon (On Our Own Path: An Oblation Run for Freedom of Expression and Self-determination).”
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