A naked fraternity member participates in the annual Oblation run at the University of the Philippines in Quezon City, Metro Manila. Photo by Romeo Ranoco, Reuters
MANILA - Dozens from a university fraternity ran around the University of the Philippines in Quezon City on Friday as they called for greater transparency and good governance in the Philippines.
An annual tradition in the UP-Diliman and named after its naked statue monument, fraternity members dashed through the halls, wearing only masks to hide their faces and carrying signs which urged the public to take a bigger stand against corruption.
"The Oblation Run is really something to attract the attention of the people, but we would like the people to get attracted to the message that we carry," said Domingo Cobarrubias, alumni member of the Alpha Phi Omega fraternity.
Hundreds of students packed along the corridors, screaming and cheering at the spectacle.
Naked fraternity members participate in the annual Oblation run as they walk beside students of the University of the Philippines in Quezon City. Photo by Romeo Ranoco, Reuters
The run, which advocates a socially-relevant cause every year, aims to increase public awareness and to demand the Aquino administration in resolving corruption allegations in the government.
Several high ranking political figures, including three Philippine senators, are facing corruption charges for allegedly funneling out millions of pesos in government funds for bogus projects, which has drawn massive public outcry in recent months.
While most treat the annual university tradition with fanfare, some found the message more meaningful.
"Others might be saying that the run is perverted, but for me tradition is never perverted as long as you are doing it for a cause and what you are fighting for is right," said Lorraine Tabia, a university student.
The Oblation Run is said to have begun in the 1970s, when the fraternity members ran naked around the campus to protest against former President Ferdinand Marcos's censoring of a film criticising his administration.