A History Lesson: The UP Oblation Run

UPLB-Oblation
The UPLB Oblation (Photo By Kist Ong)

The UP Oblation Run – How It Came About

By: REY F. QUISUMBING
Bata-an Batch 1973
Lumabay-Labay Club 1957

Media coverage of the much-celebrated U.P. Oblation Run every 16th of December is concentrated in UP Diliman, with the campus raking in all the credits. It’s about time that everyone is informed how and where it all started.

Being an alumnus (batch ’78) of U. P. at Los Banos, I can vividly recall how the Alpha Phi Omega (APO) -Theta Chapter, initiated this much-celebrated activity, with some of their fraternity allies in UPLB, the Lumabay – Labay Club 1957 (Labay) and the connivance of arch rival fraternity, the Beta Sigma of U. P. Los Banos.

Allow me to cite names of those who were directly involved and how the event came to unfold and became the now famous Oblation Run.

In the mid-70’s when “streaking” became popular at university campuses in the United States, some UPLB students, among them members of the APO and Labay 57, while hanging out one lazy day at their usual haunt, bored and with nothing much to do, hatched up a dare. This all happened at the Shed under the giant rubber tree beside the HumanitiesBuilding (now the Arts and Sciences) and opposite the ChemistryBuilding. It was there where students waited for their jeepney rides to go to the College of Forestry.

The dare was, for one case of beer, to “streak” around the campus, that is, run around naked with only a paper bag over one’s head to conceal the streaker’s identity. The run was planned to start at 10:00 AM  at the Phy-SciBuilding, to continue in front of the HumanitiesBuilding, through the road between the College Coop and Humanities and to the Bio-Sci building and behind the Library.

Two APO members, Joel Lim of UPLB Batch 1974 and Manny ‘Toriki’ Guce (same batch?) , took the dare but thought that one case of beer was not enough. By then, the plan has been fully hatched and has gotten everyone interested and challenged that 26 cases of beer were easily raised or pledged for. It was then agreed on that if the streakers chickened out, they would pay for all the 26 cases beer that would be imbibed after the run. The die was cast and the following day, the news spread like wildfire. A lot of students skipped classes to watch the momentous event.

A Beta Sigma member, Rudolph “Splodz” Revilleza, volunteered to provide the escape vehicle.  He had his jeep ready to pick up the streaker between the Bio-Sci and LibraryBuildings and proceed to Calma’s Dorm where the streaker will put on his clothes and claim the prize which was for everyone involved.   Drinking was held at the Silayan Restaurant, in front of the then famous Eva Bowling Lanes at Groove, just outside the UPLB gate. A total of 40 cases of beer, and not only 26, were consumed.

Before the designated hour, the students already started to gather around the vicinity of the Phy Sci Building where the streaker was expected to emerge. Everyone was eager to watch the event unfold. As expected, the buzz of activity alerted the UPLB Security Personnel which anticipated a rumble. They were, however, puzzled by the prevailing jovial mood of everyone so unlike the tense and edgy atmosphere before a rumble. On the contrary the atmosphere was festive.  They saw not only allied groups but also rival groups mingling, joking, and laughing with each other. For a moment there rivalries seemed nonexistent. Seeing the animated atmosphere, the security force relaxed a bit but still anticipated something big to occur and they were not disappointed — the birth of the Oblation Run did occur in their very presence.

At exactly 10 AM, 16 December 1976, the streakers, shod with running shoes, came out of the Phy-Sci Bldg restroom and ran naked with only paper bags over their heads. Joel Lim’s girlfriend did not even recognize him and only learned it was him when the prize was claimed and the merry-making commenced. A lot of us got drunk that afternoon. Drinking lasted until the wee hours. After the celebration some went “swimming“ at the pool between the Dev-Com and AdminBuildings, which was not really a pool but a waist-deep fishpond with water lilies and fishes.  If one has not gone dipping into this pool during his entire stay at UPLB, he has certainly missed one of the best fun things to do in the university.

If memory would not fail me, the APO members who were around then were Danny Escuvil, Tony Mira, Nelson Doloeras, Leo Plurad, Glen Tabios, Tony Gopez, Nides Loarez, Tony Guce, Johnny Katigbak, Jun Monson, Joy Ravago, Philip Angara, Sir Javier, etc. and the Lumabay-Labay members who were around were Paolo Tison, Chepit Dulay, Ike Agawin, Doroy Quisumbing, Otik Macavinta, Joey Tapay, Joel Ramos, Mandy Villanueva, Jojo Roa, Fred Navarrete, Pocholo Guillen, Archie Sarabia, Dodot Pison, Irwin Villaruel, Mayok Magno, yours truly, etc., and our lady friends — Didit, Lynn, Potot, Dyangga, and Brenda. Togie was also there.

For those who were not mentioned, my apologies.

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I just wanted to share this. 😀

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