Monday, December 20, 2010

ESA Moment #1: Male Students Study Naked

Disclaimer: I am an online English teacher. I decided to share my more colorful conversations with my students in this blog. I won't be mentioning any names and since my students are not allowed to connect with me using social networks and blogging, I think I am safe. ^^ This entry and all others like it is not meant to poke fun of my super cool students. It's a way to compare cultures and exchange ideas between Filipinos, Koreans, and the world. ^^ So troll me if you want to. My blog, my words, read it or leave it.

There was a student who I am fond of and loves to do freetalking who surprised me with a piece of Filipino news that he watched. (I recommend that my students watch or read news on English sites so they can improve their English.)

My student said : Philippines news, male students study naked.

I thought that it was some new way to review for an exam that made it on absurd news internationally. I was trying to rack my brain for something to say that would change the topic. But the truth of the matter was, I was trying not to pee my pants from imagining what he said.

I honestly want to teach in that school if that was even true.

Then he said something that triggered a memory. "They wearing mask."

Flashback to standing in front of the Humanities building in UPLB gawking, pointing and screaming, "I can't see it! It's so small!" at frat guys running around with a red rose in hand, masks or head covers while they protest the latest of the many issues faced by state university students or Filipinos in general.

My student saw a news clip about the OBLATION RUN. 

So there I was trying to tell the 40 something Korean guy whose culture restricted these kinds of freedom of expression that we had this kind of thing in all the UP campuses every year and that it was a tradition of a group of guys to prove that they are worthy of joining a brotherhood of men.

He seemed cultured shocked since no sane Korean man would talk to a female teacher about this unless he wanted an explanation from a native. He was actually amused that I actually went to a campus that had this. I told him that guys that have these red roses actually give them to women who are in the audience. He laughed most of the class and was willing to learn why those guys actually did something that to him was borderline nuts.

Culture tidbit: Although flashers are common in both countries, in Korea, I believe it's illegal. In the Philippines running in one's birthday suit, when done as a sign of protest, as is the case of the Oblation Run, is a sign of personal freedom. At least for most people.

FYI : What is the Oblation? 

Interesting FYI: This tradition of the APO fraternity can occur outside the December tradition of the Oblation Run. There was a time in UPLB when several APO members stood on-stage during the February Fair stage to protest something. Still I am yet to see a naked man in any graduation ceremony in my university.

As for my student. I advised him not to let his sons visit my school around that time just to avoid this kind of shock. ^^ Any other place would be okay, there are other islands in our awesome archipelago after all.

So myth busted. There is yet to be a college where male students in the Philippines study naked. Darn it. There goes my hopes and dreams.


  1. ito 'yung gusto kong lagyan ng comment. ahaha! ang mga tao parang hindi nakakabalita ng balita, lol! mga APO naman ang liliit nu'ng....toot na nakita ko, sana noong EB ang oblation run para makita natin. I wonder if they did the oblation sa UP Clark, yiipee! lahat po ba sa mga branches ng UP ginagawa nila 'yan o sa Diliman lang?

  2. Great post! I plan to watch the Oblation before I turn 30. (I know, lame. But better late than never). Please come with me. \m/ hehehe

  3. @She: I haven't seen the one in Diliman and I don't really want to since I have seen our version in UPLB. So I think once you have seen it once or twice, you've seen it as often as you need to. But for people who haven't then it might be a good experience. Wala lang, just one of those things that you can check off your bucket list, I guess. Well, if you want to see it in person, you need to go back home in December. 15ish usually ang Oblation Run. I dunno if it's an anniversary or something. Anyway, don't bring your boyfriend, bring other female friends. ^^

    @Empz: As far as I know we do it in UPLB as well. I don't know if they do it in all of the UP campuses. I don't have friends in the other campuses. I can only imagine it would be freezing in UP Baguio. Tee-hee. And no comment on the size comment. I have APO friends. ^^


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