When it’s naked, it’s not wholesome. When it’s naked, it’s beauty. For Oble, when it’s naked, it’s symbolic.
My mom asked me, “Why is UP statue naked?” I’d like to remind my mother that nudity is not new or unconventional. In fact, there are a lot of naked statues. Our province has some naked statutes. And I wonder why they have to be. At least Oble is naked for a reason.
When I entered UP, I did not really care how Oble looked. I accepted that he was naked but I did not look closely on the details. I didn’t bother to know if he had biceps or abs. I did not even know that there was a leaf hiding his manhood.
Oble did not wear any clothes. But as he stood there lifting his hands, it was as if he was wearing a branded wardrobe glimmering in the sun and many people envied him. And I ,who just stared at him, carried his brand name.
As the years went by, I did not want people to know that I saw him naked. Because when I told them that I did, they would challenge me with an IQ test. They would let me solve brain teasers. And when I could not give answers, I felt so ashamed.
They would call me activist and atheist. They would think I am well-versed with current events. They would ask me if I knew a lot of trivia. They would openly ask me questions that they would not normally ask to other people, such as “Did you have an affair with women?” “Have you done this and that?” They would judge me for every grammar lapse that I made. And they would remark, “Did you really study in UP?”
I’d just like people to know that Oble did not teach me everything but it taught me one big lesson- how to teach myself. My opinions are not from Oble. They are mine. My skills are not necessarily from Oble. They are mine. My passion is fueled by Oble but my ambitions and desires are my creations. Oble did not provide me all the facts, formula, theories but he gave me understanding. Oble did not make artists, leaders, activists, innovators. He only gave these people an opportunity to be what they were meant to be.
I looked at that naked man again.
Oble symbolizes selfless offering. His nakedness means giving your all to the country. For some, it means freedom. As a home of free thinkers, it attracts all kinds of people. But for me, the naked man lifting his arms and facing the heavens is a man who offers himself to God. He serves humanity, not only his race. By my interpretation, I am no atheist and I am no member of any patriotic group. I am just a life student who studies, reads, listens, and reflects.
To freshies with love…
As opposed to what others believe, Oble does not change who you are. He only magnifies who you are.