The UP Oblation

he There is one role the profit-oriented knowledge institutions cannot take from the university: as a "center of wisdom," where wisdom is understood as the capacity to use one's knowledge and experience to arrive at a good judgement or a sound decision; where wisdom means the foresight and concern for the next generations. Only an authentic university has the organization, scope of learning and academic freedom to nurture wisdom.

--UP President Francisco Nemenzo

It is in this University where I was educated for four years in college.. and now, andito na naman ako for my master's degree.. I've learned a lot of things from my alma mater.. I am proud to be a UPian.. Dito nahubog ang aking pagkakakilanlan bilang isang indibidwal na malaya, may mga karapatan, at obligasyon sa bayan..

Tingnan mo ang istatwa ng Oblation. Ito ang pinakaimportanteng sagisag ng para sa mga mag-aaral ng UP. I just want to quote the following
article from a website regarding the Oblation:

"In 1935, UP president Rafael Palma commissioned Guillermo Tolentino for the sculpture, with a request that the work be based on the second stanza of Jose Rizal’s “Mi Ultimo Adios.” That passage is replete with references to giving up one’s life for the country. Thus you have the outstretched arms, face looking toward the sky, almost evocative of the way Rizal himself was martyred.

The statue is actually concrete but it was painted to make it look like bronze. It cost all of 2,000 pesos, a hefty sum at that time, raised within two months from contributions of students and staff at the university.

Tolentino describes the statue, all the way down to “closed eyes and parted lips murmuring a prayer,” to represent “all the unknown heroes who fell during the night.” The base, filled with rocks, is supposed to represent the rugged Philippine archipelago. The rocks came from the town of Montalban, outside Manila, site of a fierce battle between Filipino guerrillas and the Japanese army during the last world war.

Also at the base is katakataka — literally, the plant that startles. Also known as siempreviva (always living), the plant is known for the way it shoots up, even from a leaf. Tolentino says this symbolizes “the deep-rooted patriotism in the heart of our heroes. Such patriotism continually and forever grows anywhere…”

It’s amazing how much symbolism went into the statue, all the way up to its height: 3.5 meters, to represent 350 years of Spanish rule. (You may have wondered, as I did, why there wasn’t another half a meter for 50 years of American rule, but the Oblation was put up in 1935, when we had become a Commonwealth but were still under the Americans.)
There are inscriptions on all four sides of the statue’s pedestal. On the front panel is an excerpt from Jose Rizal’s “El Filibusterismo,” a passage from Padre Florentino, asking where are the youth ready to offer their lives and their aspirations for the country? The good padre warns that only those without reservations should dare to offer those aspirations.

At the back of the statue is one stanza from Rizal’s “Mi Ultimo Adios,” again referring to the giving of one’s life, “in combat or in martyrdom.” Still another stanza from that poem appears on the right side of the statue, again talking about offering one’s life, “without doubts, without sorrow.”

Finally, perhaps anticipating debates that were to come in the 1970s about who our national hero should be, is a poem, “Pagibig sa Tinubuang Lupa” (Love for One’s Homeland), by Andres Bonifacio. Again, Bonifacio calls for patriotism, offering “dugo, yaman, dunong, katiisa’t pagod, buhay” (blood, wealth, knowledge, perseverance and untiring effort, and life)."

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