|Replica of the original Oblation.The original is at the Main Library of UP Diliman campus.|
This is the Oblation, a statue found in every campus of the University of the Philippines. It is the university's symbol and was designed by Filipino Artist Guillermo Tolentino. The statue of the man naked and with arms stretched outward signifies selfless offering to the country. The original sculpture measures 3.5 meters symbolizing 350 years of Spanish rule. If you look at it closely, the genitals is covered with a fig leaf, but the original was completely naked.
The making of the statue was conceived during the UP presidency of Rafael Palma and dedicated on March 1939 at the UP Manila campus. The conceptualization was based on the second stanza of National Hero Jose Rizal's Mi Ultimo Adios, which reads:
"In fields of battle, deliriously fighting, Others give you their lives, without doubt, without regret; here there’s cypress, laurel or lily, On a plank or open field, in combat or cruel martyrdom, If the home or country asks, it's all the same--it matters not."
This is how the statue was described by the artist, Tolentino, based on that stanza:
"The completely nude figure of a young man with outstretched arms and open hands, with tilted head, closed eyes and parted lips murmuring a prayer, with breast forward in the act of offering himself, is my interpretation of that sublime stanza. It symbolizes all the unknown heroes who fell during the night. The statue stands on a rustic base, a stylized rugged shape of the Philippine archipelago, lined with big and small hard rocks, each of which represents an island. The “katakataka” (wonder plant) whose roots are tightly implanted on Philippine soil, is the link that binds the symbolized figure to the allegorical Philippine Group. “Katakataka” is really a wonder plant. It is called siempre vivo (always alive) in Spanish. A leaf or a piece of it thrown anywhere will sprout into a young plant. Hence, it symbolizes the deep-rooted patriotism in the heart of our heroes. Such patriotism continually and forever grows anywhere in the Philippines."
The University of the Philippines is a state university and is considered, if not the best, one of the best in the country. UP Diliman is it's main campus located at Quezon City, Philippines.
Linking this to ABC Wednesday.