The Oblation Unveiled in 1935

UP Oblation

Sculptor Guillermo Tolentino erected this concrete statue in 1935 at the University of the Philippines at Padre Faura. It stands three and a half meters tall; representing 3-1/2 centuries years of Spanish rule in the Philippines.

No symbol other than the Oblation has stood for the University of the Philippines (UP) – love of freedom, search for truth, and love of country.

In 1930 students, faculty and employees of the University at Padre Faura, Manila, raised 2,000 pesos to fund the creation of the Oblation. Its cornerstone was laid by Mrs Aurora Quezon on November 30, 1931.

Its numerical height stands for 350 years of Spanish rule in the Philippines. A fig leaf was later added to the nude statue.

For its base the sculptor used rocks taken from Montalban, Rizal, where Filipino guerillas fought the Japanese army during the second World War. The model was Fernando Poe Sr., a Filipino-American actor.

During the National Heroes Day in 1935, in honor of Filipino heroes, Gregoria de Jesus, widow of Andres Bonifacio, was invited to unveil the Oblation at the quadrangle of UP campus in Manila.

The Oblation withstood the ravages of the war. At the University’s 40th anniversary in 1949, it was transferred in front of the Quezon Hall at UP Diliman, Quezon City where it stands todate. Although it was painted to appear like bronze, in 1950 it was ultimately cast in bronze to be more enduring.

The Oblation continues to be a landmark for airing of fearless expressions of love for freedom, truth and love for one’s country.

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One Response to “The Oblation Unveiled in 1935”

  1. By markus32 on Dec 28, 2010

    Hi Bobbie,
    I think there’s a need to revise the story on who is the model of the oblation. Fernando Poe Sr. was just a myth/hearsay. The true model is the assistant of Guillermo Tolentino. The Oblation that stands in front of the Admin Building (Quezon Hall) was just a replica and the original Oblation can be found in the UP Main Library.

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