Because 2008 is the Centennial Year of the University of the Philippines, selling UP-related stuff is big business. Stuff for sale include UP t-shirts, UP jackets, UP planners, UP car plates, UP mugs, mini-Oblations, and so on and so forth.
Here’s my problem: almost every UP student already has a UP t-shirt and/or a UP jacket. Every professional jots down notes in a UP planner, drives to work with a UP car plate. UP students and alumni drink coffee from UP mugs, and have the mini-Oblation in their curio cabinets. And every important date is marked on a commemorative Centennial Calendar (the UP Baguio version is available from SayoteRepublic).
Here’s the thing: I want more. I think that if we, as a University, would really milk the Centennial out of everything it is worth, Centennial products should not be limited to commemorative stickers. As such, here are my ideas for what UP should be selling as Centennial products.
Idea #1: Commemorative Portable Ashtray + Cigarette Lighter
Remember when you could still freely smoke at UP? Well, thanks to an administrative order, you can no longer do so. However, you can still smoke with fond memories of UP by buying this commemorative portable ashtray and cigarette lighter. The commemorative ashtray is specially designed to hold the ashes of two packs of cigarettes and their butts: an ecological marvel you won’t see in any other ashtray. The cigarette lighter runs on biofuels, consistent with UP’s support of environmental initiatives. A must on every smoker’s Centennial wishlist.
Idea #2: Anahaw-leaf jockstrap
Are you a fashion-conscious “UPian” who already has a UP jacket, a UP shirt, maroon jogging pants, and maroon rubber shoes? Well, you can never be the well-rounded Iskolar ng Bayan without having your own piece of commemorative UP underwear! Designed for the scholar-on-the-move, this jockstrap comes with a polyester anahaw leaf seen on the Oblation. This marvel of clothing technology is designed for easy removal, especially for students who come down with incontinence on drinking parties and LBM on Hell Week. It can also withstand years of careless washing by laundry shops. Comes in maroon and green.
Idea #3: “Captain Oblation” action figure
Ever thought that Oblation was just a statue symbolizing freedom? Heck no: when night falls, and freedom is threatened, Oblation breaks away from his granite skin and becomes Captain Oblation. Possessing laser-sight, the power of flight, super-strength and super-intelligence, Captain Oblation searches deep in the night to fight injustice, oppression, and saves the world before 6:30 AM Varsity practice! Now you can have Captain Oblation with you in this fancy new action figure. Using the most advanced toy-making materials and the best in toy engineering, Captain Oblation action figures come with their own superpowers! Batteries and accessories not included.