OBRA Awards

The OBRA Awards

The Outstanding Brother Radian Achievement (OBRA) Awards was conceptualized and proposed by Brother Radian Alfredo “Alvits” S. Vitangcol in 2004 in preparation for the 40th Founding Anniversary of the UP Epsilon Chi Fraternity. It was approved by then Radian Governor David W. Lim, designating Brother Radian Marcelino “Mars” C. Mendoza as the initial Awards Committee Chair. It was first bestowed to deserving Radians during 40th Anniversary Ball of the fraternity held on October 4, 2004 at the
Makati Shagri-la Hotel.

The original awards were termed “Outstanding Brother Radian Awards”, or OBRA for short. Each award was sub-categorized pertaining to an excellent achievement in a certain field by a fraternity brother. For example, one award was the “Outstanding
Brother Radian Award (OBRA) – Outstanding Achievement Award for Academic and Professional Excellence.” However, considering that all the awards were for “achievements”, the awards for subsequent years evolved to “Outstanding Brother Radian Achievement (OBRA) Awards.”

Why OBRA? The acronym was coined by Brother Radian Alvits Vitangcol with the fraternity’s Creed in mind. OBRA is a Tagalog term for creation, short of a masterpiece (obra maestra). The Creed states, “I believe in a Goal, and My Goal is Creation..”.

Thus, a Radian’s ultimate goal of creation is his own “obra,” an exemplification of his achievement. The glass plaque itself was not a random, accidental design by a trophy manufacturer. It was purposely crafted by Brother Radian Alvits Vitangcol with the
engineering education as a backdrop. The front piece, a clear transparent rectangular glass, represents the first tool used by engineering students. A triangle is a drafting tool for drawing accurate parallel lines, vertical lines, and other angled lines, in conjunct with another right-angled triangle. For aesthetics, a scalene triangle was chosen for the plaque.

The back piece, a frosted translucent glass, signifies a scroll or a parchment paper. This type of paper is used for architectural drawings and engineering plates. Both pieces form the beginning and the end of engineering studies and the start of the professional
creations by the Radians. These two glass pieces stand and rest on two oblong glass bases – with the mirror on top and the solid black glass on the bottom. The solid black piece denotes a strong foundation while the mirror reflects the Radians “new self… described by the will to excel in all fields of human endeavor.”

The chairmanship of the OBRA Awards Committee, after 2004, was held by Brother Radian Alvits Vitangcol until it was turned over to Brother Radian Doie J. Dineros in 2024.

The OBRA Awards lives on towards the fraternity’s 60 years of outstanding legacy