Let the (frat) War Begins


It’s already a month after the class started. New freshmen were welcomed by the University and the University Student Council. It was good to know that they chose UP where academic freedom and diversity are everywhere in the campus. And they were very happy.

But will they be happy if they learn and witness that there occurs fraternity conflicts in the University? Will they enjoy their academic freedom if their lives would be in trouble because of such violence?

July came in and this signifies another conflict. Let the Hunger Games begin! Ah, sorry. Let the war begins.

The Greek Alphabet

Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon, Zeta, Eta, Theta, Iota, Kappa, Lambda, Mu, Nu, Xi, Omicron, Pi, Rho, Sigma, Tau, Upsilon, Phi

This group of words (not formed into sentence) is the English translation to the Greek Alphabet. This alphabet was originated dated back from 730 BC and was adapted from the Phoenician Alphabet1. Because of time, the alphabet was mixed and combined with some letters and symbols from Cyrillic to Latin and other western scripts2.

The long history of these words was not forgotten. In fact, they are being used. One of the most significant contributions of these is the formation of fraternities and sororities because these letters and words were used to name them.

History of Fraternity

Fraternity is an organized society of men associated together in an environment of companionship and BROTHERHOOD3. This so-called organization, sometimes connoted as a secret organization, is allied to the Catholic Church back then. Fraternities can have differing degrees of secrecy, some form of initiation or ceremony marking admission, formal codes of behavior, disciplinary procedures, very differing amounts of real property and assets4. At the beginning of 20th century, fraternal organizations are spread and increased in number in the United States of America where these are classified under social, professional and honorary fraternities.

In the Philippines, brotherhood started during the colonial period where there was a great need for cooperation to fight for independence against the colonial rule through a revolution. This was the KKK or the Kataas-taasang, Kagalang-galangang, Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan which was founded on July 07, 1892. Although the KKK had already been not existing in the country, its supremacy cannot be matched by today’s organizations and its legacy are already written in history.

Another record from history shows that the Upsilon Sigma Phi, founded in 1918, is the oldest existing fraternity not only in the Philippines but also in Asia. On the other hand, the UP Sigma Beta Sorority is the oldest of its kind, founded in 19325. In the year 1950-1970, major fraternities and sororities in the Philippines were founded which what we know now and they have been creating chapters in different colleges and universities that lead to spread throughout the country.


Almost all the fraternities (and sororities) we know now are being founded in the University of the Philippines and they continued to exist within the grounds of the university. They are not just there. They do some activities and projects, sometimes for the benefit of the children, of the poor and of the students.

But it is not only good things that they do. They are involved in the violence recorded in the university. They are making their names dirty but not them all. However, certain generalization cannot be avoided when speaking of fraternities. The magic word is violent.

You cannot blame people from thinking that fraternities are violent. Maybe because that is what they are showing and that is what people see.

Fraternities are brotherhood – brotherhood in times of trouble. They prove that life inside and outside the fraternity is a competitive one. There is also pressure. Pressure inside it is not just the same as the pressure cooker where only meat is going to be softened or tendered. There exists blood.


I, myself, witnessed frat violence inside the campus. As far as I remembered, the first rumble I witnessed happened when the jeepney I was riding on passed along the University Avenue. Flashbacks started to come to my mind but I don’t think I can tell all of it. (To know the full story, visit http://www.philippinecollegian.org/frat-violence-mars-sem-opening/).

While the University Student Council and the CSSP Student Council6is fighting against frat-related violence, fraternities are continue to do what is against the fight. They are seem to be blinded and deafen. It was like in a classroom that someone is physically present but mentally absent. And one of the major problems is that their tambayan or where they stay is actually within or near the tambayan of some academic organizations. They must go to a place where they are only one who would be in trouble or where people other than them who would not be hurt.

Fraternities are sometimes washing their own hands. They say that they are against the frat-related violence like frat war and hazing. But they just speak like a politician who are only promising for something. Or else, that politician is one of their alumni or brothers. That can be because many politicians of today are affiliated with certain fraternities. Fraternities help them to be seated.

With all these things, I believe that one day, those fraternities around the campus are the one who will start to act and fight against violence. They must also re-established and live by the true identity of fraternity which is for the betterment of its members intellectually, physically and spiritually and to act not a burden to the community. It’s time for them to take a bath.


Sources and Footnote:

1. Fraternities. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fraternity

2. Fraternities. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fraternity

3. Fraternities. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fraternity

4. Fraternities. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fraternity

5. Odd Fellow Fraternity. How did fraternities in the Philippines start?. 2011. Retrieved from http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_did_the_fraternities_in_the_Philippines_start

6. Palma Hall houses the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy where there exists a student council. It is also in AS, common and popular name for Palma Hall, where tambayan of many major fraternities located.

Note: The author is not affiliated with any fraternities. The author is just a concerned student.

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