"Fraternities are supposed to make men out of boys."

I am a proud UP fraternity member. 

I did go through final initiation rites, testing the limits of my physical capacity.  The wounds in my legs caused by more than a hundred hits by paddles swelled until the skin broke.

All throughout the final rites, never did I feel that my life was in peril.  All neophytes had a sponsor and it was their job to ensure the safety of their wards.  Drinking was an integral part of the final rites.

Paddles and booze, when combined, can be a lethal mix.  When I became the head of the fraternity, one rule I imposed was one can either drink or partake in the initiation.  One cannot do both.  We also made sure that the neophytes do not take any pain killers before the final rites.  Pain killers, as what they are supposed to do, mask pain and the neophytes need to feel the pain to help us gauge when to stop.

The final rites provide commonality to all fraternity members, from the founders down to the new brods.  It does sound barbaric to non-fraternity members, that pain is a requirement to make someone a brother.  (Ironically, UP students who are not fraternity members are called “barbarians”.)

Fraternities want the neophytes to be productive members of the organization.  It doesn’t make any sense in maiming them, or worse killing them. 

I am sure Horacio "Atio" Castillo III also aspired to be part of an organization that would treat him as a brother.  Why would he ever think that such an organization, with an alumnus such as the Dean of Civil Law, put his life in danger? Why would he think that an organization that is a part of The Pontifical and Royal University, would kill him?

But kill him they did.  And they eagerly and cowardly washed their hands of their misdeeds.  They now blame his pre-existing heart condition as the cause of his death.   I can understand why these pseudo lawyers think this way, especially with the malicious advice and with the prodding of their alumni brods. 

What I cannot understand is where are the parents of these murderers?  Why can’t they give sensible advice to their sons? Why can’t the parents sympathize with Atio’s parents?  And why is the Catholic hierarchy so deafeningly quiet? 

Fraternities are supposed to make men out of boys.  This is not a fraternity.  This is a gang of wimps. And karmic justice will catch up with these wimps, when they get to be initiated and asked to “assume the position”, on a daily basis, by the other gangs in prison.

About the Author
Mr. Leo Querubin is a Certified Management Consultant, a Master Project Manager, A Certified International Project Manager and a Fellow of the American Academy of Project Management with over 30 years of extensive, international experience in planning and implementing large scale IT projects. He is currently a Managing Consultant at Indra Philippines handling the Public Administration, Education and Healthcare markets.
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