During the early years of
Marcos' first term, the Philippines were doing fine as manifested by the good
performance of the economy. Or so it seemed.
The Diliman campus of the
University of the Philippines was normally festive. Beatles and Motown records
were continuously played, as they were the hits then. The only thing that
disturbed the students from reading Gregorio F. Zaide's history books were
complaints about terror Professors, dilapidated comfort rooms, inadequate
library materials, water shortage in the campus and busted lights in the
Rumbles and traditional fraternity balls characterized
fraternity life. Fraternity men, dashing in their coats and tuxedos, were always
ready to shower their muses with expensive flowers in frequently held balls. The
campus was a constant battlefield as each fraternity aspired to emerge
victorious in every encounter. Among the existing fraternities then, it was
almost always traditional - a race for glory, glamour and
However, outside the country, something was brewing that shall
later forever be etched in history. Sweeping across the globe were liberation
movements out to challenge US hegemony and imperialism. People of Asia, Africa
and South America wanted emancipation from the bondage of political and economic
The Indochina (Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos) was America's last
line of defense against a growing tide of global revolution. People in colonized
countries wanted to free themselves from foreign domination to seek their own
destiny. Not long after, the Vietnam War escalated.
For the Americans,
retreat meant humiliation, and advancement, destruction. To lose was never an
option. Weapons of modern technology proved futile against Vietnamese guerilla
warfare. The war was proving too costly to sustain. And their involvement was
soon becoming a moral dilemma, for people back in the US were already trying to
question what the war was all about. Thereafter anti-war sentiments gained
momentum as more and more street demonstrations protesting the Vietnam War were
held in major cities all across the US.
West Coast university campuses
became venues of progressive discussions and mobilizations. Teenagers grew their
hair long to protest the compulsory drafting in the military service and
militant African Americans formed the Black Panther. Freedom of speech was
demanded amidst songs of freedom and peace.
All of these developments
were to have a chilling effect on the Philippines. Students coming home after
scholarship abroad brought with them progressive ideas. The students began
questioning reality. Are we really well off? Why do we complain about trivial
matters such as dilapidated comfort rooms when the Vietnamese are already giving
their lives for the nobler cause of genuine freedom and
Hence these dictate the tempo of the late 1960's. It was
time of questioning, a time of action, a time of change. It was the students,
brandishing progressive ideas like swords of steel, challenging the dragon that
was the root of society's evils. Bonding together, they shook the very
foundations of Philippine realm.
Awakening dawned through discussions in
campus. Talks with the masses, the peasant and the workers gave the answer to
their questions. Soon, the exploitation without a face was unmasked. Feudal
factors tied the masses to poverty and oppression. The enemy became known - US
Guided by Mao's "Red Book" and Lenin's "What is to be done?"
students started organizing themselves. Remnants of the old revolutionary
movement, the Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas (PKP) reassessed. In 1964,
Kabataang Makabayan (KM) was founded to serve as an organization for fanning the
UP students’ political and intellectual ferment.
Among the founding
members of the KM was Luzvimindo Timbang David. One day, an acquaintance
suggested putting up a fraternity to support the growing movement in the campus.
This noble endeavor was realized in the summer of 1968 when a group of more than
twenty UP students built foundations of a new fraternity. It was their desire
for a stronger and more kindred bond of political unity that they sought to
intervene the purpose of and action of social ideals with the camaraderie and
integrity found in a brotherhood.
The fraternity envisioned was to be
different from the existing ones. It was a nationalist, service-oriented,
counter-institution brotherhood that was to bind Filipinos from all concerns of
Doroteo Cubacub Abaya Jr., a member of Crux Anzata
(organization of martial arts practitioners), one among twenty students, devised
the measures to determine who will be the master founders. These included
hiking, swimming and many physical activities. Soon, the group was trimmed down
to just five: Doroteo "Doti" Cubacub Abaya, Luzvimindo Timbang David, Joaquin
"Jack" Manego Gan, Alfredo "Fred" Dela Cruz Lansangan and Willam "Willy"
And on the 1st of September 1968, in a sugarcane field in Pampanga
near the Abacan River, the Sigma Kappa Pi Fraternity was born amidst the turmoil
of the times. Among the five left, William Yao unfortunately missed this
historic event due to bad weather.
1969 was a silent year for the
fraternity as it was a time for recruitment and a time to strengthen the bond
between and among the members. Manny Manuel and Ding Baluyot, along with other
new brods, helped the master founders lay the grounds for the fraternity's
The early 1970's was a time to lead. Fraternity members are in
the forefront of student demonstrations against growing social injustices, graft
and corruption in the government and other issues that were important to the
students and to the Filipino people in general. By then there was a growing
dissatisfaction among the people with the incumbent administration.
Mobilizations formed part of the neophyte process.
When Martial Law was
declared on September 21, 1972 by virtue of Presidential Proclamation 1081, it
disbanded most of the political organizations and forced the remaining hardy few
to go underground. As a consequence and in wanting to serve the people better,
Mindo left the fraternity and went underground. Doti, along with Rey Mendoza and
other brods, went as far as Mindanao, penetrating the plantations of
Transnational Corporations (DOLE, Standard Fruit Company) to organize farmers.
Brod Ed Aquino became the fraternity's first martyr when he willingly gave up
his life fighting for the people's cause. One by one, many of the brods active
in the protest movement were arrested. Jack eventually became a doctor while
Fred tried his luck in US. Those who were left continued to
Sigma Kappa Pi Fraternity's history is the
continuing history of the people's struggle for a genuine freedom and
independence. The fraternity, whose soul lay not only in official recognition in
campus, but more importantly within the hearts of its
The Three Objectives
Fraternity System in the University of the Philippines has come to be
regarded as a campus institution.
Greek letters came to stand for the
names of the various brotherhoods in commemoration of the noble Greek
Philosophies. Foremost among these is aręte, the quest for physical and
intellectual excellence, emotional and spiritual serenity.
A major aspect
of the Greek-lettered community, common to all fraternities, lies in the rites
of passage. These herald the rebirth that marks a new brother's entry into the
family, as well as a tempering of his integrity and perseverance. It is the
experience shared by every generation of members, binding them as a mother's
umbilical cord would.
Yet the same rites that endow fraternities with
their unmistakable mystique have also lent over them the shroud of elitism.
Coupled with arrogance, this has resulted in the contempt held by mainstream
fraternity men for others outside their exclusive circle, all often leading to
The Sigma Kappa Pi Fraternity, which stands
for Samahan ng Kabataang Pilipino, being a nationalist and service-oriented
brotherhood, seeks to bring down the walls of exclusivity surrounding
fraternities and be one with the masses in order to serve them better. In the
process, we necessarily seek to avoid the violence that accompanies vain and
Taking a cue from Claro M.
Recto, nationalism is "... a banner of freedom proclaiming the national interest
of the people, to be promoted or safeguarded by themselves so that the fruits of
their efforts and wealth derived from their God- given resources shall accrue to
them and thus enable all our people to rise above poverty, and march to
prosperity contentment and dignity..."
It is from this very general
definition of nationalism that the fraternity wishes to express love for the
country and its people. Nationalism does not limit and does not prescribe how
one would show his concern for the welfare of the country and the majority of
the Filipino people. Nationalism that believes that the resources of the country
should be controlled and exploited only by our people and benefits resulting
thereto should accrue only to them.
The fraternity espouses a kind of
nationalism that does not advocate economic, political, scientific or cultural
isolation. It is not anti-development in that it believes that our people
deserve all the ease and comfort, good health, and access to the best products
of man’s intellect and artistic spirit that the highest achievement of science
and art can provide. For this reason, nationalism that believes in the economic,
political, scientific and cultural interchanges with other countries but is
careful and selective, always placing priority needs and welfare of the majority
of the Filipino people.
Members of the
Sigma Kappa Pi Fraternity believe that they play an important role as catalyst
of change in the society. Being so, they have never been known to be
closemouthed about social problem besetting our country. In order to be
effective in this important role, it is therefore imperative to every member to
be of service to the Filipino people.
The Sigma Kappa Pi is a fraternity
committed towards serving the Filipino people specifically of marginalized
sector such as the peasants, the workers, the urban poor and the indigenous
people. In this light the fraternity conducts activities to provide its members
with first hand experiences of the prevalent problem problems affecting these
sectors. It serves to heighten the social awareness of its members and provide
them with the opportunity to extend whatever support they can give to uplift the
conditions of these people.
As students, members serve the studentry by
trying to fulfill their role as catalysts of change by providing venues to
understand issues affecting them and the country. As professionals, members
serve the people they deal with everyday in their individual professions with
the Sigma Kappa Pi Fraternity different from the rest of the Greek-letter
society is the bond that embraces its members. Unlike other traditional
fraternities, the brotherhood being espoused within the fraternity does not
prejudice against chapter, age, race, or religion. Every brother is treated with
The Sigma Kappa Pi Fraternity is more than an
organization. It is at once both a movement and a family. Its members are
brothers in every sense of the word – standing by one another’s side through
time and circumstance, yet unhesitant to correct a brother straying too far from
the path. The brothers are loyal, but critical just the same and ever mindful of
the goals and principles of the fraternity.