What made them say yes to ‘brotherhood’?
MANILA, Philippines – The death of Horacio Castillo III is not a lone case when it comes to frat-related violence and deaths throughout the years. In fact, it seems like a never ending nightmare.
Despite the anti-hazing law, there are still fraternities which clearly violate it and practice hazing and physical initiation. (READ: What you need to know about the Anti-Hazing Law)
So much negativity has surrounded this issue. So much sorrow has stricken the family members of those who died. (READ: Castillo's parents: Aegis Juris treated our son 'like an animal')
But for the members of what they deeply call as 'brotherhood,' there is so much more than what people see.
Why join a fraternity?
Rappler reached out to them to hear the other side of the story.
Believing in the same things
Fercival Yutan just graduated in June, 2017, from the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman. He is part of the Alpha Phi Beta Fraternity.
"I just learned about the Alpha Phi Beta Fraternity when my organization was invited to join their debate workshop."
Soon after, he joined the frat. According to him, joining was a leap of faith. At the end of the day, it's all about what you believe and no one can force things down your throat if you do not want it.
"Aside from the values being advocated by my frat, which is aligned with my own personal principle, it's all a matter of wanting to be part of something bigger than myself," he said.
Another UP student, Joshua Balinas, is part of Beta Sigma Fraternity. He said that it was very important that you discern what the fraternity is all about before joining one.
"I would tell them first to discern before rendering judgment. Being critical is never brought about my impulse or emotion. Look at the purpose of the fraternity first. Assess if they are true to it, before judging the organization and its members."
Balinas also said that it is good to be surrounded by a group of men who think alike and who act as family towards each other.
Network of connections
Balinas admitted that it is an advantage of being part of a fraternity to have a big network of connections. It is easier to get jobs and it is easier to climb up the corporate ladder.
Yutan also experienced the luxury of meeting different people from different walks of life.
"I was exposed to different types of people with varying perspectives," he said.
No to physical initiation
According to Balinas, he knew he chose the right fraternity because his does not practice physical initiation. (READ: Inside the brotherhood: thoughts on fraternity violence)
"My Fraternity also does not practice physical initiation and this made me believe that I chose correctly. We adhere to the anti-hazing law, and we adamantly practice it," he claims.
"We want to end the cycle of violence, of 'passing the torch' practices done by other fraternities," he added.
Speaking of violence, both Yutan and Balinas both condemned the death of Horacio "Atio" Castillo III.
"It is sad that the life of an aspiring law student was lost due to hazing. It is unfortunate that Atio Horacio died in joining a fraternity," Yutan extended his deepest condolences to the family.
Balinas also condemned the incident.
"We call for a nationwide cessation of all forms of fraternity violence, for non-physical initiation across fraternities," he said.
As Balinas put it, "A person is never measured by the number of hits he can take, but by strength of will and character." – Rappler.com