Friday Randomness: That Effin' Thing Called Brotherhood

As much as possible, I try not to post anything that concerns current events or controversial issues here in my blog. That’s what newspapers are for. But the recent death of a college student due to hazing sparked so much outrage to what seems to be an unending cycle of senseless deaths masked as false brotherhood. I remember hearing for the first time a death caused by hazing when I was still very young. Now that I am already in my 30s, it’s saddening that this vicious rite has not yet come to an end. Nakakalungkot. Nakakainis. Nakakagalit. Nakakasawa na rin.

I have nothing against fraternities. I was never a part of one, but I am assuming that it’s just a group of people working for their own cause or aiming for a specific goal, just like a choir working hand in hand to provide good music in church service or a basketball varsity seeking for a championship. But what sets it apart from these two groups is the violence that encompasses it. I know that some may argue that fraternities do not necessarily equate to hazing, but then again, that one is debatable.
I know I am not the only person to ask why fraternities HURT, and yes, KILL their BROTHERS. What is the logic behind inflicting pain to another person just so he can be a part of some sick brotherhood? Matira matibay ba ang labanan? Bawal ang lampa sa kapatiran? Tapos kapag may namatay, pasensiyahan na lang?

hazing Image taken from

My father used to lecture me and my brother to stay away from fraternities. Gulo lang lang daw ang dala. Hindi bale na daw na umuwi kaming may bagsak kesa umuwing bugbog sarado. My father had a lot of not-so-good encounters with fraternities when he was in college. Because of his refusal to be a part of such groups, he became an instant target of grouchy frat members. “Hinabol ako ng patalim ng mga mokong. Ballpen lang ang dala ko. Akala nila uurong ako!” These were the exact words of my father. He is not bragging because I have also heard the same story from all of his friends. Again, what’s the point of inflicting pain and terror?

Even before my father warned me of joining frats, I already made up my mind that I would not be a part of it. When I was a sophomore in high school, I joined a quiz bee which was held in a prestigious university. Prior to the contest proper, some of the Biology students toured us around the campus. While she was explaining where the auditorium was and what was the story behind a certain statue, she told us, “Huwag kayong uupo dito ha. Exclusive for frat members 'to e.” I looked around and noticed that the bench she was referring to is just the same as all the other benches inside the campus. That bench does not belong to a frat, I told my younger self. It belongs to all students who pay for their tuition fees. And since it is a state university, that bench also belongs to me because my parents’ taxes helped in building that bench. That thought stuck on me. And my father need not to dissuade me from joining fraternities. I don't want to be a part of a group that does not share a seat to non-members.

But believe it or not, I was actually recruited when I was in college. Sa liit kong ‘to, may frat na nagkainteres sa akin! :p (Sorority siya pero partner siya ng isang major frat sa university namin dati.) The frat’s ideology impressed me. Seriously. But I had to ask my friend who was already a part of the group if the initiation rites involve anything painful. (Akala ko kasi dati, panlalaki lang ang hazing.) He nodded. Pero sagot na daw niya ang 10 paddle ko, the rest, kaya ko na daw. Sabi ko, “Sige thanks na lang, mas masakit ang sinturon ng tatay ko kapag nalaman niyang sumali ako.” Again, what’s the logic behind the use of violence to welcome your BROTHERS to the group?

An ex-boyfriend once told me that he would be joining a frat, and yes, hazing was also involved. I told him he could go ahead but I wouldn’t be a part of his shit anymore. He reasoned out why he needed to join. And believe me, I have heard this reason countless of times before. Mas madali daw kasi ang buhay sa loob at labas ng school kapag part ka ng frat. Mas madali daw makahanap ng trabaho kasi hindi ka papabayaan ng mga BROD mo. That was the bullshit-est reason I have ever heard. My father always told us that we don’t need connections to survive the corporate world. “Matalino ka! Hindi mo kailangan ng backer para magkaroon ng maayos na trabaho.” I know my father’s words may be a little harsh and unfair to the legitimate fraternities. But I believe he has a point. Aren’t we supposed to be helping each other? Why limit the help to those who are exclusively part of your group? Aren’t we all brothers? Hindi ba dapat ganun?

Kids, if you choose to be a part of this barbaric cycle (whether you are the one hitting or the one being hit), go on. But let me tell you these:

1. I would never hurt my brother. I never hit him even if he keeps on eating my stash of junk food. So why will you let some random stranger hit you?

2. I found brothers and sisters to those who were once strangers to me without getting a single bruise in my body. I know that my bestest friends will catch a bullet for me. I know that they will rush me to the nearest hospital and not just drag and hide me to a condominium unit when I get hurt. Our kind of BROTHERHOOD was built on trust and confidence, not violence. You can earn real friends; you just got to search at the right places.

3. Believe in yourself. Believe that you can do great things without being a part of this kind of shit. I know a lot of people who said no to violence and still made it big to the outside world, the same thing that I know a lot of frat members who dropped out of college and didn’t make it.

4. Some kids choose to be a part of this cycle because they think it is COOL. It is NEVER cool to hurt people. Period. That should be the be-all and end-all of brotherhood.

Sadly, that kid will not be the last victim of hazing. It’s already a cycle that no one dares to stop. Walang ngipin ang batas laban sa hazing. A lot of kids have already gotten away with their crimes. It’s horrible that we are letting these killers become the future of this country. And it’s disheartening that we are depriving the victims of the justice that they deserve.

Nakakalungkot. Nakakainis. Nakakagalit. Nakakasawa na rin.

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