My Two Cents on Brotherhood, Fraternity, Sorority

When I was in college, my parents have reminded me over and over again that getting to clubs that do not put value to your studies first is something that should be avoided. I have kept that in mind. However, I have learned that on her second year, my sister joined a fraternity without my knowledge when I should be keeping an eye on her. So she went home and I was wondering where on earth did she get those bruises and hematoma, no cuts, just violets and green on her legs? And then I knew she had joined a fraternity that initiated her that moment to become a sister to a brotherhood.

I have kept silent about it, because what happened was to her own liking. I may have told it to my parents after the bruises were all gone, but she was already part of the club and she takes great pride in what she has done.

My belief though does not join my sister's. Not until after college, and I was sworn in to be a member of an exclusive law fraternity and sorority. No initiation rites, no pressure on whatsoever, but the only thing that I was tasked to do is to go for my studies, finish law school, excel in exams and recitations. And I failed them still.

The issue about hazing is not new for the Filipinos. We keep on learning about these kinds of abuse from frat men and women. These concerns have started since time immemorial, and I cannot fathom for whatever reason these youngsters would love to be in a group that would beat them before they make him a brother or a sister. Just like how I could not understand my sister from joining a group that beat her legs to bruises.

Fraternity may yield some advantages, I believe in that. But brotherhood cannot be reasoned out by hazing. Can't we be brothers without initiation rites? Or can't we be accepted in a club without having to go through the process of beating someone or putting some pressure on the newbie? The adventure of brotherhood is fun, it spells unity, camaraderie, connections.

Only in law school did I understand the true meaning of fraternity - but not brotherhood. Because even in the group, there is faction, and there are misunderstandings.

I am a member of a fraternity/sorority. But I could only understand the meaning of brotherhood as displayed by my family. Not by any group I may have belonged to. 


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