Quezon City - Pink petals, sweet melodies and gentle smiles – a tinge of Valentine air filled the University of the Philippines Diliman campus on November 12, 2010 Friday as the Upsilon Sigma Phi celebrated its annual Day of Roses to give gratitude to the women of UP who have inspired throughout history honor and excellence in the University and in the Nation.
Clad in all-black attire and warm smiles, members of the Brotherhood roamed the different colleges of the campus grounds, handing long stemmed pink roses while crooning sweet melodies to the women they come across. Ladies in student nooks (tambayans) and classrooms were serenaded by small choirs with guitar accompaniment in traditional Filipino Harana style, and were given roses tagged with an endearing message of gratitude and empowerment.
Female faculty members and administrators were also visited, serenaded and given bouquets by these gentlemen who conveyed their appreciation to the administration for its continual support for their endeavours to create a climate conducive to learning and progress in the University while providing service to various communities outside UP.
The day started with a diffusion of members in groups of at least five doing room-to-room performances and patrolling the halls handing out roses to women. Performances started with a short message of introduction and thanksgiving, followed by the rendering of songs, and capped by the giving of roses. More often than not, audiences requested encores of the specially-chosen songs, rendered with harmonious voicing and dynamics. At the end of the day, over a thousand roses were given to the women of UP.
Professor Elizabeth L. Enriquez, Vice-Chancellor for Student Affairs (VCSA) was given the pleasure of a visit at her temporary office inside the Kalayaan Residence Hall. Deans Dr. Flora Elena R. Mirano of the College of Arts and Letters, Prof. Mary Anne Espina of the College of Architecture, and Dr. Miguela Mena of the Asian Institute of Tourism were also visited in their respective colleges. Prof. Espina appreciated the courtesy call saying that it still is a great deed of a young man to serenade a lady. Dr. Mena was surprised by the call saying that she’s glad the fraternity is more service-oriented and appreciative, bidding that other fraternities do the same and condemn violence.
It has been a tradition of the Upsilon since the 1980s to hold this occasion of communicating sincere affection and admiration to all women, analogous to the idea of celebrating mother’s day. The pink rose is the Fraternity’s symbolic flower regarded as rare and special, as it was during the olden times.
Just as rare and special as the pink rose is, the women of UP are also esteemed as being of such traits, hence deserving of pride and honor. Among the roster of notable women cradled by the university are: Prof. Solita Monsod, Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Justice Cecilia Muñoz-Palma, and Dr. Fe del Mundo – all who have contributed greatly to the Filipino nation and the University.
The Day of Roses is the opening event of the Upsilon Month 2010 dubbed “Momentum”, a series of events aimed at inspiring the UP community to unite for the common goal of undertaking leadership and service through socially-focused activities geared to uplift the lives of the Filipino people.
The UPSILON SIGMA PHI shows this November that real Greek-letter fraternities, not mere gangs, thrive with noble purposes and commit to meaningful leadership and service, not only inside the university but in the community and the nation as well.
Quezon City—This November, the UPSILON SIGMA PHI presents Momentum, a month-long series of events that will show that Upsilon is a fraternity composed of responsible young leaders with an intertwining connection with the University of the Philippines’ history, beliefs, and principles aimed for excellence, leadership, and service.
The series of events highlights the university in every façade of its venerable existence as the bastion of honor and excellence in the country: from gesturing gratitude to its women, depicting camaraderie with substance, to demonstrating nation building through students’ collaborations.
A Day for the Roses of UP
“Oble is a lover, a womanizer! Yes, countless of them he chased and cherished in his backyard.”
Undeniable it is that behind the glorious and triumphant physique of the Oblation offering himself to his people and whispering his words to the Creator are women who cradled his sons and daughters, adorned his august halls, and filled his chambers with wits and wisdom. But more than that, his women – UP women – helped him inspire ‘honor and excellence’ not only to the young men on campus but also to every Filipino in every corner of our nation.
And so to honor these women, the Upsilon Sigma Phi dedicates days (November 12 in UP Diliman and November 15 in UP Manila) to express their gratitude to all the ladies on campus. Clad in all-black attire, resident members of the Fraternity will hand women everywhere in UP long stemmed pink roses, the brotherhood’s symbolic flower, while crooning sweet melodies. The pink roses to be handed bear a tag with an endearing message of not only gratitude, but also empowerment.
Apart from the rose’s symbolism is the traditional Filipino Harana performed inside classrooms through beat boxes, acoustic guitars and small choirs. Though typically known as an act of courtship, the Harana is also a display of affection and admiration to a lady. This deed of courtesy, celebrated annually by the brotherhood since the 1980s, aims to communicate how all women should be given recognition and appreciation for their countless contribution to our society.
When Camaraderie has Substance
Unique is the right word to describe UP for having an outstretched naked man as its symbol of giving its all for the pursuit of greater knowledge and selfless service to the Filipino people. Unique is also apt to describe a symbolic annual event in UP where organizations of Iskolars ng Bayan go all-out to fit as many of their members as they can inside a 4-seater car in order to win a prize and share it too.
The popular event will be held on November 19 in UP Diliman and November 22 in UP Manila. Make no mistake! In the event, sharing means gifting the prize they won not to themselves but to their chosen beneficiary - true to what UP is made of – a coming together of individuals ready to offer their all – succinctly represented by the Oblation inside UP and by its sons and daughters wherever they may be.
This true exercise of ‘camaraderie with substance’ amusingly and amazingly captures the young Iskolars’ camaraderie-in-action that was once heroically personified by sons of UP like Ninoy Aquino, Doy Laurel, and Gerry Roxas in their pursuit of freedom from tyranny in the service of our beloved nation. As individuals, their heroic act of sacrifice and service in the face of extraordinary circumstances is impressed upon young Iskolars through a simple game called ‘Car Stuffing’.
Car Stuffing is an activity unique to the Upsilon. Since the 1960s, it has been done by the resident members for recreation. Since its revival during the late 90s, it has been an annual event whose participants are different organizations of the UP community. This year it will be an instrument for serving the community while having fun. Groups of students numbering around 30 will try to fit themselves inside a car that could normally carry only four (4) people - like Germany’s peoples’ car Volkswagen. After fitting in, with the car doors closed, the students should try to stay stuffed inside the car up to a certain period without breaking anything, keeping the car still enough not to even set off the vehicle’s horns. The group that will be able to stuff the most students inside the car without breaking the rules wins the game.
For the past years, the Car Stuffing has been well attended by students either to participate or to witness the modern day counterpart of a battle of strategies, originally from ancient Greece. For the past years also, two (2) side activities namely Food Stuffing and Touch-My-Car have attracted students to participate in the fraternity’s activities. Touch-my-car is an event exclusively organized in UP by the Upsilon, who first introduced it in 2006. It emanates from a University in Wellington, New Zealand where the student who holds on to the car longest wins the prize.
Iskolar ng Bayan para sa Bayan ng Botolan
Imagine a throng of young men and women expertly employing their talents and skills that the university honed and taught them, to help rebuild a community of our indigenous brothers and sisters that was once devastated by a super-typhoon. Imagine.
Imagination soon becomes a reality. The ‘UP United for a Cause’ is a project collaboration by various students organizations in UP offering various fields of expertise to help in rebuilding the foundation of Botolan town in Zambales that was devastated by typhoon Pepeng last year.
The services to be given by UP students are as diverse as the various fields and centers of excellence of the national university. Among others, engineering and architecture students will help set the framework in rebuilding the town. Business students will lend their livelihood expertise. The performing groups will provide entertainment. The medical students will conduct the traditional medical mission.
The UP community involved in this project does not only extend to the student organizations of UP Diliman but also to UP alumni. As a start, alumni have already allotted a considerable amount of money for the establishment of an alternative learning system, wherein UP personnel will teach the people of the beneficiary community lessons on programming, operations and management for the sustainable use of their resources. Now it is the time for the students to contribute as well.
Upsilon’s Intertwining connection with UP
Founded in 1918, the Upsilon through the years has developed a singular and unbroken bond with the University in molding young men to become veritable leaders in every field of knowledge and expertise, and in upholding the principles of excellence, leadership and service inside and outside the august halls of UP.
Consistent with its motto of gathering light to scatter, the Fraternity continues to mold young leaders following the footsteps of its alumni. After having produced national heroes like Sen. Benigno S. “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr., the Fraternity has been humbly fulfilling its duties and obligations to the University community by fielding and supporting student leaders, athletes, artists, and academics. Bar topnotcher Atty. Herminio “Third” Bagro (Top 8, 2009 Bar Exams), himself a former Chairperson of UP Diliman’s University Student Council (USC), is one such example. He is complemented by the likes of incumbent USC Councilor Raphael Dominic Ibaviosa who, in addition to his responsibilities as student leader and athlete, is better known to the general public as the young actor and model Nico Ibaviosa.
Its ninety two (92) years of existence come November 19, 2010 has been defined by the Upsilon’s continuing commitment to promote a climate conducive to learning and progress in the University of the Philippines, and economic stability and political maturity in the Republic of the Philippines. The Fraternity seeks to do this by nurturing its intertwining connection with its beloved UP and the Nation.
Renowned Stage Actor and Director Benjamin H. Cervantes ‘58 was recently presented an Aliw Award for Life Achievement in Theater. Having started performing for the public back in his childhood days at Iloilo, Brod Behn has been to training and performances abroad. During the Martial Law era of the 70’s, he did not stop his art, getting him arrested and detained in the various centers for political detainees.
More details at this page.
Dr. Teodoro “Teddy” J. Herbosa ‘78 (left in photo) recently took his Oath as Undersecretary of Health before DOH Secretary Enrique T. Ona last Thursday, November 4, 2010. According to the DOH, Brod Teddy will handle “hospital operations aimed at strengthening existing referral and networking system of DOH hospitals, including private facilities. Also included in their order of battle is the upgrading of local government hospitals in order to make tertiary hospitals more efficient.”
The Upsilon Sigma Phi, founded in 1918, is the oldest fraternity in Asia. Based in the University of the Philippines, it has had an unbroken and singular association with the premier state university. There are no chapters outside of UP Diliman and UP Los Banos. The fraternity counts among its ranks, Benigno 'Ninoy' Aquino and former President Ferdinand E. Marcos.
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