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m1911a2
03-09-2009, 02:35 PM
I do not mourn for Chris Anthony Mendez as much as I mourn for him, who at the very moment I am writing is kneeling on the floor of a dimly lit basement somewhere in __________. Blindfolded, he tries to summon all the bravery inside him to endure the pain of his would-be brothers’ insult and jabs while reciting the four doctrines of brotherhood.

He remembers his mother and her admonitions as he took the bus that would take him to ________ and to a bright future: “Don’t join a fraternity. It will kill me if I knew that you joined one.” A sharp blow of a wooden paddle brings him back to the painful reality of his situation. “Are you ready to quit? We will bury you alive so that your mother will no longer see you.”

It all started with an innocent text, saying: We would like to invite you to lunch this Monday. Be assured that this involves no commitment. We just want you to meet some people who would be helpful in law school and beyond.”

He ignored the text but could not refuse his classmate’s invitation to meet the partners of a top law firm. Law is all about networking, expanding your contacts, he was told. Indeed, what is ther to lose with a tete-a-tete with the partners?

The bait became juicier and more irresistible. And then, the fat and elusive catfish swallowed the bait.

First, the rules: A neophyte is a slave to his masters. Some masters demand greater service, in light of their seniority. The Lord is the master of all. His word is law. Memorize the doctrines by heart, and no matter what happens, don’t have the temerity of looking your master straight in the eye. Not to worry… think of it as adult-role playing.

The first blow is always the most painful. The blindfold serves its purpose. He has no way of knowing who hit him. He can only hear the taunts. “I’m Satan. Welcome to hell.”

The hours seem to grind sluggishly, until the final three slaps, and the words “Arise” restore it to life.

“Hail, our brother N,” the erstwhile masters sing boisterously. “Hail, our brother through and through!”

The next day, he comes late for his Persons and Family Law class. Fortunately, his sleeves hide the bruises from the searching gaze of the professor.

“Frat life couldn’t be so bad,” he murmurs to himself. “But why do I have this funny feeling that something bad is about to happen?” He has survived the final rites of brotherhood but the greater challenge of proving his worth lies ahead.

There are only five duties on the list, but the duties of a brod seem endless. Meetings, integration and projects – he wasn’t sure, but a good dose of F.T. Hilbay’s Legal Method has taught him that the reality of these words lies in actual practice. Meetings consist of an afternoon spent at the tambayan, shoeing off to the ladies, forcing the new aspirant to slap his face repeatedly while reciting the frat motto. Integrations are nothing but veggie food, Red Horse and macho tales. Projects are the easiest to do: just make sure to stuff metal knuckles and pipes and sharp daggers into your backpack, and a bonnet in your pocket, and you have a good chance of survival when the next rumble erupts.

Once a frat man, always a frat man. It’s like marriage – permanent and indissoluble – his brods remind him. But the pangs of guilt and regret persist: the broken promise to Mama, danger lurking in every corner, the faces of evil following anywhere he goes, the man in the mirror, ghostly and pale, almost unrecognizable. He had felt Death’s blows and heard him hiss on that painful night at the basement and eluded him. Now, he sees Death, face to face, in the mirror of life.

brategamete
03-30-2009, 10:09 PM
I dont understand the kind of brotherhood in fraternity. It's not what God intend.