Alpha Epsilon Chapter History

Alpha Epsilon Chapter
Mindanao State University, Marawi City
September 15, 1973

Brother Cosain I. Abbas, MSU-AE ‘73
Brother Khayruddin M. Tawano, MSU-AE ‘78
(Editor and Contributor)

Brief Introduction

There is no known record of events of Alpha Epsilon Chapter, Alpha Sigma Phi Fraternity. What must have been recorded by the Keepers of the Scroll in the early days of the Fraternity in MSU Main Campus was lost in a fire that destroyed the old University Research Center now, Mamitua Saber Research Center where most of the Chapter records were kept by Brother Khayruddin M. Tawano who was on the process of encoding these files.

The following accounts were taken from the repository of the faithful breast of the authors with the aid of some pieces of information, oral or written, taken together resulting into a chronology of events that took place from day one to later days.

Organizing the MSU Chapter

Around the month of June 1973, Brother Sukarno Pendaliday, a member of then Notre Dame University Chapter (now Tau), met with some fraternal brothers who were also studying in the University, namely: Brother Pendatun “Penny” Sarip (from a Chapter in Cebu), Brother Quintuas “Quints” Rasuman (from a Chapter in Marawi; Omega), Brother Lomala “Alan” Arumpac (from a Chapter in Marawi; Omega), Brother Zaide Arimao (from St. Peter’s College Chapter in Iligan). Some brothers who were employees of the University, namely: Brother Omar Watamama, and Brother Arogong Dagalangit took part in organizing the MSU Chapter. Others, who were students at the time like Brother Alex Lagawa, Brother Ding Dalamban both fromTau-NDU, Cotabato City and Brother Bashier Amel (Omicron) also assisted in organizing the Chapter. 

Orientations

On one afternoon of July 1973, the first orientation for prospective members was held at the old tennis court on 3rd Street beside the MSU Infirmary. This was followed by a series of orientations where the history of Alpha Sigma Phi was told; its founders at Yale University in 1845 introduced; the purposes upon which the collegiate organization was founded, the life of a neophyte, and many more were relayed on to the prospects.

From Baptism to Stairway to Heaven

One bright Saturday, at Barrio Cabingan, the members of the Pioneering Batch were baptized. Alpha, Sigma, and Phi weeks consecutively followed where lectures on Service, Leadership, and Loyalty were given. Physical, psychological or mental exercises or “initiations” were held on Saturdays.

On the neophytes’ side, organizing themselves into one solid group was done. The outspoken and fearless “Slave” Casan Alonto (Omega 2012) was unanimously chosen as “Batch President” cum spokesman of the Batch. His duty was to see to it that no excesses be committed against the neophytes and that no neophyte or pledge ever quits.

Before sunrise of the first Saturday of September, forty four (44) pledges were transported by motorized boats to Selangan Island in Uato, Balindong for the finale. Members of the Fraternity from Jamiatul Philippine Al-Islamia, Pacasum Colleges, Pangarungan Islamic Colleges (all of Marawi City), Agama Islam Academy (Ganassi, LDS), and Lanao Agricultural College (Lumbatan, LDS) Chapters, and other brothers from chapters in nearby provinces and cities came to the Island to witness the final round of initiation and welcome the Pioneers into the Mystic Circle of Alpha Sigma Phi.

United as they were, the neophytes thru its spokesman “Slave” Casan Alonto, threatened the organizers that they will quit en masse unless the inhuman treatment (actually hazing) done on the neophytes by non-MSU Alpha Sigs will be lessened. The female Alpha Sigs intervened and the final rites proceeded without much ado.

Before the sun set that day, weary and worn out, the hoodwinked neophytes passed through a long aisle of Alpha Sigs called “stairway to heaven,” from the entrance to the exit of which either one received a kick at the torso or a slight punch at the belly or a slight tap over the shoulder from another whose identity no one from among the neophytes knew.

Then we are Alpha Sigs

Nobody exactly knew when the ordeal would end. The sound of whipping lashes and groans, sobbing and muffled cries could be audibly heard from a distance. At the end of the “stairway” we were received with hugs and kisses from teary eyed Alpha Sigs of MSU Chapter, who proudly announced that “you are now Alpha Sigs!”

It was almost nightfall when we went back to our respective places of abode.

September 15, 1973

On the night of September Fifteen, Nineteen Hundred and Seventy Three, forty four (44) Alpha Sigs, the Pioneering Batch, all clad in formal attire and exhibiting brilliant faces, underwent the Final Ritual and Acceptance. A ball followed shortly after where merry making, singing of the batch’s theme songs “Greenfields” and “Too Young” were sung.

The Members of the Pioneering Batch

Fraternity

  1. Camar Aba
  2. Cosain Abbas
  3. Samsodin Abdulrahman
  4. Zaide Ampuan
  5. Mahdi Basher
  6. Nasser Batara
  7. Urang Baulo
  8. Basmala Calbe (Omega, 2010)
  9. Casan Alonto (Omega, 2012)
  10. Virgilio Cantos
  11. Ben Ali Decampong
  12. Ibrahim Ibrahim
  13. Usman Kamlon
  14. Casan Labay
  15. Haron Mabang
  16. Yusop Mamutuk
  17. Aquil Ali Miraato
  18. Audie Posadas
  19. Cairodin Riga
  20. Musa Saruang
  21. Achmad Usudan
  22. Mando Pasawilan
  23. Ali Bacarat.

Sorority

  1. Mely Acampong-Pangandaman
  2. Casawidan Cabilangan
  3. Sarah Dimakuta
  4. Sakina Dipatuan
  5. Bai Dimaudtang
  6. Labiolan Disomangcop
  7. Cuyogan Gandang
  8. Minda Makno
  9. Quintinaidah Madale-Cadir
  10. Lorna Madale
  11. Pala Marohom
  12. Ramlah Marohom
  13. Salam Mohammad
  14. Naima Sali
  15. Monera Sidik
  16. Omairah Cana-Balenti
  17. Lucela Tabell
  18. Rakila Taratingan
  19. Joy Tolentino
  20. Omaira Usman
  21. Panny Panda

MSU Chapter was born

Very soon after, a formal meeting was held where Brother Sukarno Pendaliday was elected the first Grand Chancellor. It was during this first historic meeting that Alpha Sigma Phi, Mindanao State University (MSU for brevity) Chapter was formally recognized and designated as the Alpha Epsilon Chapter by the National Council, the highest governing body of the Fraternity based in Siliman University in Dumaguete City.

The Years that followed

Sometime in 1974, in a meeting called for the purpose, Brother Orang “Voi” M. Baulo was elected Grand Chancellor, while Brother Cosain “Coi” I. Abbas was chosen Master Initiator. Brother Musa “Moi” C. Saruang became the Chapter’s Grand Chancellor in 1975 with Brother Ambrosi “Bruce” Alonto as Master Initiator. Brother Cosain “Coi” I. Abbas got elected as Grand Chancellor in 1976 with Brother Samsuddin Abdulrahman as his Master Initiator. It was during the first year of the Chapter’s existence that Brothers Voi, Moi, and Coi got the moniker “Holy Trinity” of MSU Chapter apparently because they were inseparable 24/7 and all of them were pursuing B.S. in Forestry and Fraternity all at the same time!

Honeybunch, a Martial Rule baby

Soon martial rule was felt inside the University Campus. Greek-lettered organizations were banned and curfew hours were imposed. Recruitment of new members was temporarily suspended lest we catch the ire of the military and university officials. Some members of the Fraternity continued their studies in Manila to avoid the uncomfortable situation then prevailing in the locality. To somehow operate, the name Honeybunch was adopted. Thus Alpha Sigma Phi, MSU Chapter a.k.a. Honeybunch, continued to live.

In 1976, the Grand Chancellor, propelled with a strong desire to spread the teachings of the Fraternity, he once visited the military camp within the university campus under the command of Col. Ferolin, who fortunately was familiar with Alpha Sigma Phi Fraternity, during his stint as ROTC commandant in Siliman University in Dumaguete City. After getting the amiable Colonel’s nod, recruitment of members was reopened. In every day of initiation held, military men chosen by Colonel Ferolin used to escort the members of the Fraternity.

From then on, MSU Chapter’s (now Alpha Epsilon) banner waves up in the sky with hundreds of loyal members and alumni strewn everywhere in the country and abroad, some of whom are holding key positions both in the government and private sectors.

Alpha Epsilon Timeline

Alpha Epsilon also got its share of acting as venue to two national events of Alpha Sigma Phi. The first was the National Biennial Convention of 1994, hosted by the Lanao del Sur Alumni Association under the leadership of Brother Saide Arimao who also was the Convention Director. It was during this National Convention where the Constitution and By-laws of the Organization was amended and the Policies were drafted which was later approved in the next National Convention. The second was the 6th National Leadership Conference held April 24-26, 2009 hosted by the Marawi City Alumni Association under the leadership of Brother Rolan Abdulrashid A. Macarambon. Brother Khayruddin M. Tawano was Conference Director.

In August 30, 31 and September 1, 2011, in celebration of the 50th golden anniversary of the founding of Mindanao State University, Alpha Epsilon also held its first ever Grand Alumni Reunion and Homecoming. It was attended both by members coming from the pioneering batch to the present batch and affiliate members who were initiates from other chapters and pursued their studies in MSU, Marawi. Some members even came all the way from other countries like the USA and KSA just to attend the homecoming. The three-day affair was highlighted by a welcome Pagana Meranao at the residence of Brother Allan Lao and on the day of the 50th foundation day of MSU a fellowship was held at the Alphans Park in MSU where a whole cow was roasted. During the three-day affair, members told stories of their lives as Alpha Sigs during their times. One can see from the faces of the members the happiness and joy that the homecoming brought. Meeting brothers and sisters whom they have not met for over 40 or more years. . . reminiscing the experiences of the past years. . . the fun and hardships of their student lives spent in MSU.

The chapter has been consistent in being on the Top Ten Organizations of the University and has received several awards and citations both from the University Administration, the Division of Student Affairs, the Association of Registered Campus Student Organizations (ARCSO), and from other organizations on campus. Alpha Epsilon also boasts of producing outstanding Alpha Sigs who graduated as honor students, leadership awardees, and even board topnotchers. Alpha Epsilon is also proud to say that it is the only chapter in the two Lanaos – Lanao del Sur and Lanao del Norte – that has never been inactive or ceased operation for some time. It has been operating since the time it was organized in 1973 up to the present. It has dedicated itself to nurturing Alpha Sigma Phi in this part of the country and will continue to do so in the coming years. It is our fervent prayer that Alpha Epsilon will continue to have the strength and courage to carry to torch of Alpha Sigma Phi and keep it burning brighter than ever.

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