In June 1987, a group of skinny young students were indoctrinated into what became known as Batch ’87 under the proud leadership of Grand Archon John Arnie Siazon. This would be followed by two additional sets in September and December for a total of 25.
We were a mix of students from AS and the UP College of Law. Our only initial guidance into the ways of the fraternity were through our eight second gen batchmates led by Marcel Fernan, (son of the late Chief Justice Marcelo Fernan), senior brods from the early ’80s and ’70s, both from AS and UP Law, and the string of rumbles which immediately greeted us.
Our fatherly and handsome Grand Archon likewise showed us the way and inculcated in us the gentleman image of Batch ’87, a tradition which we uphold to this day. Thrust into this new way of life, Batch ’87 rose to the challenge and successfully hurdled this indoctrination into the ways of the Sigma Rho. But it was 1987 and times were changing. The EDSA Revolution had just ended and the people had regained their new found freedom. It was a time of the re-birth of democracy in the Philippines and a time of change.
It was a time of idealism and aspirations for excellence. The fraternity was not spared this change as Batch ’87 ushered in the era of the so-called “new school.” This similar revolution within the fraternity would likewise change the thrust, outlook, and vision of the brods. While maintaining the traditional Sigma Rhoan ways, new boundaries were explored and developed by Batch ’87, through our leadership in the University Student Council in 1987 and 1989. Our Vice-Archon, Gerpy Erguiza, was a stalwart of excellence and leadership in campus, and ascended from University Student Councilor to Grand Archon in 1989. This spawned the illustrious Batch ’89 whose members we consider to this day as our junior batchmates.
The “new school” had thus gained a toehold within the fraternity. We gained an early leadership within the fraternity by garnering the Vice-Archonship in 1990 and 1992. Thereafter, followed 3 Grand Archons from Batch ’87, who led the later-to-be illustrious Batches 1993, 1996, and 1997, which likewise spawned their share of 2 Grand Archons. Further down the road, these grandsons would go on to produce 3 more Grand Archons who in turn sired 2 more Grand Archons and many more excellent great grandsons of Batch ’87-forged brods in the 90s and 2000s.
It is said that one can tell the pedigree of a brod who has garnered excellence, by tracing his lineage back to Batch ’87. In fact, the incumbent Grand Archon himself traces his bloodline to Batch ’87. This year marks the 25th Anniversary of our beloved batch and we are proud of our accomplishments. As resident brods, we produced 3 Grand Archons, 2 Vice-Archons, 2 University Student Councilors, champion debaters and members of the Philippine Law Journal.
After campus, our batch went on to excel in various fields. In public service, we count among our ranks an Undersecretary of the DOJ, an Assistant Secretary of the DND, a Congressman, a Director of the DFA, the Legal Counsel of the Public Private Partnership and the Head of Legislative Affairs of the DENR. In the legal community, 5 batchmates have served, or are currently serving, in the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, with a former National IBP President, a former Chapter President and a Managing Editor of the IBP Journal.
In the legal profession, 4 batchmates have served in prestigious law firms such as ACCRA with a batchmate eventually becoming a partner in Sycip Salazar Hernandez and Gatmaitan. Four other batchmates have gone on to found law firms which bear their own names. In other endeavours, our batch likewise produced a president of a thrift bank, a senior executive of a universal bank, the General Secretary of the Philippine Football Federation, a PR practitioner, a former U.S. Marine, an international triathlete, and one with a Masters of Law degree from the US, and three very successful businessmen.
Indeed, our proud batch has come a long way. But we consider our accomplishments to be a mere beginning of greater things to come. With the proud entry of our first second generation Batch ’87 Sigma Rhoan in Batch 2011, we are ensured of the continuity of our tradition of fanaticism and excellence in the service of the fraternity. We look forward to our best years ahead. Happy 25th Anniversary to Batch ’87! Mabuhay tayong lahat at Mabuhay ang Sigma Rho! Fight Fight!
(Published in the Souvenir Program of the Fraternity Ball, May 18, 2012)
By Atty. Ernesto Tabujara’87, Vice Archon 1990