From: sluggor@hotmail.com
To: nmbituin@msn.com
Subject: request to publish
Date: Tue, 9 Jul 2013

Brod Norman,

Thank you for the offer, Brod. It would be an honor for that tribute to be shared with the Brotherhood.
Attaching the edited and fuller version that you can use.

Thank you too for all that you do so unselfishly for the Frat. More power to you, Brod Norm!







Ode to the Lone Eagle
by Sluggo Rigor'60








We mourn, we weep..
The wound is deep...
The Lone Eagle drew closest
to the sun.
It was high noon.


We who stood side-by-side with the guy when we were put to the unforgettable Beta Sigman grind affectionately called him Asiong. Most knew him as Boy. The outside world knew him formally as the bureaucrat-organizer Horacio. His underground alias when he used the phone was Hector Torre. An inner circle in the frat would proudly refer to him as Lone Eagle. Loner? Perhaps. Definitely an eagle of the highest breed. Because on campus during his prime, all the rest were crows. His agenda spoke eloquently of his kind.

The late GP Goody Santiago recalled that when Diliman's Batch 1960 was opened for applicants, a total of 55 neophytes or amuyongs came on the first day. But only 18 rugged youth endured after three continuous months of physical and mental trials to earn the right to wear the most coveted fraternity pin on campus. Asiong's batch was fittingly dubbed the "High Noon" batch and had adopted that haunting Frankie Lane theme song from Gary Cooper's unforgettable movie that romanticized courage. All the dramatic elements were there for 55 determined, crazy and scared neophytes. "Walang aatras! Kaya natin 'to!," High Noon batch pillar Asiong and the then-unknown Johnny Chiuten, campus toughie cum boxer Eddie Baguio, Golden Gloves boxer-poet Erwin Castillo, playboy pogi Nonoy Bautista and artist cum rumble-starter Baldo Villanueva would be the constant bellowers into our ears as the numbers dwindled in the crucible of unending, horrible physical tests. Hard-headed, gutsy members of the High Noon batch survived the tests to see the glorious rise of the sun for the fraternity upon dreary Diliman. In that golden age of the 60s, the batch also included Pong Lustre, Jackie Doromal, Tante Tesoro, Rey Patiag (+), Ely Aglibut, Jolo Laraya, Joey Mendoza, Pet Grajo, Romy Perez (+), Louie Adecer, Gaylord Bautista and this writer. We were the gritty and crazy 18. Ask Sigma Betan sisters Pepot Cruz Tan, Rory Ortega, who with the late Vicky Ramos Austria (+) and Volet Mangubat Buencamino (+), Beth Tavanlar and Vet Med Brod Billy Gurango had acted as volunteer medics at the height of most sessions. Asiong at that time was just beginning to blossom as a natural leader. He would go on to be the UP ROTC Corps Commander and Vanguard top honcho. Except for Baldo and Eddie Baguio, I, who had been on Diliman campus since Grade 4, through U.P. High School, never met any of the HN survivors before enlisting as amuyong. I thought I never had to be member of any fraternity because I was familiar to most of the toughies in notorious corners of the university. As a lettered athlete with years in the swimming team, I knew that almost all of the top basketball players even in high school were the ''Barkadang Tisoy” composed of good-looking Beta Sigmans: Enching Rodriguez (who was also proclaimed Campus King), Dennis Navarro, Eman Crisostomo, Art Garcia, Biboy Bautista, Mars Espino, Maning Floro, Edwin Perez, Mon Tongko and later on the batch of Boy Cruz (+), Freddie de Leon, Jun Gomez, Dave Perez --- popular campus macho personalities.

But perhaps the most prominent member on the rise in the entire Beta Sigma Fraternity on campus during that era was, without doubt, High Noon's Asiong Morales. He not only became ROTC Corps Commander, he also skillfully maneuvered developments in the UP Student Council, the Philippine Collegian appointees, the peace-making Inter Fraternity and Sorority Council (IFSC), the Vanguards of ROTC. He even quietly took charge of the frat’s tactics during inter-fraternity rumbles when he had to call up ruffian shock troopers from Tondo as back-up to Johnny Chiuten and the crew of Betan martial art commandos and the Betan artillery support from brods in Aggie, Forestry and Fisheries in Los Banos who would arrive in vans or busloads. Lone Eagle, intimidating in a silent, fearsome way, would always be visible in his Blue Ford scouting the terrain during critical rumble seasons. You would have hated to cross swords with Beta Sigmans at that time.

Asiong was, to me, a deeply personal figure. He and the former Sigma Betan Jinky Yap were my dear and close buddies. Asiong and I were the two Betans who happened to drive our own cars and so we shared the joy and agony of being official transporters in major tactical events... social, romantic, civic, rumble warfare, karateka-tai chi sessions, or otherwise. When I learned from Brod Ollie that he had a heart attack, I retreated once more to an inner cocoon. I could not stand such news. When those so close-as-breath brods step into that inscrutable Great Divide, I confess that I am at my weakest. Coping is not my strong suit. I guess I have a tighter defense against grief in silence. And so it was with kabatch Johnny Chiuten, Rudolf dela Rosa, Alex King, Ely Santiago, and Tito de Santos, to name a few. Now it is kabatch Asiong, the Lone Eagle, the daring, bright light whose deep understanding, humility and affinity to the marginalized and to those on top endeared him all the more to countless many.

I was probably the last Betan to talk to Tito de Santos before his tragic asthma attack following his return to Manila from Baguio. Truth to tell, I have not recovered from the shock and grief being very close to Tito and his brothers, old buddies from the old Ft. McKinley and UP High, and to his beloved Viching. Again, lightning has struck the brotherhood.

With Asiong, it was a bit different. In 1966, it was ever-helpful Asiong who orchestrated my elopement with my beloved Marivic. He stage-managed an impromptu party at the Loyola Heights home of Rudolf dela Rosa. High Noon brods Asiong and Baldo had to have a reason for Marivic, now Mrs. Rigor, to step out of her home in Ft. McKinley. Asiong thoughtfully passed the hat among brods to finance our PAL flight to Baguio. And so Asiong and Jinky were always there in the filing cabinet of my heart, his blue Ford and my green Chevy parked side-by-side under the shady fire trees fronting the Liberal Arts building, night or day, rain or shine, exposed to adversaries openly even during rumble seasons. Asiong had an aura about him, a reputation: strong, silent, a no-nonsense leader of the pack. Oppose him at your own risk. Other packs on campus seemed to rightfully step aside. Conventional wisdom on Diliman campus then was: Better to be allied with Beta Sigmans than otherwise.

Farewell, Lone Eagle. Our last serious talk, as you kept scratching your toes as you had always been afflicted with itchy feet literally and figuratively, was explaining your vision of a country free from the clutches of greed, incompetence and injustice. You had come to my humble home late at night as Brod Rico Sanchez (+) kept watch by the corner store. You had laughed hard at my jokes and we relished remembering our glorious High Noon batch.

Wherever you are, I just know that both you and Johnny will be busy casing The Joint --- where your Betan Brods will trek to one day. You know in your heart, as we do, that the sun will never set on our brotherhood.

Godspeed and fly high. 

Sluggo Rigor / Seattle, WA
Diliman ‘60 / High Noon
28 February 2012




  1 ADECER, Louis
  2 AGLIBUT, Eliseo
  3 BAGUIO, Eduardo
  4 BAUTISTA, Felix M.
  5 BAUTISTA, Gaylord
  6 CASTILLO, Erwin
  7 CHIUTEN, Johnny F.
  8 DOROMAL, Jackie
  9 GRAJO, Petronio
  10 LARAYA, Jose Luis
  11 LUSTRE, Jose
  12 MENDOZA, Jose Vicente
  13 MORALES, Horacio Jr.
  14 PATIAG, Reynaldo
  15 PEREZ, Romeo
  16 RIGOR, Conrado Jr.
  17 TESORO, Constante
  18 VILLANUEVA, Baldomero






Boy Morales and the early 60's Betans


Beware The High Noon "Balisong Boys" -- Sluggo and Bal


Batch mates Sluggo, Bal and Boy at UP Beta Sigma 60th Jubilee at Wack Wack Country Club - July 14, 2006


Betan 60's Gang meets in Manila - Feb. 11, 2008

          Seated:   Barbara Hizon, Kay Smaby-Symons, Eding Hizon and Bing Villanueva.
          Standing: Nelson Rivera, Vic Ramos, Boy Morales, Jess Abrera, Bal Villanueva, Pol Moral, Adi Santos and Sluggo Rigor.




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