U.P. BETA SIGMA FRATERNITY
By Brod Rico Arranz,
one of the Founders, and 3rd President of the U.P. Beta Sigma Fraternity
How We Met
At the outbreak of the war on December 8, 1941, together with Ben Arcinas,
Tony Cabral, Weiss Escaler, Ernesto Gomba, Nick Jacinto, Bert Macasaet,
Teddy Padilla, Ruben Roxas, Carlos Rustia, Ruben Santos-Cuyugan, and Rafael
Villarama, I enrolled at the Ateneo de Manila HighSchool at Padre Faura.
When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, most of us were hearing
an early morning mass at the Ateneo Chapel, since it was the Feast of
Immaculate Conception. After the mass, we walked home. Public transportation
On January 1, 1942, the Imperial Japanese Army occupied Manila. Ateneo
was closed, as it was then ran by American Jesuit fathers. De La Salle,
however, was ran by German brothers. Since Germany was allied with Japan,
as part of the Axis Powers, De La Salle was not closed.
Ateneans Study At La Salle
Reluctantly, we enrolled at the rival school, De La Salle. There, we met
Jaime Blanco, Carlos Ylanan, and others. At that time, La Salle in Taft
Avenue was occupied by the Japanese. All La Salle students had classes
at Sta. Scholastica in Singalong. For us it was fun. It was the first
time we had encounters with the opposite sex. In March, 1944, we graduated
from high school.
Moving On To UP
In June of the same year, most of us took pre-law; others took the pre-med
course. I took foreign service. During this period, there were very few
vehicles; and all civilian cars ran on alcohol. Most rode the Meralco
street cars of the bus which were charcoal-fed; or, the Dokar, which was
a dressed up version of the caretela. In September, 1944, US carrier-borne
Navy Planes began bombing Japanese warships anchored in Manila Bay, preparatory
to the landing in Leyte in October, 1944. Because of the hostilities,
classes were again closed until after the liberation of Manila in February,
In June, 1945, U.P. opened for classes again. We had classes at the Cancer
Institute in Padre Faura, as the other buildings were in shambles. Classroom
partitions were sawali. Practically, all students were wearing khaki and
combat boots, the fashion statement of the times. There were very few
cars as gasoline was scarce. Those who could afford it rode in army jeeps
purchased by their parents from the US surplus depot. After one year in
the College of Liberal Arts, campus politics began brewing. Older fraternities
lorded over campus activities.
This drove the group from Ateneo and La Salle to join the
group from U.P. High School. The three groups decided to coalesce
and form one solid group composed of scholars. One of the conditions to
join the group was an academic average of 1.8.
The three groups met practically everyday at the 2nd floor of the Cancer
Institute. After a series of discussions, Jesus Jayme from U.P. High School
was elected president. Nicanor Jacinto, Jr., from Ateneo and La Salle
was vice president. In the next year, Jacinto became the president. I
succeeded Jacinto the next year, to become the third of the Fraternity.
Providing consistent advice to the Fraternity was David Wico, our Social
Science professor. One of the first projects initiated by the Fraternity
was the Inter-Fraternity-Sorority Council Oratorical Contest held in March,
1947. As the contestant representing Beta Sigma, I won the contest.
In campus politics, the Fraternity campaigned for Teddy Padilla. He was
elected President of the Junior Council, and later President of the U.P.
Student Council. After graduation from the College of Liberal Arts, together
with Ben Arcinas, Weiss Escaler, Nick Jacinto, Teddy Padilla, Ruben Roxas,
Carlos Rustia, and Jimmy Blanco, I enrolled at the College of Law. Teddy
Padilla graduated magna cum laude; Nick Jacinto and Weiss Escaler were
both cum laude.
Tony Cabral, Bert Macasaet, and Rafael Villarama went on to enroll at
the College of Medicine and became successful doctors.
Weiss Escaler, Nick Jacinto, and Ruben Roxas are now dead. Ben Arcinas
is a successful law practitioner. Caloy Rustia is a retired judge of the
Regional Trial Court. Teddy Padilla is now the Senior Justice of the Supreme
Court. Dr. Cabral and Dr. Villarama died earlier. Dr. Macasaet is now
one of the top urologists of the country. He is based at the Makati Medical
Out of the original 40 founders of the Fraternity, 12 are known to have
U.P. BETA SIGMA
FRATERNITY INTERNATIONAL, INC. (UPBSFI, INC.)
By Willie “Tatang” Vergara,
UPBSFI, Inc. President, 2007-2009
During the mid-80s, our Diliman membership went down to only seven
members, most of who were graduating that year. Our Padre Faura membership
(ironically the birthplace of the frat) had gone down to zero a few years
earlier. It took a lot of personal and extreme sacrifice on the part of a
few members and alumni in the late 80s to bring back the numbers to about
Way back in 2000, our Diliman and Los Banos campus membership was
once again headed towards extinction levels with barely more than 10 in
With the help of a few young RP-based brods, some concerned UP Beta
Sigmans in Northern and
Southern California thought of establishing a lasting movement to avert this
trend. On January 27-28, 2001,
eighteen officers and elders from both of these Chapters met at Pismo
Beach to address this issue. This historic meeting resulted in the
formalization of the vision, mission and manifesto.
This serious threat to the fraternity’s future came to the
knowledge of Founding Father and first President
Jesus Jayme (aka Jesse
James). In May 2001, Jesse James came to
San Francisco to honor the
Grand Reunion organized by UP Northern California Chapter and to be the
main man in establishing the U.P. Beta Sigma-USA.
This International Conference, also dubbed as “A Gathering of Legends”,
were attended not only by Founder Jesus Jayme but also by fraternity
luminaries and pillars such as Cong. Romulo Lumauig (then current
President of UP Beta Sigma Fraternity Alumni Association), Dean Ted
Topacio, Justice Raoul Victorino, Commissioner Don Ferry, Ambassador Tony
Villamor, Davao Businessman Sebastian “Anggie” Angliongto, topnotch lawyer
Benjamin Santos, and many other campus legends throughout the past decades
who then took residence in the Philippines, Canada, and various parts of
the USA – Western, Mid-West, and Eastern.
This conference was chaired by Interim President Norman Bituin and
resulted in the ratification of the Constitution and By-laws and the
Vision, Mission and
Manifesto as well as the election of the first UPBS-USA officers (first
president was Eric Punzalan of UP Los Banos) and members of the Board of
Responding to the clamor of Canada-based and Philippine-based
members, the name was changed to, and legally registered as, UP Beta Sigma
Fraternity International, Inc. in Year 2005.