On August 15, 1972, a few weeks before the declaration of Martial Law in the Philippines, eight young men from the University of the Philippines, Diliman, decided to form a fraternity. Organizations were banned due to the administration’s fear of subversion. However, fraternities continued to exist as they were seen only as social clubs centered around hedonistic practices. These eight young men – composed of students in their first and second year of college – recognized this loophole and forged a brotherhood. Thus, the Pi Sigma Fraternity was born.
Espousing the twin principles of Paglingkuran ang Sambayanan and Paragon of Scholarship from which the fraternity derived its letters, members of the fraternity were among those who were at the forefront of the student movement during the Martial Law era. Rooted on its ideals which distinguished Pi Sigma from other fraternities, the brotherhood grew and flourished in almost all UP units and later on, nationwide.
Then, in 1988, the fraternity inaugurated the Annual UP Pi Sigma Fraternity Open Debate Tournament. More than a way of promoting the fraternity’s ideals, the debate tournament was organized to promote awareness and critical thinking among students and the masses. Having been held every year since its inauguration, the tournament is the longest-running Open Debate Tournament in the Philippines and in Southeast Asia, and is the only successful annual event hosted by a UP fraternity.
Among its prominent members are former Kabataan Partylist Representative and current Presidential Commission on the Urban Poor (PCUP) Chairman Terry Ridon and former Bases Conversion Development Authority President and CEO Arnel Casanova. Also included in the fraternity’s ranks as one of its honorary members is the late Senator Raul Roco.
Now on its 45th year, the Pi Sigma Fraternity shall host a slew of events to celebrate its storied history. To kick off the festivities for the it’s 45th Anniversary, the fraternity shall host an Open Tambayan celebration which shall be open to all UP students at the fraternity’s tambayan in the Vinzons Hill Complex on August 18.
On September 8, the 30th Annual UP Open Debate Tournament shall be held and will run until September 22. Various student formations from inside and outside the University of the Philippines shall participate in the tournament which shall be held in select venues inside UP Diliman.
45 years strong and the Pi Sigma Fraternity continues to grow and remains true to its twin principles. Since its founding, the fraternity has witnessed among the most chaotic events in the country’s history, yet Pi Sigma stays committed to fulfilling its ideals in service of the people. ADVT