Hazing…an eye-opener with the onset of the school year opening

…a eye-opener with the onset of school year opening
By Apolinario Villalobos

Now and then, front pages of newspapers scream expositions on deaths that result from hazing. Investigations are conducted. Parents and concerned organizations hold rallies to put an end to the fatal ritual…and most often, they bark at the wrong tree.

There is already a law against it. Some schools ban fraternities. The police is doing its part. Meanwhile, concerned parents and organizations forgot to call the attention of other parents, especially, the students, themselves. The fact is that, most students who join fraternities to have a feeling of security and belongingness, are already of age, and know what they are doing, yet they do it. They read news about death resulting from hazing, yet, they take the risk by still joining.

With all those mentioned circumstances, why should parents blame the school?…and the police who cannot solve the crime immediately? Some parents blame the world, but themselves and their sons and daughters who upon entering the portal of colleges and universities become ambitious and arrogant. These sons and daughters thought that they can have a share of prominence in the campus by joining fraternities, and have their fingers or knuckles bear the mark of affiliation.

Some parents of hazing victims, on the other hand, insist that they did their part by warning their sons about joining such kind of organization. Really?… It has been found out that parents of some students who died from hazing belong to the fraternity that the departed tried to be part of! Some parents are even known to remind their sons and daughters to see to it that the fraternity that they will join, also has government officials as members, so that the latter can be approached for help in times of need. The price of selfishness is too expensive, indeed!

Some schools are doing the right thing by letting their students sign a release waiver, so that they will not be blamed if the latter would insist on joining a fraternity. The police is not in the position to pass on the blame, in view of the existing law, because it is their duty to solve a crime. Besides, passing on the blame will not solve the problems on hazing that is pestering the campuses. Many cases of hazing that result to the death of neophytes are left unsolved, hence, relegated to the sidelines, with their folders turning yellow and accumulating dust in filing cabinets of courts.

Doubts are floating if hazing can be possibly put to a stop, as officers of the fraternities involved are entrenched in the different nooks and corners of the government, with some even staff of schools, and who just remain silent every time a new case hits the pages of newspapers and aired over TVs and radios. Helplessness and futility of the effort is very evident.

The hazing victims have been given the opportunity to enjoy a much coveted, but expensive education, but they wasted it because of their arrogant social climbing attitude and desire to be part of the elite crowd in the campus. And, most unfortunately, many students who were known to be shy, have learned to smoke and imbibe alcoholic drinks after joining fraternities.

Before viewers who are members of fraternities will misjudge me, I would like to make it clear that I am not referring to all students as arrogant with social climbing attitudes that push them to join fraternities. Most, especially, I am not contending that all parents are selfish enough as to encourage their children to join fraternities known for their members who are government officials. I know that there are still many students who are sane enough to make use of the hard-earned money of their benefactors – parents, elder brothers or sisters, by focusing their mind in their studies.

A student need not join a fraternity to shine in the school campus. The school is intended for learning and not for negative socializing.

On Job Opportunities

On Job Opportunities

By Apolinario Villalobos


They say, opportunity knocks only once and if that happens, one should seize it. Unfortunately, it is this dictum that most often puts the vulnerable in unlikely situations because of the opportunist that sometimes lurks not far behind. There may be opportunities that come as they are – plain opportunities, but the fussy let them pass by and later regret what they have done.


There are some people who may be considered lucky because of the seemingly unlimited opportunities that come their way. However, some of these people fail to utilize them due to inadequacy on their part that these opportunities require. This happens for instance, when job opportunities are laid down in front of a newly graduate, but he is helpless as his knowledge and skill just do not match what any of the jobs require.


Life is full of opportunities, if only we know how to recognize them. Sometimes we perceive some opportunities as hindrances just because we do not want to stretch even an inch of our muscle to seize them – we do not want to make a sacrifice to hurdle them.  We always thought that opportunities are easily obtained.


The onset of waves of unemployment throughout the world, has given the concerned governments more than one reason to take a second look at their educational systems and pre-employment programs for the undergraduates. Despite their effort, however, it seems that the educational institutions are far from cooperating because “junk” courses are still being offered. One of these is the “Airline Secretarial” being offered by schools in the Philippines. Just imagine the thousands of graduates from this course every year to be equated with the small number of airlines in the country. Even the so called “BS Tourism”, graduates of which end up working as sales girls in shopping malls, waiters in restaurants or bell boys in hotels. And, to think that taking up such course is not easy on the pockets of parents because of the costly pre-graduation requirements such as field trips and “practicums”. I admire those who take these jobs, just so, they have something to earn while waiting for the right opportunity to come their way.


On the human aspect of the situation, there are just finicky job seekers who do not want to start their career from the lowest rung. Just because they finished “management courses”, they thought they could immediately land on managerial positions. They do not want to start their career as “liaison officers” (glamorized title of messengers), or office clerks. These young graduates forgot that for them to understand how an office operates, they have to have a wide exposure to its operations. It seems, the schools forgot to remind their students about this situation. Yes, there are forums held about prospective employments, but sometimes, school authorities pick up wrong resource persons who are not honest enough to impart to graduates-to-be what to expect when they join the ever- growing throng of job seekers out in the field of cut-throat competition.


In a tourism forum, one speaker from a government agency spent the whole half day talking about the state of the tourism industry in a general tone. This could have been easily learned in several subjects of the students, if they were serious enough. So for the whole half day, the participants were fed with statistics on tourist arrivals, and other industry information which is far from what they need to know as future job seekers.  I was given the other half day slot and it was only this time that the students learned the real situation – that finding a job is not easy due to the glut of graduates that overwhelmed the demand, and that if ever lucky enough to land a most coveted job, it might not fit their course to a “T”. I saw disappointments in the faces of those in the audience. Some jokingly remarked that they should have taken up a vocational course in “welding”.


The real situation in seeking jobs is disheartening, but there is always even a bit of patience in every one. One failure should not give one a reason to lose heart in persisting to land a job. There is a popular adage that says, “while there is life, there is hope”, actually, a literal translation from Filipino which says, “habang may buhay, may pag-asa”.