A Brand of Brotherhood

Few understand the different brand of brotherhood that exists in IHMS.

It is not formalized by a blood compact, but it runs in the blood of an alumnus. Mao nga mahinangup--when one meets one.

It is not celebrated with pageantry, for it was forged in the silent companionship, like during siesta time when we conspire to stealthily escape from the dorm to enjoy the freedom of the outdoors . . . didto sa kalibunan or in silent prayer during times of difficulty.

It is not proven by physically hurting someone, like what fraternities do; but it goes beyond the pains that we share for having left family and friends behind and having had no one but each other to lend support.

It did not happen overnight. Rather, it was nurtured like a plant over time. Thus, it also survives time. No wonder, we talked to each other during the reunion as if everything happened yesterday. But come to think about it--it was our silver anniversary in 2005!

It is based on a common love for music--no, not the dumb, repetitive and hypnotic music of the young but the elegant classical music that that woke us up in the morning and soothed our soul.

It is expressed in unbridled boisterous laughter and even in no-holds-barred jokes that are oft-repeated, where one’s failures and weaknesses are exposed, accepted and even loved. And thus one can really be one self without pretensions.

It is also marked by a love for the quiet solitude.

It even makes us communicate with one another without words. Ask Jeffrey and Ram who can laugh at a piece of stick at the slightest hint or remembrance of a person. Or, Soc, Chris and Manuel at the mention of a single word.

Yes, there is a link that binds us together, which other people may not fully comprehend.

It is a different brand of brotherhood forged in a sequestered life inside the seminary, as we went through the pains and joys of growing up to adulthood in IHMS. (nox arcamo)