The Catholic Chic is a personal and faith-based blog on the life of a Catholic woman in the modern world.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Inside Hazing: The First Ever BosX Series

This July, the Ministry for Youth Affairs of the Archdiocese of Cubao started a talk series focusing on the various concerns of the youth of today. 

The series is entitled BosX (Basic Orientation Seminar - Christ), as inspired by the TEDx series. The event will run from July to August and would focus specifically on topics such as hazing, exorcism, etc. 

For their first event, the topic discussed was on hazing, which is the big buzz as of late. This was inspired by the recent demise of a 2nd year university student, Guillo Cesar Cervando (18 y/o), due to hazing.

The Ministry hopes that their BosX series would help guide their youth to avoid joining fraternities and sororities that may lead them to a dangerous path, if not death. 

Youth from different vicariates gather together to listen to the talk.

The event started with an opening prayer, worship, and welcome remarks from the Ministry of Youth Affairs.

Worship and Dance.

Opening Prayer.

Welcome remarks from a sister from the Ministry of Youth Affairs

The speaker for the night was Ret. Col. Dencio Acop, who personally experienced hazing in the Philippine Military Academy. 

After staying in PMA for a year, he merited a scholarship which allowed him to finish his military studies in the West Point academy in the United States.

Here are some excerpts from the talk of Ret. Col. Dencio Acop:

What is hazing?

Hazing is the endurance of physical, psychological, and emotional punishment inflicted on one’s body and psyche by other individual/s. 

A person opens up himself to the possibility of being subjected to hazing when he joins a fraternity or an above-board organization but with a hidden personality as that of a fraternity. 

Inside Hazing in the Philippines

Hazing is generally outlawed but many fraternities do it anyway away from public view. Once a member, one generally gets hazed as punishment for failing to deliver on some instruction given by a superior. Many civilian fraternities also use hazing as a one-time initiation rite to make a recruit ‘deserving’ of being a fresh member and also to ‘intimidate’ him towards becoming a loyal, committed, long-term frat member. 

The problem with this set-up is that it is prone to abuse. Hazing victims can be inflicted with the harshest of punishments for the flimsiest infractions. 

Among the most common hazing punishments I had to endure was being punched regularly in the stomach, kicked, struck with some item, performing push-ups, squat thrusts, or running for endless hours; being deprived of food, and sleep deprivation.

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Looking back...

In hindsight, I will say hazing is totally unnecessary. It is the twisted / illegal / immoral aspect of just punishment or ‘brotherhood’. It is unjust. It is deceptive. It feeds on fear. It is unnecessary violence heaped upon the helpless. It does not foster brotherly love, but hate and vengeance. The experience leads to a spiraling web of vengeful violence and its never-ending cycle. 

The purposes of associations’ avowed aims of engendering discipline and commitment from their members through hazing can also be gained by employing the exact opposite of hazing. And if such associations are true to their ideals, then there should be no room for such an abomination as hazing. 

As I’ve said before, I cannot associate the hazing I’ve experienced in my life to any leadership / management principle or lesson learned that has helped me along the way of my development as a person. I cannot even credit the experience for its crisis management value because such can also be achieved through proven methods other than sadistic hazing. 


Thank you Col. Acop for gracing us with your presence and allowing your experience to inspire the youth!

The speaker with Fr. Jojo Monis from the Ministry of Youth Affairs.

If you want to join the next BosX, it happens every Saturday at the Lantana cathedral in Cubao. 

Please feel free to look for Father Jojo Monis on Facebook too. See you there!

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