This photo was taken in September 1974 in Fairview, Quezon City at the culmination of the U.P. Sedarum Saudara Leadership Seminar weekend. You can see the Late Allen Hernandez at the back, center, the late Jojo Quimpo at the front leftmost (my elbow resting on his lap) and the late Ben Beltran wearing glasses in the middle, front row nrxt to Atty. Monching Ocampo to his right and Bert reyes to his left. Next to Bert is Peter de la Costa and behind him Bembot Aldecoa. (Photo by Bro Ray R. Ramirez, MDG (UP Diliman 1972)
Bro. Ben Beltran, our beloved brother from the University of the Philippines to whom we credit the co-authorship of the Triskelion Hymn above, is no longer with us. He was shot to death by some unknown assailants on Saturday, August 21, 2005 in Manila. Whatever the events and circumstances are that resulted in his untimely demise is difficult for us to understand more so that we are at this point limited by hazy news accounts.
For now, let us join hands in praying for the loved ones he left behind and to help comfort them in their moments of bereavement and for the eternal rest for his soul. For now, let us remember Brother Ben for the Triskelion Hymn and what it means to our Fraternity.
To better understand Brother Ben and to have a clearer perspective of what their intentions were, we have to look back to the time the hymn was written and visualize ourselves to be actually present in those days. What were on their minds when they were writing the lyrics of the song? What were their objectives? What were their intentions? There were only a few Triskelions at the time when our Fraternity is starting to get embroiled in fraternity wars which we professed to abhor and which in our pronouncements is the very essence of founding a “new” fraternity in the midst of the prevailing campus violence that is becoming the norm among the Greek-letter societies. And they found the need for a hymn to rally our loyal brothers in the heat of these battles.
Ipagtanggol kung pangalan ay inaapi is a call to rise up in defense whenever our Fraternity is unjustly criticized, exploited, oppressed, enslaved, dishonored or even bullied in modern times.
Patnubay sa buhay is what the Fraternity should be, our guide in the achievement of our lofty goals and ideals, individually as our own personal preferences and idiosyncracies would allow and corporeally as a body of united brothers and sisters bound by a common desire to excel and succeed, a beacon of hope in times of despair, a light to make our path straight and clear in times of darkness and uncertainty.
Bigyan siya ng karangalan at kalingang di magmamaliw is to give the Fraternity honor and to cherish it in a manner that will never wane nor fade but will last forever. A fitting tribute to the organization that we proudly call family and this is how it should be.
There is no greater tribute to cherish the memory of Brother Ben Beltran than by being true to what he wanted the Tau Gamma Phi and the Triskelions to be. Yes Brother Ben, we shall love the Tau Gamma Phi and the Tenets and Codes of Conduct shall continue to be our guiding light. Yes Brother Ben, we shall be there in defense of the Fraternity against injustice. Yes Brother Ben, we shall continue to give the Tau Gamma Phi the honor and glory that it deserves. And yes Brother Ben, we will love and cherish the Tau Gamma Phi forever.
You will be missed!!!
UST/Adamson University ‘74