I am a Peltano by virtue of surviving a rite of passage that my upperclassmen had willed on me in March 1981. I now claim that right and that seat assigned to me inside the Sacred Heart Center. Proudly, I wear my fraternity's commemorative black t-shirt for this occasion but I feel uneasy. Unsure. Faces whose names I had forgotten or whose name I cannot relate to someone else's face questions my confidence. Of my right to belong.
OPK was part of my growth and had been part of the driving forces to what I am now and I never regret the process by which they had imposed on me, even with blindfolds. It may be harsh to most who had never ever been there but it is bittersweet and special for the few who dared. I am one of the few who can rightly say the “been there done that” phrase with credibility. Scotch on the rocks, please. And make that two. I believe, swapping stories with a peer are better with that.
Saving face, because of its large alumni population, Cebu was able to snare two slots for the Council of Elders. Manila gets one, as a special concession to the efforts of Brod Rey Mabasag while Iloilo gets a slot, despite not being represented. The Council of Elders would formulate the drastic changes that Omega Pelta Kappa will have to painfully undergo in order to breathe above the water line. This would not be easy.
These are the ideas that OPK need to stave off extinction. We are, more or less, like the dinosaurs and most of our thoughts stuck to the past. Sentimental values. It is time to move on and accept change. The opportunity of being part of a new phase in the reorganization of OPK into PISPI gives me reason to hope, exult and wait for that day when I could enjoy the fruits of these outcomes that the Council of Elders would soon implement.
As this national convention of old and new Peltans begins to show the forms of an adjournment, I slowly leave my table to shake hands, and bade goodbye, to any Peltan I happen to pass by as I take a subdued journey to the door. The grips are still firm, their smiles welcoming although a little sad at the corners, knowing that the opportunity for meetings like this would be two years from now. And we are not getting any younger. Two years! It is harsh on all of us but we have to surrender to that reality.