Service in the Spirit of Brotherhood: UP Beta Epsilon Fraternity’s Continued Service during the Pandemic.
by Richard Piolo Pablo, BE’20

The COVID-19 Pandemic has placed all our plans and goals in limbo. A challenging time where many of our fellowmen are forced to leave their jobs. This period has become challenging for students since everything has to transition to online learning.

All of these adversities have also been a challenge for our brothers at the UP Beta Epsilon Fraternity. But due to the continued initiative of the brods, the fraternity’s service to the college and the nation did not falter.

Quick Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

At the onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the fraternity has known that personal protective equipment (PPEs) are in shortage due to the continuous battle against the coronavirus pandemic. To respond to the growing needs in PPEs, the UP Beta Epsilon Fraternity donated 10,000 high-quality isolation coveralls to the Philippine General Hospital (PGH), the country’s central COVID-19 medical facility. The Class A isolation coveralls were approved by PGH officials and department chairpersons beforehand.

Last September 8 and 9, the UP Beta Epsilon Fraternity provided 441,600 sheets (920 reams) of paper to four elementary schools in Agoncillo, Batangas. The Banyaga Elementary School, Balangon Elementary School, Panhulan Elementary School, and Pook Elementary School utilized the documents to print supplementary modules distributed to the students during their remote learning. In January 2020, the said schools also benefited from the cleaning equipment supplied by the Beta Epsilon to help them in the rehabilitation of their schools following the devastating Taal volcanic eruption.

The fraternity set another milestone to the service to the community as it helped the engineering students to support their education amidst the Pandemic. In coordination with the UP College of Engineering, the UP Beta Epsilon Fraternity delivered 40 desktop computers to the engineering students.

During these challenging times for the university and its constituents, the fraternity continues its devotion to upholding the welfare of our young scholars.

UP Beta Epsilon Fraternity 91st Anniversary

In celebration of its 91st anniversary, the UP Beta Epsilon Fraternity once again joined the fight of our hardworking frontliners, who are continuously battling against the COVID-19 Pandemic. Last year’s Grand Pakain, a total of 1000 meals were distributed to our frontliners in the East Avenue Medical Center, Lung Center of the Philippines, Rizal Medical Center, and Cainta Municipal Hospital.

The Anniversary Grand Pakain, a traditional event that started in the 80s, is a grand feast offered to the College of Engineering community in Melchor Hall. For the past years, it has been linked with the Distinguished Alumni Lecture Series, where attendees are also the guests of the Grand Pakain. In light of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Brotherhood redirected this initiative to the frontliners of the said hospitals. The UP Beta Epsilon Fraternity distributed more meals to the East Avenue Medical Center on August 23.

BOAT (Beer on a Table) Race, held initially annually on campus, gathers the different engineering organizations as part of the Beta Epsilon’s month-long anniversary celebration. For the BOAT Race (or Betan Operations at Taal) last year, due to the constraints of our current situation, BOAT Race was pivoted to focus on providing service for the benefit of these academic institutions, to support them in acquiring the essential resources that will help them assist the education of the young scholars amidst the Pandemic.

These challenging times have proved its commitment to service by adapting to the drastic changes and transforming to help better the interest of the country in general and the college in particular.

Maskipaps: The Crossover 2020

For the first time, the Official Afterparty of the UP Lantern Parade, Maskipaps: The Crossover, is held online and aimed to help alleviate the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. The two-day concert highlighted big-time music artists such as Because, kiyo x Alisson Shore, MYMP (OFFICIAL), and Lola Amour.

The online concert accepted donations from viewers and donated a total of 80,000 pesos to the Philippine Genome Center, the country’s leading COVID-19 test kit research facility, to help the research on the COVID-19 test kits.

Even amidst the Pandemic, the fraternity did not stop the dedicated service to nation-building and contribution to the efforts to help in the actions against the Pandemic.

Typhoon Ulysees Relief Operations

On November 22, 2020, the fraternity distributed 34,000 meals to the typhoon and flood victims in Cagayan province. In coordination with A&B Philippines and FEED Philippines Inc., 10,000 onsite cooked meals, 350 relief packages, and 24,000 MREs (meal, ready-to-eat) from the Department of Health reached the people of Brgy. Mocag in the municipality of Baggao and Brgy. Cataggaman Nuevo in the city of Tuguegarao.

The said communities were submerged in at least 5 feet of floodwater for two days due to Typhoon Ulysses’ onslaught. The flooding left extensive damage on properties and livelihood as muds covered many of their corn and vegetable farms.

In these trying times, the UP Beta Epsilon Fraternity upholds its commitment to service by helping our fellow countrymen recover from the recent disasters.

Fruits of Brotherhood

Due to the continuous efforts of the fraternity to serve its fellowmen during the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Office of the Chancellor of the University of the Philippines System recently awarded the Gawad Tsanselor Para sa Natatanging Organisasayon na Tumulong sa UP Diliman sa Panahon ng Pandemya to the UP Beta Epsilon Fraternity. This recognition is given to organizations that have shown excellence in their service to the community during the Pandemic. The said recognition was awarded virtually by Chancellor Fidel R. Nemenzo on June 25, 2021, at the UP Lagoon.

The COVID-19 Pandemic has placed everyone in a difficult situation. However, the spirit of Brotherhood kept the fraternity on serving the best interest of the college, the university, and the country by reaching its hands to those who need it and serving as a leader in helping the community through the efforts of the committed brother in serving our countrymen.