This writer is proud to be part of the “unconditional bond of friendship” brought about by joining the Sigma Delta Phi Sorority. For some of us who came from sheltered Catholic schools we were overwhelmed enrolling in a large campus setting and we seemed “lost.” However, joining large organizations such as the Student Catholic Action (UPSCA) wasn’t what we thought to be. We likewise didn’t feel the sense of “belonging” in a large group.
So, the five (5) of us: Cely, Malou, Jon, Eva and I embarked on joining the university sorority group called the Sigma Delta Phi Sorority, which was also known as the “Society of Dramatics and Fine Arts.” This group produced successful campus Broadway musicals such as: “Once Upon A Mattresss,” “A Property Is Condemned,” “Aloyan,” and numerous others; We joined this particular university sorority in order to alleviate the mental challenges we have in school, find a sense of “belonging” in a smaller group and to also challenge the plebeians (students who have no desire in joining Greek-lettered groups) in their belief that sorority and fraternity groups were “just a bunch of fun-loving drinkers and party-goers;” and we wanted to prove them wrong.
There were a total of 26 of us in our batch of neophytes who joined and collectively, we were indoctrinated (a form of being taught to seek information, and become critical thinkers, which meant never accepting or believing anything just because someone said so, thus allowing us to learn and form our own beliefs and values) the “Sigma Delta” way.
After three months of rigorous initiation rites which for me, included submitting a synopsis of the two-volume book of “Dante’s Inferno” in one day, or submitting a “century egg” the following day, The three-month initiation rites the 26 of us went through gave us the strong bond we have today. And when we became full-pledged “sisters” all of us (including the alumni and the resident sisters who initiated us), shared the common bond of unconditional friendship.
Though you’re not related by blood, the bond of unconditional friendship in “sisterhood” means having someone who’s always around that cares for you in good times and bad, who shares your dreams and aspirations as well as love you unconditionally and selflessly.
In a recent mini-reunion and 2015 installation of officers of the West Coast Sigma Delta Phi Alumnae Association, Inc., a sorority sister, Concepcion “Bee” Monzon, of Batch ‘58 defined the Sigma Delta “sisterhood” as a “language of love and respect for one another. We share our joys and sorrows, we bask in the accomplishments of our ultra successful sisters and we commiserate with the failures, losses and misfortunes of others. As our founders envisioned,, the sorority aim was the promotion of the arts and drama among the student population. And so we did.” (Bee is the daughter of one of Sigma Delta Phi’s founders, Gloria Lucero-Monzon).
Lainie Tengco-Castro, also a Batch ‘58 Sigma Deltan, during the installation stressed the SIgma Delta motto of: “COR UNUM VIA UNA” which means one in mind, one in heart, and one in the communion of the spirit.”
“Sisterhood” during our campus days also meant “giving back” to our school and community. We helped plant trees during “Arbor Day,” rode opened Army trucks during Lantern parade or help raise funds for the needy. It symbolizes more than just its letters or what SDP (Sigma Delta Phi) meant; it was something much greater and treasured; it is “so many things all at once” such as learning about life, about people and making a lasting impact for the betterment of our school or our community.
Overall, I am privileged to have been and will forever be a true-blooded Sigma Deltan. It is the ultimate experience of a lifetime!