Being reminded about Loyalty

Being reminded about Loyalty

I don’t mind last minute invitations. At least, you are being considered as the second, third, fourth….most influential person. This was the case when the Scout Royale Brotherhood (SRB-UAE Council) fraternity celebrated its 42nd founding anniversary last September 21, Thursday evening. I received an SOS message on FB messenger at 12:39 pm from Mhavic Zurbano Ilarde, that’s the Facebook name of Mhavic Viray, if I can be their Guest Speaker and VIP Inducting Officer because the Consul General would not be able to make it that evening.

I replied: “okay, what message do you want me to convey”. She then sent a Pinned Location of the venue and to my surprise it’s one of the last beach house resorts in Sharjah which is less than a kilometer from the border of Ajman. It was along Al Muntazah Street, which is the famous corniche area of Sharjah and Ajman. It took me one and a half hours to travel coming from our residence in Jebel Ali. It was a border to border trip. From the border close to Abu Dhabi to the border of Ajman.

When I arrived at the venue past 8:30 pm I bumped into Vice Consul Beth Ramos who was coming down the staircase. She looked quite relieved to see me as she knew someone will be available to attend the official proceedings of inducting the new officers and handing over some awards. The vice consul earlier delivered a brief congratulatory speech on behalf of the Philippine Consulate General.

Why did I agree to attend being a last minute invitee? Because of the concept of Loyalty.

The SRB-UAE Council was very loyal to the annual Walk For Your Health event, which I personally organized with a handful of volunteers from CFC-Gawad Kalinga (GK) in 2007. In the second year the walkathon around Safa Park saw the participation of SRB-UAE Council leaders and members led by Mhavic Viray, then the Grand Chancellor. In the 2009 edition, the fraternity became an official partner organization along with FACE, FDSC, APO and GK. The latter would eventually be replaced by ANCOP in the 2011 edition.

In addition, the SRB-UAE Council fully supported the Logistics Committee of both the Philippine Independence Day (PID) celebrations in 2008 and the first Bayanihan Festival conducted in December of the same year. I was then the chairman of the PID executive committee and the then adviser of the Bayanihan Festival organizing committee.

My attendance at their anniversary celebration was my way of saying ‘Thank You’ for all your support. Thank you for being loyal SRB-UAE Council. It was a coincidence that SRB worldwide has this Loyalty Pledge, which the members recited that evening:

If you work for a man in heaven’s name, work for him, speak well of him, and stand by the institution which he represents.

Remember an ounce of loyalty is worth a pound of cleverness. 

If you must growl, condemn, or eternally find fault, why? Resign your position and when you’re outside, damn with all your heart’s content.

But as long as you are part of this institution, do not condemn it, for if you do so, the first high wind that comes along will blow you away and probably you will never know why.

I was so empowered when they were reciting with their three-finger hand gesture, which is an original Boy Scout hand sign.

Wikipilipinas.org describes Scout Royale Brotherhood as an International Fraternity based in the Philippines. It was founded by brothers of Alpha Phi Omega-Philippines at San Sebastian College (Alpha Delta Chapter) to extend Alpha Phi Omega’s principles to the High School Level. LFS is the three Guiding Principles of SRB, which stands for Leadership, Friendship and Service.

The recent activities of the UAE Council were blood donation at Latifa Hospital, participation at the PID 2017 and at the Sharjah Children’s Cultural Day, among others. Their members are now preparing for their participation at the Bayanihan Festival on December 15, and for their gift-giving activity for the distressed women workers at the Philippine Overseas Labor Office-Overseas Workers Welfare Administration.

I officiated the oath-taking of the new officers led by Grand Chancellor Gaspar Bertumen, Jr. whose term is from 2017 to 2019. I was assisted by the outgoing Grand Chancellor, Noel Agura, and the council’s secretary, Menggay Bodiao, who did a good hosting job. Previous chancellors were Mhavic Viray (2008 to 2010, 2011 to 2012, 2013 to 2015), Randy Lopena (2010 to 2011), and Jason De Guia (2012 to 2013). There were also several awards, which I handed over to leaders and members from almost all the Emirates. It took me more than an hour on stage to do these.

Around 11, I excused myself from the ongoing fellowship and was escorted by Gaspar and Mhavic. Walking down the staircase, they were explaining to me about their three guiding principles of which letter F is the most difficult thing to do.

Very true with all of us. We can be leaders of people by leading in the execution of the Philippine Independence Day program or the Bayanihan Festival activities. We can be of service to people by serving as coordinator between Latifa Hospital’s blood donation center and volunteers from organizations. We can serve as poll watchers during the Overseas Absentee Voting period.

But being friends with everyone or even with some individuals would entail a lot of loyalty. Because loyal people never speak bad of their friends. Imagine right now how many friends do we really have. The concept of Loyalty is speaking well of those who help us grow, those who enable us to transform, and those who empower us to reach for our dreams.

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