Once Upon a Brotherhood
I. They were young men. They were old boys. They came from the mountains.
They came from the lowlands. They came from the cities. They came from the
provinces. They were rich. They were poor. Regardless, they came with a
singular purpose. The life they chose would be different. Difficult. Challenging. Yet they would bank on one truth: they were brothers.
II. The steel would be forged by fire. The trials, the sufferings, the blood, the pain, and the unending pressure would test desire and endurance.
How could one last? How could the mind triumph over the body now wracked
with surrender? There was a thread that held them together. The thread that
would never break: they were brothers.
III. So the handshake came with the fading shouts. With the warm welcome of
acceptance and the string of “strong hearts” tugging at the whole expanse of the Field. Victory was sweet. So sweet it could only be savored with tears. Yes, they were brothers.
IV. Four years and a lifetime passed. The world for dreamers and idealists closed its doors. It was time to go and propagate the belief. Time to face the real test, live the real life. To separate roads they went with the same promise and hope. Separated, perhaps never to meet again. Such never mattered. They would always be brothers.
V. Twilight fell followed by the darkness. They trod their own paths in search of their own dreams. In the blackness of the night, silence exploded with a thousand whys. Fingers pointed to the defeaning doubts and accusations. Where was the thread? The honor that bound sans time, sans distance, sans death? Were they not, after all, brothers?
VI. They were old men, they were young men. They had searched for the
mountains and the lowlands for the dreams and the beliefs Loakan imparted them. For some, the search came out short. For others, the search ended with false gods and barren wombs. Still others found the purity of a summer storm and the power of the child’s cry. Regardless, honor stood among them.
“All right, sir!” was more than a challenge. It was a bond. It was a profession of faith. It was the light. They were, after all, brothers.
VII. Once upon a brotherhood, blood mattered not. Not the way one looked.
Neither the accent of one’s birth. Mansions in the city and huts in thebarrios seemed equal to be homes.
Once upon a brotherhood, a word was good enough to bet one’s life on.
Once upon a brotherhood, there was Courage. There was Integrity. There was
Once upon a brotherhood, they called themselves Cavaliers with the Beloved
Country as their Life’s Only Cause.
Once upon a brotherhood, there was a song of last taps and of death being Peace because the country would be forever Free.
Once upon a brotherhood, there was Loakan. Fort del Pilar. PHILIPPINE
MILITARY ACADEMY. No place was more revered. No place more pure. No place more sanctified.
Once upon a brotherhood, the living forgot the dead. And the souls of heroes rose and waged the war to regain the truth they died for.
Once upon a brotherhood, the living stopped to behold the legacy of the past that they may live with meaning and die not in vain. If only their brave predecessors would give them another chance.
Once upon a brotherhood, there was silence. Then the faint sound of the bugle and the rattling of the drums. From far away, the Corps marched on.
In unison. Aligned. In cadence. Question was, “Would they be brothers