Alpha Phi Omega (Philippines)

Alpha Phi Omega
Official seal of Alpha Phi Omega Philippines
Official seal of Alpha Phi Omega Philippines
FoundedMarch 2, 1950; 73 years ago (1950-03-02)
Far Eastern University, Manila
MottoBe a Leader,
Be a Friend,
Be of Service
Colors  Royal blue
  Old glory gold
SymbolGolden eagle, Sturdy Oak

The Alpha Phi Omega International Philippines Incorporated Service Fraternity and Sorority, commonly known as Alpha Phi Omega or APO (ΑΦΩ), is a service fraternity and sorority in the Philippines founded in 1950.[1] It is the first established national chapter of Alpha Phi Omega outside of the United States, although both organizations have separate leadership and operate independently.[2] Alpha Phi Omega has 250 chapters in the Philippines and 150,000 members as of 2010.[3]

The stated purpose of the fraternity is to commit to the "development of a world class membership that cares for the quality of life with complete complement guided by the three cardinal principles of Leadership, Friendship and Service." Founded under the ideals of the scouting movement, the fraternity uses scouting ideals such as the Scout Law as the basis for its code of conduct.[4]


The Alpha Phi Omega in the United States was established by Frank Reed Horton on December 16, 1925, at Lafayette College.[5] In 1950, professional scouter Sol George Levy, an APO member from the University of Washington in Seattle, went to the Philippines to generate interest in the scouting movement in the country. Levy invited scouts in Manila to a conference, where he proposed that a scouting-based service fraternity be established in the country and distributed APO publications to the audience.[2]

A group of scouts led by Ibrado I. Ureta from the Far Eastern University were particularly interested, and in March 2, 1950, he and 20 others established the first organization of APO outside of the United States, now known as the Alpha Chapter. The organization was later registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission under the name Alpha Phi Omega (Philippines) Incorporated, then later renewed in 1981 as Alpha Phi Omega International Philippines Incorporated.[2][6]

Sorority and inclusion of women[edit]

In 1965, the Alpha Phi Sigma Sorority was established to serve as an umbrella organization for the sister sororities of the various fraternity chapters of Alpha Phi Omega. Prior to its establishment, it was not uncommon for individual fraternity chapters to associate with sororities bearing different names. In 1971, the sorority was formally renamed and recognized as the Alpha Phi Omega Auxiliary Sorority, as the sister association of the Alpha Phi Omega Service Fraternity.[1]

However, as the term "auxiliary" suggested dependence and subservience to the fraternity, in 1979 the by-laws of the organization were amended to establish the Alpha Phi Omega Service Sorority and the creation of the Office of the Vice President for Sorority Affairs to fully recognize women membership in the fraternity. The organization was renamed Alpha Phi Omega International Philippines Incorporated Service Fraternity and Sorority.[1]

In 2023, Alpha Phi Omega elected its first woman national president.[7]

A medical mission in Qatar jointly organized in 2012 by members of Alpha Phi Omega and Scouts Royale Brotherhood

Association with Scouts Royale Brotherhood[edit]

On September 22, 1975, four members of the APO Alpha Delta chapter in San Sebastian College – Recoletos established the Scouts Royale Brotherhood (SRB), a fraternity exclusively for high school students. SRB was initially intended to be the youth arm of APO, as both fraternities share the same traditions, core principles, motto, colors and symbols. Today however, SRB is nominally an independent and separate entity from APO that has expanded its membership to include college students as well.[8] Despite this, many outside observers still consider SRB as the "youth arm" of APO.[9][10]


The national organization of APO maintains a seven layer administrative structure:[11]

  • General Assembly
  • National Executive Council
  • Board of Directors
  • Administrative Regions
  • Basic Organizational Units
  • Adjudicatory Council
  • Constitutional Commissions


The APO has charters (either fraternity, sorority or both) at 250 colleges and universities.

National Office[edit]

The National Office for Alpha Phi Omega of the Philippines is at 301-A Two Seventy Midtower Condominium, 270 Ermin Garcia Street, Barangay Silangan, Cubao, Quezon City. Past locations of the Alpha Phi Omega of the Philippines office include:

Years Location
1950–1975 Office of Godofredo Neric, Boy Scouts of the Philippines National Headquarters building at 181 Concepcion Street, Ermita, Manila.
1975–1977 Residence of Dr. Librado I. Ureta in Taytay, Rizal
1977–1978 Residence of Mel S. Gonzales Jr. in Tondo, Manila
1978–1983 Office of Jose V. Cutaran in Cubao, Quezon City, Metro Manila
1983–1986 Office of Efren Neri at Comfoods building in Gil Puyat Avenue, Makati, Metro Manila
1986–1988 Office of Col. Oscar V. Lazo Jr. at Borres building in Cubao, Quezon City, Metro Manila
1988–1993 Don Calvo building in Escolta, Manila (leased)
1993–1999 2nd Floor, V.V. Soliven Complex, Epifanio de los Santos Avenue, San Juan, Metro Manila (Leased)
1999 – current 301-A Midtower Condominium, 270 Ermin Garcia Street, Barangay Silangan, Cubao, Quezon City, Metro Manila


National Programs[edit]

Since 1976, the national leadership of Alpha Phi Omega formulates a two-year national program for all chapters to emphasize a particular project or need of the community. Such projects include national blood donation drives, medical missions, volunteer drives, tree planting, relief operations, and internal organization strengthening.[12]

The 2010 Oblation Run at the University of the Philippines Los Baños

Oblation Run[edit]

The Oblation Run is an annual event held by the Alpha Phi Omega chapters in various campuses of the University of the Philippines and the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, where male members of APO wearing masks run naked in public places along a designated route. The run is named after the Oblation statue, which depicts a naked man facing upwards with arms outstretched to symbolize selfless devotion. It is typically held annually on December 16 to celebrate the international founding day of Alpha Phi Omega.[13]

Contrary to popular belief, all of the runners are volunteer members, as neophytes are forbidden from participating.[14][15]

Since 1999, the Oblation Run has been used as a protest platform to raise awareness for national issues such as education budget cuts, political corruption, environmental degradation, and human rights violations.[16][17][18]


Hazing deaths[edit]

Alpha Phi Omega has been directly involved in the hazing deaths of several neophytes.

  • In 1967, University of the Philippines Diliman student Ferdinand Tabtab died from injuries sustained from hazing. This was the first recorded hazing death in the fraternity.[19][20]
  • On October 13, 1991, Frederick Cahiyang, an 18-year-old civil engineering student from University of the Visayas, died during the initiation rites of the fraternity. This was the first publicized death from hazing in Cebu schools.[19][21]
  • On August 22, 2004, Jonathan Bombase, a freshman student from Partido College in Goa, Camarines Sur, succumbed to his injuries a week after undergoing initiation rites with Alpha Phi Omega.[22]
  • On January 14, 2006, University of the Philippines Los Baños student Marlon Villanueva died during the initiation rites of the fraternity.[23] Villanueva's case saw the first conviction under the Anti-Hazing Act of 1995. Two Alpha Phi Omega members were sentenced to reclusion perpetua in a 2015 decision.[19][24][25]
  • On May 6, 2006, Jan Angelo Dollete of the Capiz State University died during the initiation rites of the fraternity. Homicide charges were filed against 11 officers of Alpha Phi Omega.[26]
  • On August 15, 2010, the bruised body of University of Makati student EJ Karl Initia was found discarded in a ravine in Santa Maria, Laguna after undergoing initiation rites. Eleven officers of Alpha Phi Omega were charged with his death.[19][27][28]

According to the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group, Alpha Phi Omega has the second highest number of recorded hazing deaths among all Filipino fraternities, with six deaths as of March 2, 2023.[29]

2010 Philippine Bar exam bombing[edit]

On September 26, 2010, a grenade exploded outside De La Salle University in Manila minutes after the end of the 2010 Philippine Bar Examination, injuring 47 people with two people needing amputations.[30] Initial police investigations revealed that the grenade was targeted at members of Tau Gamma Phi, with whom Alpha Phi Omega had a conflict with.[30] The grenade fell short however, and exploded near a group of Alpha Phi Beta members along with several female exam takers.[31] The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) took over the investigation and identified Alpha Phi Omega as the perpetrator of the blast, as well as two other previous grenade attacks on college campuses in Metro Manila.[32][33]

On October 27, 2010, the NBI's prime suspect Anthony Leal Nepomuceno, a 26-year-old call center agent and APO member, surrendered to Vice President Jejomar Binay, who was also an APO member.[34][35] Nepomuceno denied all accusations, with Binay and APO defending his innocence. In response, several members of the House of Representatives criticized Binay for clearing Nepomuceno while the investigation was still ongoing.[36]

On April 28, 2011, the Department of Justice (DOJ) recommended the indictment of Nepomuceno after finding his defense "weak", and was charged with multiple murder for causing "almost fatal" wounds to victims Raissa Laurel and Jokat Ledda.[37][38] He was also charged with multiple frustrated murder, multiple attempted murder, and illegal possession of explosives.[39]

On July 14, 2015, the Court of Appeals affirmed Nepomuceno's indictment and denied his petition to nullify the 2011 DOJ resolution.[40][41]

Rivalry with Tau Gamma Phi[edit]

Alpha Phi Omega has been involved in several fatal clashes with long-standing rival fraternity Tau Gamma Phi:

  • On August 30, 1977. 1977, UP Diliman student and APO member Rolando Abad was killed in a clash with rival members of Tau Gamma Phi.[42][43]
  • On February 21, 1994, Central Colleges of the Philippines student Fernando Obrino, a member of Tau Gamma Phi, died at St. Luke's Medical Center after being mauled by four members of APO (also students of CCP) in Cubao, Quezon City.[44]
  • On October 24, 2004, police found the body of 33-year-old Ronaldo de Guzman on a bench outside National University in Manila. De Guzman was an elder of Scouts Royale Brotherhood, which police identified as the youth arm of Alpha Phi Omega. Witnesses reported four gunmen, who identified as members of Tau Gamma Phi, threatening the younger members before shooting the elder three times in the face.[10]
  • On March 20, 2008, a grenade targeting members of Tau Gamma Phi exploded in front of La Consolacion College Manila, leaving 22 people injured. Police blamed fraternity rivalry as the motive behind the explosion, but initially refused to identify the perpetrators' organization.[45] On November 9, 2010 then-justice secretary Leila de Lima tagged APO as the culprit in the grenade attack.[46]
  • On December 18, 2009, San Sebastian College student and APO member Cromwell Duka, Jr. was fatally stabbed in the school cafeteria by fellow student Efrain Lim, a member of Tau Gamma Phi.[47]

Notable members[edit]

Name Original chapter Notability References
Wahab Akbar Lambda Former representative of Basilan, Lone District; former Governor of Basilan [48]
Bellaflor Angara-Castillo Eta Former governor of Aurora, former House Majority Floor Leader [49]
Nina Antonio-Valenzuela Eta Court of Appeals Justice [50]
Alicia Austria-Martinez Eta Associate Justice Supreme Court of the Philippines [49]
Ireno A. Bacolod Alpha Mu Brigadier General of the National Police Commission [51]
Petit Baldado Gamma Former vice governor, Negros Oriental [48]
Robert Lyndon S. Barbers Epsilon Gamma Governor of Surigao del Norte Province [52]
Silvestre H. Bello III Mu Presidential Adviser for New Government Centers (2007— ), Secretary of Justice of the Philippines (1991–1992, 1998), Solicitor-General of the Philippines, (1996–1998) [53]
Josue Bellosillo [tl] Eta Associate Justice Supreme Court of the Philippines 1992–2003 [49]
Jejomar Binay Eta Former Vice President of the Philippines; Mayor of Makati (1986—1998, 2001-2010), President of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines (In third term as of 2006) [54][55]
Nikki Cabardo Eta Keyboardist for Freestyle and Sinosikat? [54]
Jose Catindig, Jr. Sigma Mayor, Santa Rosa City, Laguna (2005–2007) [56]
Antonio H. Cerilles Pi Member of the House of Representatives of the Philippines, Zamboanga del Sur, 2nd District (1987–1998, 2004— (2007)), Environment Secretary, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (1998–2001), Governor of the Province of Zamboanga del Sur 2010-present [57][58][59][60]
Menggie Cobarrubias Eta Veteran Actor in the Philippines, Gawad Urian Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1979 [61]
Danilo Cortez Pi Philippine Military Academy Class '77 President; Acting Navy Chief, Philippine Navy [62][63]
Julio F. Desamito Eta COMELEC Commissioner 1995–2001 [49]
Antonio Jr. Hatoc Escudero Delta Pi Lieutenant Governor, Sorsogon 1992–1995; 1998— (2007) [64]
Jose R. Hernandez Eta Associate Justice of the Sandiganbayan [49]
Julius Herrera Alpha Mu Vice Governor, Bohol (2001- present), Mayor of Calape, Bohol (1995–2001) [48]
Gilberto F. Layese Theta Director of the Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Product Standards of the Department of Agriculture (2001— ) [65]
Gilbert Llanto Alpha Mu Brigadier General Philippine Air Force [51]
Raul Manglapus Alpha / National Honorary Foreign Minister of the Philippines, Philippine Senator, Philippine Presidential Candidate [57][58][59]
Rey Andre Olegario Zeta Pi Vice Governor, Zamboanga Sibugay (2007— ) [48]
David A. Ponce De Leon Theta Chi Member of the House of Representatives of the Philippines, Palawan, 1st District (1987–1995), Lieutenant Governor, Palawan (1986–1987, 2001— ) [48][66]
Fidel V. Ramos Pi / National Honorary President of the Republic of the Philippines (1992–1998) [57][58][59][67]
Bong Revilla Delta Kappa Honorary Filipino actor, television presenter and politician, who is a Senator of the Philippines.[68]
Jesse Robredo Alpha Nu Mayor, Naga City (1988–1998, 2001— ); Ramon Magsaysay Award for Government Service, 2000 [48]
Leocadio Santiago Pi Director, Special Action Force Philippine National Police [69]
Jorge Segovia Eta Major General, Army of the Philippines, chief of Army's 2nd Division [70][71]
Augusto L. Syjuco Epsilon Director-General Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), (2004— (2007)), Member of the House of Representatives of the Philippines, Iloilo, 2nd District (1998–2004; 2010-present) [72]
Jesus Verzosa Eta Police Deputy Director General of Philippine National Police ?–2008. Police Director General of Philippine National Police 2008—2010 [69][73]
Antonio Villamor Eta Republic of the Philippines Ambassador to Saudi Arabia (2006— ) [49]
Consuelo Ynares-Santiago Eta Associate Justice Supreme Court of the Philippines 1999— (2008) [49]
Haydee Yorac Eta COMELEC Chairman 1989–1991, COMELEC Commissioner 1986–1991, Chairwoman of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) [49]
Manuel "Way Kurat" Zamora Beta Phi Member of the House of Representatives of the Philippines, Compostela Valley, 1st District (2001— ) [48]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "History of Alpha Phi Omega Philippines Fraternity". APO PHILIPPINES. Retrieved March 2, 2023.
  2. ^ a b c "History of APO Philippines extracted from "The APO History" in "Alpha Phi Omega Torch and Trefoil" diamond jubilee program for the 13th National Biennial Convention, Boy Scouts of the Philippines, Mt. Makiling, Los Banos, Languna, Philippines, December 1985". Archived from the original on October 23, 2011. Retrieved May 2, 2012.
  3. ^ "APO to Clinton: We're embarrassed member tagged a terrorist". ABS-CBN News. November 10, 2010.
  4. ^ "APO Traditions & Lectures". APO PHILIPPINES. Retrieved March 2, 2023.
  5. ^ "Alpha Phi Omega University of the Philippines Manila Website".
  6. ^ "The APO History". Alpha Phi Omega Torch and Trefoil. 1985. Archived from the original on October 23, 2011.
  7. ^ "Hailed as historic, the first woman president of APO Philippines". APO Philippines. February 8, 2023. Archived from the original on February 8, 2023. Retrieved March 2, 2023.
  8. ^ "About Us – Scouts Royale Brotherhood". Retrieved March 3, 2023.
  9. ^ "Stop the barbarians!". RAPPLER. July 18, 2014. Retrieved March 3, 2023.
  10. ^ a b Etolle, Nestor. "Frat elder gunned down by rivals". Retrieved March 2, 2023.
  11. ^ "Organizational Structure". APO Philippines.
  12. ^ "National Programs". APO PHILIPPINES. Retrieved March 3, 2023.
  13. ^ Katherine Adraneda (June 19, 2008). "Oblation Run, protesting students greet UP centennial celebration". Philippine Star. Retrieved May 25, 2011.
  14. ^ Sidney Ventura (January 2, 1996). "Buns on the Run". Kampus Magazine. UP Alpha Phi Omega Fraternity and Sorority. Archived from the original on March 13, 2012. Retrieved May 25, 2011.
  15. ^ Mark Merueñas (June 18, 2008). "100 UP fratmen, alumni join Oblation Run for centennial celebration". GMA Network. Retrieved May 25, 2011.
  16. ^ Manila Bulletin December 20,2004 Oblation Run: APO’s bold, daring tradition Archived August 19, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ "2011 Oblation Run at University of the Philippines, Diliman". Archived from the original on December 15, 2012. Retrieved February 29, 2012.
  18. ^ Viray, Patricia Lourdes (December 1, 2017). "UP Oblation run calls for end to killings, rebuilding Marawi". The Philippine Star. Archived from the original on December 1, 2017. Retrieved December 3, 2017.
  19. ^ a b c d "Deaths Caused by Hazing". ABS-CBN News. ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group. September 27, 2017. Retrieved October 4, 2017.
  20. ^ Evangelista, Oscar (2008). Icons and Institutions: Essays on the History of the University of the Philippines, 1952-2000. UP Press. p. 163. ISBN 978-9715425698. Retrieved October 4, 2017.
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  25. ^ "Republic of the Philippines Supreme Court Second Division G.R. No. 209464" (PDF).
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  27. ^ "Hazing deaths in the Philippines: A recent history - News Feature, News, The Philippine Star -".
  28. ^ Inquirer, Philippine Daily. "What Went Before: Previous hazing victims".
  29. ^ "Deaths Caused by Hazing". ABS-CBN News. ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group. September 27, 2017. Retrieved March 3, 2023.
  30. ^ a b DJ Yap; Tetch Torres; Abigail Kwok (September 26, 2010). "Blast rocks end of bar exams at DLSU; 35 hurt". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Archived from the original on September 29, 2010. Retrieved June 1, 2011.
  31. ^ Pat C. Santos (September 28, 2010). "44 people injured in bomb explosion in La Salle, Manila". The Daily Tribune. Manila. Retrieved June 2, 2011.
  32. ^ Punay, Edu. "APO tagged in 2 more Metro grenade attacks". Retrieved March 2, 2023.
  33. ^ GMANews.TV, SOPHIA DEDACE. "2 other grenade blasts in MManila traced to APO — De Lima". GMA News Online. Retrieved March 2, 2023.
  34. ^ Ina Reformina (October 27, 2010). "Bar exam blast suspect surrenders". ABS–CBN News. Retrieved June 2, 2011.
  35. ^ Evangeline De Vera (October 28, 2010). "Bar exam blast suspect surfaces". Malaya. Manila. Archived from the original on November 1, 2010. Retrieved June 2, 2011.
  36. ^ Lira Dalangin-Fernandez (October 28, 2010). "Solons chastise Binay for 'clearing' bar blast suspect". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Archived from the original on November 3, 2010. Retrieved June 3, 2011.
  37. ^ Evangeline C. de Vera (April 29, 2011). "DOJ recommends murder raps against bar blast suspect". Malaya. Manila. Archived from the original on May 3, 2011. Retrieved June 3, 2011.
  38. ^ "2010 Bar exam blast survivors win local races". RAPPLER. May 14, 2019. Retrieved March 2, 2023.
  39. ^ Jerome Aning (April 29, 2011). "Charges set vs suspect in bar exam bombing". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved June 3, 2011.
  40. ^ "CA allows filing of charges vs frat member in 'Salubong' blast". Rappler. Retrieved March 2, 2023.
  41. ^ Reformina, Ina (August 6, 2015). "CA affirms indictment of 2010 Bar blast suspect". ABS-CBN News.
  42. ^ "Casualties of frat-related violence in UP". GMA News Online. September 5, 2007. Retrieved March 2, 2023.
  43. ^ "The Peace Rock Improvement Project". University of the Philippines College of Education. October 23, 2015.
  44. ^ "G.R. No. 128321". March 11, 2004. Retrieved March 2, 2023.
  45. ^ "Police blame frat war for Mendiola grenade explosion". ABS-CBN News. March 20, 2008.
  46. ^ "Fraternity blamed for grenade attacks -". UPI. Retrieved March 2, 2023.
  47. ^ "Suspect: I'm innocent, and APO has no motive to bomb Bar exam". GMA News Online. Retrieved March 2, 2023.
  48. ^ a b c d e f g "List of Elected Philippine Government Officials (As of 07 June 2007)". Archived from the original on September 27, 2007.
  49. ^ a b c d e f g h "Eta Kasi (Alumni of Eta chapter at UP Diliman)". Archived from the original on July 9, 2012.
  50. ^ "New APOs in the Judiciary".
  51. ^ a b Alpha Mu's Second Star
  52. ^ "Biography of Governor Robert Lyndon S. Barbers Archived May 24, 2018, at the Wayback Machine." Surigao Islands. Retrieved on March 24, 2007.
  53. ^ Congratulations to Bro. Silvestre Bello III
  54. ^ a b From Fraternity to Fratricide
  55. ^ "Image for Jejomar Binay's Yearbook entry". Archived from the original on May 14, 2016. Retrieved May 23, 2018.
  56. ^ Partial list of alumni who won in the May 10, 2004 election
  57. ^ a b c "09 Distinguished List". Archived from the original on September 4, 2011.
  58. ^ a b c List of Notable Alpha Phi Omega Philippines brothers and sisters
  59. ^ a b c Alpha Phi Omega of the Philippines - Honorary members
  60. ^ "Personal Information for Antonio H. Cerilles." i-site. Retrieved on March 28, 2007.
  61. ^ Marlon Ramos (June 19, 2008). "'Oblation Run' steals show in UP Centennial activities". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Archived from the original on August 2, 2008. Retrieved May 25, 2011.
  62. ^ Romero, Alexis (May 6, 2010). "GMA names PMA Class '77 president as acting Navy chief". Phil Star Global. Retrieved December 2, 2022.
  63. ^ APO Philippines to honor Gen. Segovia ‘74 Archived 2016-01-17 at the Wayback Machine
  64. ^ Personal Information for Antonio Jr. Hatoc Escudero i-site. Retrieved on March 27, 2007.
  65. ^ "Resume of Director Layese". Archived from the original on February 2, 2008.
  66. ^ Personal Information for David A. Ponce De Leon i-site. Retrieved on March 27, 2007.
  67. ^ WELCOME FVR IN WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA Archived 2010-12-02 at the Wayback Machine
  68. ^ "APO to tender Testimonial Dinner for Binay, 141 Other Members who Won in May 10 Polls".
  69. ^ a b Top cop quits presidency of lawmen’s frat[dead link]
  70. ^ "APO brother is Second Infantry Division Chief".
  71. ^ "Another APO Brother is promoted as General".
  72. ^ Sec. Augusto "Boboy" Syjuco’s Ladder to Success UE Today. Retrieved on September 20, 2010.
  73. ^ Versoza vows to make effective leadership a way of life at PNP

External links[edit]