Alpha Phi Omega



History of Alpha Phi Omega Philippines

It all started with a service project.

(1) World War II had recently ended, but it had left its devastation around the world. The major cities of Europe had been heavily damaged, and many of the cities of Asia and the Pacific had been destroyed. Manila, the capital of the former US colony Philippines had been occupied and was now in ruins; its universities, rubble. What, if anything, could college students across the Pacific in the United States do that would have any real effect? It turns out, quite a lot!

Some of the Alpha Phi Omega-USA Brothers in Texas and the Pacific Northwest had fought in these islands. They knew, firsthand, of the friendliness of the people and of their need. They knew that education of the young people was a vital necessity if the country was to get back to its feet. They could do something, and they did. Book drives were started on their campuses and hundreds of textbooks, used but useable, were gathered from their libraries and fellow students to be sent to the Philippines to help re-stock the many burnt-out college libraries in Manila.

It was a successful service project, but like many one-time projects, it was soon forgotten, remembered only in the scrapbooks of the chapters involved and in the mind of the then APO-USA National President (1931-1946) H. Roe Bartle “The Chief”. It was a good example of a service project; it had all of the elements of a good story; and the Chief never forgot a good story.

Time passed. It was January 1950, and (2) Sol George Levy (Gamma Alpha 1947), a professional scout, an APhiO member at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington and a friend of Dr. Bartle, was going to the Philippines to help generate more interest among the Scouts here. The Chief told him what APO had done a few years earlier to help re-establish Filipino university libraries. One January evening that year, scouts in Manila were invited to a conference by Mr. Levy. He passed on the story to them, mentioning how nice it would be if a Scouting-based fraternity similar to Alpha Phi Omega could be established in the country. He expessed his desire to organize Alpha Phi Omega, and distributed some copies of three APO publications: Questions and Answers, National Constitution and By-laws, and Ritual Rites and Ceremonies.

The story was of particular interest to a group of Scouts at Far Eastern University in Manila. It may be that their library was one of those which had been helped, or it may be that the idea of a Scouting-based fraternity just struck fertile ground. Librado I. Ureta, an Eagle Scout, a graduate student, and was among the audience; together with a group of over twenty Scouts and advisors began organizing work.

On March 2, 1950, at the Nicanor Reyes Hall, Room 214, Far Eastern University, Manila, Philippines; the first organization of Alpha Phi Omega outside of the United States of America was established. It is now known as the Alpha Chapter.
Alpha Phi Omega rapidly and healthily grew in the Philippines. In its third year, it became a national organization with seven chapters chartered in Manila and Visayan campuses. It was registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on October 21, 1953 as a non-stock, non-profit and non-dividend corporation with a registered name of Alpha Phi Omega (Philippines) Incorporated. It renewed its registration on June 8, 1981 with the SEC Registration No. 0099381 under the name of Alpha Phi Omega International Philippines Incorporated.

The Charter members who served as the first National Officers were:

Dr. Librado I. Ureta – National President
Col. Ignacio J. Sevilla, Sr. – National First Vice President
Dr. Romeo Y. Atienza – National Second Vice President
Dr. Guillermo R. Padolina – National Third Vice President
Godofredo P. Neric – National Secretary
Leonardo R. Osorio of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines (BSP) – National Treasurer
Ralph G. Hawkins – National Editor and Historian
Alfredo de los Reyes – National Director of Relationship
Lamberto T. Dominguez (BSP) – National Executive Board Member
Dr. Bonifacio V. Lazcano (BSP) – National Executive Board Member
Max M. Velasco – National Executive Board Member
The first seven chapters that incorporated APO Philippines were:

Ordered by Greek Alphabet

Alpha – Mar 2, 1950
Beta – Mar 24, 1951
Gamma – Oct 5, 1953
Delta – Mar 9, 1952
Epsilon – Mar 2, 1952
Zeta – Mar 28, 1952
Eta – Feb 10, 1953

Ordered by Charter Date

Alpha – Mar 2, 1950
Beta – Mar 24, 1951
Epsilon – Mar 2, 1952
Delta – Mar 9, 1952
Zeta – Mar 28, 1952
Eta – Feb 10, 1953
Gamma – Oct 5, 1953
Alpha Phi Omega International (Philippines), Inc. was the first country to be chartered outside the USA. Although it is separate and independent from its mother country, it adheres to the cardinal principles designed by Brother Frank Reed Horton. The badge and revised coat-of-arms created by EVERETT W. PROBST, one of the original members, were adopted. However, the handclasp was patterned from the Boy Scouts’ and not from that of THANE S. COOLEY.

In “The Story Behind Founding”, Dr. Frank Reed Horton, wrote:

“As Scouting is world-wide, so should Alpha Phi Omega be
world-wide, gradually in the colleges and the universities of all nations,”

And so it did.

History of APO Philippines Sorority

(3)The commitment of women in Alpha Phi Omega have been started and involved within the activities of the fraternity since the first decade of existence in the Philippines.

In the past, APO sisters belonged to sororities of different names. Initially, in social functions, brothers would pick fraternity sweethearts among their dates. Later on fraternity chapters and the most prestigious sorority on its campus would hold a soiree and then a joint service project; when a brotherly relationship have been established, the sorority would then affiliate to the fraternity chapter. Still, most chapters started sister sororities composed of their friends. Therefore it was not uncommon that the early fraternity chapters of Alpha Phi Omega associated their group with sororities bearing different names.
During the 50’s and 60’s, like every other campus with APO chapters, it was Alpha Phi Omega Fraternity and Kappa Phi Omega Sorority that ruled University of the Philippines in Diliman. They were partners…brods and sis. Scan courtesy of Eta Chapter

The Alpha Phi Omega Philippines National Board of Sorority was first adopted in the 6th National Biennial Convention held at Mapua Institute of Technology, Manila on March 6-7, 1965, under the national name of “Alpha Phi Sigma Sorority”, in which it served as the umbrella organization of all sister sororities of the different fraternity chapters of Alpha Phi Omega. Alpha Phi Sigma further united, formed and organized among the groups in order to integrate all the existing sister sororities into one national sorority under the jurisdiction of the Alpha Phi Omega Philippines National Executive Board.

The national officers who were elected by the sorority delegates to serve as the first National Board of Sorority in 1965 were as follows:

President : Hope Tinga (Kappa Phi Omega of Eta chapter)
First Vice President : Sally Ravara-Magcanan (Sigma Lambda Phi of Sigma chapter)
Second Vice President: Rosita De Leon (Delta Sigma Sigma of Delta chapter)
Auditor : Pat Macanay-Chua (Alpha Lambda Sigma of Lambda chapter)
Records of the early fraternity collegiate chapters indicated their historical events regarding the establishment of their respective sister sororities as follows:

Beta chapter sister sorority under the name “Sigma Lambda Sigma” was established in 1954
Delta chapter sister sorority as “Delta Sigma Sigma” was established in 1955
Eta chapter sister sorority as “Kappa Phi Omega“ in 1957
Alpha chapter sister sorority as “Sigma Gamma Phi” in 1957
Theta chapter sister sorority as “Kappa Phi Omega“ in 1959
Lambda chapter sister sorority as “Alpha Lambda Sigma” in 1963
Sigma chapter sister sorority as “Sigma Lambda Phi” in 1964
Gamma chapter sister sorority as “Kappa Phi Omega” in 1964
Chi chapter sister sorority in 1966
Alpha Omicron chapter sister sorority as “Alpha Omega Sigma” in 1966
Pi chapter sister sorority as “Sigma Lambda Phi” in 1967

Theta Sisters during an Induction Ceremony. Scan courtesy of APOSS AA Inc.

In 1968, the APO National Executive Board passed a resolution changing the APO National Sister Sorority name from “Alpha Phi Sigma Sorority” to “APO Auxiliary Sorority (APOAS)” to have a uniformity name from its nomenclature. Consequently, this paved the way for the integration of all sister sororities under one national name, in which it resulted to the recognition and granting of charter as Alpha Eta Auxiliary Sorority Chapter of Philippine School of Business and Administration, Manila, on September 17, 1968, with Sister Amelia P. Acuzar as the holder of National Sorority ID No. 001.

Moreover, the chapters which had established their auxiliary sororities and given charters since 1968 were as follows:

Alpha Eta & Alpha Epsilon chapter auxiliary sororities in 1968
Alpha Alpha, Alpha Theta & Alpha Lambda chapter auxiliary sororities in 1969
Iota, Psi, Rho, Alpha Gamma, Alpha Zeta, Alpha Mu & Alpha Pi chapter auxiliary sororities in 1970
Epsilon chapter auxiliary sorority in 1971. Pi Omega Pi Sorority (POP) was linked as an earlier sister sorority of Epsilon Chapter; However, APO National Office records do not support this alleged claim (3).
Mu, Alpha Nu & Alpha Xi chapter auxiliary sororities in 1971
Nu chapter auxiliary sorority in 1972
Omega chapter auxiliary sorority in 1974
Xi chapter auxiliary sorority in 1975
Subsequently, the 7th National Biennial Convention held at Far Eastern University, Manila on December 15-16, 1968, adopted the said existing NEB resolution and officially allowed its collegiate fraternity chapters to admit women as affiliate members.

It was in the 8th National Biennial Convention held at the University of the Philippines, Los Banos, Laguna on December 17-19, 1971, that the Sorority was formally recognized and accepted as Alpha Phi Omega Auxiliary Sorority (APOAS), the sister association of Alpha Phi Omega Service Fraternity. But the name suggested a dependence on the brotherhood, and so it strived for the recognition of its own identity.

Finally, during the 10th National Biennial Convention held on March 30 to April 1. 1979, at Camp 7, Minglanilla, Cebu, the realization of the dream of the sorority came. The National Code of By-laws was amended and the Alpha Phi Omega Service Sorority (APOSS) came into being. The Office of the Vice President for Sorority Affairs was created, thereby giving its total recognition and equal footing with the Fraternity. Thus the Organization became Alpha Phi Omega International Philippines Incorporated Service Fraternity and Sorority.

Similarly, Alpha Phi Omega (USA), during its 23rd National Biennial Convention in St. Missouri, on December 27-29, 1974, officially allowed its collegiate chapters to admit women as affiliate members. Finally, APhiO-USA, during its 24th National Biennial Convention in Atlanta, Georgia, on December 27, 1976, formally accepted as full-fledged “brothers” of the Fraternity.
The National Office

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


1950 – 1975
Office of Godofredo Neric, Boy Scouts of the Philipinnes Building, Arrozeros St., Ermita, Manila

1975 – 1977
Residence of Dr. Librado I.Ureta, Brgy. Dolores, Taytay, Rizal

1977 – 1978
Residence of Emilio S. Gonzales, Jr., 1411 Juan Luna St., Tondo, Manila

1978 – 1983
Office of Jose V. Cutaran, Room 353 Executive Suites, Farmers Plaza, Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City

1983 – 1986
Office of Efren Jose C. Neri, Room 425 Comfoods Building, Gil J. Puyat Avenue (former Buendia Ave), Makati City

1986 – 1988
Office of Oscar V. Lazo, Jr., Room 204 Borres Building, Ilang-Ilang St., Quezon City

1988 – 1993
Room 306 Calvo Building, Escolta St., Binondo, Manila (leased office)

1993 – 1999
Room 2011-12 V.V. Soliven Complex, Epifanio Delos Santos Avenue, San Juan, Metro Manila (leased office)

1999 – current
301-A Two Seventy Midtower Condominium, 270 Ermin Garcia St., Brgy Silangan, Cubao, Quezon City