When we survived and was finally accepted as full-pledged members of our beloved organization, we had sworn ourselves to a life of service. Service to our brothers and sisters, service to our fraternity, service to our family, service to God and country (not necessarily in that order) are our guide in living our lives as true APOs.

APO Phils. Inc. right now have a total of 11 Administrative regions, 7 in our country and 4 worldwide. In the last 10 months in leadership, I had visited all of them except one, the Administrative Region of Europe which I plan to visit before the year-end. I had always wanted to meet majority of our brethren and spread the word of hope and new direction for the whole of our organization. It is about time to bring our brotherhood into the next level.

Unfortunately, to be able to serve at the level one had chosen, one has to endure a lot of personal sacrifices. Not to mention that some brethren will take advantage of you and betray the very trust and confidence you had accorded them because they were APO. The whole character of a brod/sis as a true APO emanates from our number one jewel, TRUSTWORTHY. It was placed there as number ONE for a reason. Without it all the other jewels isn’t worth a centavo. The LOYALTY PLEDGE does not mean anything from these brethren who had brazenly betrayed a fellow brother’s trust. They are just words recited like a poem but they failed to grasp the real meaning of it all.

Every time we sing our TOAST SONG, we somehow reaffirm our love for our brotherhood and belief in each other. “True to self and to each other, loyal brothers we” we proudly sing. My question, can someone who had done a great dis-service to a fellow APO still sing this from their heart and still maintain a straight face? He/she will probably not. I personally will not be able to do it. The council had maintained an informal list of brethren who had done APO or a brod and sis a wrong deed for ready reference for anyone to consult. Like any big organization, we have the responsibility to police our own ranks and protect our own members.

Although I had my share of mis-fortunes from several brethren, these did not lessen my intensity of love, respect and commitment to our fraternity. As a consolation, I always tell myself that it is better that I am the one that was taken advantaged of, then the one taking advantage of a brother. I am still here and not going anywhere.

That, brother, is where I get my energies. I draw them from our very true commitment to serve and our noble goal of pushing our organization to the next level.

Thank you for your support. Mahalin APOng Pinaghirapan!

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