HISTORY (Page 2)


The official Gamman newsletter "The Gentleman" made its first appearance in 1968, becoming the only one of its kind on campus. A brainchild of Alex Lucero, the fraternity organ became a venue for exchange of ideas and opinions and was made successful primarily by editors Nestorio "Bong" Layumas, Jr. and Noel Villalba, two Gammans who would later play major roles in publishing the Weekly Sillimanian.

In the early 1970s, PHS produced two editors-in-chief of the Weekly Sillimanian: Oswald Esperat and Nestorio Layumas. During the years immediately preceding Martial Law in 1972, members wielded a huge influence on campus activism with Nestorio at the helm, Noel Villalba as associate editor, and Levi Verora as chief research editor of the Weekly Sillimanian. The Portal yearbook would feel the PHS touch as well-in a run of two consecutive graduating classes, Gammans Edwin Almirol and Buen Guerreva served as editors-in-chief. Oswald and Marianne Esther Lim were also yearbook editors-in-chief. The university literary journal, Sands and Coral, also had editors from PHS: Edgar Libre-Grino, Elsie Martinez-Coscolluela, Rowena Tiempo-Torrevillas and Noel Villalba.

Gamma Phi was adjudged the Most Outstanding Fraternity in 1970-1971. As service-oriented organisations, both Gamma Phi and Gamma Sigma had completed numerous projects ranging from sponsorship of cultural activities, academic advancements, fund-raising events, ushering and cleanliness drives. They were able to produce the Gil Lopez-Kabayao concert. They organised contests on campus such as spelling bees, quiz bowls, art contests and sports events, to name a few. Fund-raising activities included selling barbecues and food items at the booth during Founder's Day. Gammans and Gammanettes were popular volunteer ushers at church services and other university events.

When Martial Law as declared in 1972, all campus organisations went underground. Fraternity and sorority members went "under the roses" as warrants for their arrest were issued.Those were the lowest times in the history of PHS. Some members were arrested and confined in military stockades for expressing their views and were charged as anarchists and subversives. Still, clandestine recruitment continued and initiation rites were conducted in secluded places including a Camanjac farm and private homes of members.

In 1975, the SU Student Personnel Office reopened the registration of campus organisations, but Greek-letter fraternity and sorority names were banned. Gamma Phi and Gamma Sigma merged and revived its historical name "Pan Hellenic Society." This time, the student council had no objections to that name. Today, the Gammans and Gammanettes continue to serve Silliman University and the Dumaguete community under the original name of Pan Hellenic Society.

By 1975, its myriad projects included tree-planting and sponsorship of essay-writing contests, quiz bowls, shirt-design contests. Miss Silliman pre-pageant activities and ecosystem projects at Sumilon island and Lake Balinsasayao. PHS has sponsored scholarship projects such as the Nancy Uyan scholarship for nursing students. As part of its 45th anniversary celebration, a medical mission to a barangay in Siaton town was undertaken by PHS with much support from alumni healthcare professionals.


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