THE TRISKELION COLORS
Bro. Ray R. Ramirez, MDG
Sec Gen Los Angeles/Southern California
Over the years, certain matters come into light, some seen
in a different light. Such is our Fraternity's history and other facts and allegories closely related.
When I joined
the frat in 1972, all 4 founding fathers still frequented the "tambayan" on an almost daily basis. In fact it was Rod Confesor's
brilliant and eloquent delivery at the orientation that made me and seven others decide to join Tau Gamma Phi that Friday
evening in late August, one of them the late Allen Hernandez (former Sec. Gen 1976). The seal we had to "kiss" was actually
done in primary colors: red, yellow and blue. Even the decals and silk-screened t-shirt logos were done in 3 colors. I could
only assume the 3 primary colors equated with the 3 dynamic forces of "Fortis, Voluntas and Fraternitas". In the '1990's,
these dynamic forces were even likened to the Triune God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit); go figure.
If I am not mistaken,
my "ka-batch", Roland "Adi" Adriano, who later transferred to NU and worked for KBS involved in TV productions, made possible
the procurement of reflectorized decals. Either his father, or another close relative, worked for 3M Philippines and that
we were given a handsome discount for a minimum order of 500 pieces but only in 2 colors since 3 would bump up the price,
considering the cost of offset printing in those days (1973 BC, "before computers"). So a decision was made to use black
and gold since the contrast made the 3 legged symbol glow when light, esp headlights, reflected upon it. For P2.00 each, half
a day's allowance for a typical college kid in those days, the brods snatched them up like crazy, sticking them on wallets,
briefcases, "Cattleya" notebook covers and car bodies, windshields and other windows.
I was at a gun show some years
back, rummaging through military "distinguished insignias", enameled metal "pins" worn on headgear such as berets and garrison
caps. One such item caught my attention: a 3 legged symbol in gold on a round, green background with the word "FORTIS"
below. I thought to myself, since Tito Venida was a history major, could he have come across this symbol before his inception
of forming a fraternity? In 1967, Star Trek had an episode entitled " The Gamesters of Triskelion" about inhabitants of a
solar system with 3 stars (suns) who were always gambling with each other, pitting intergalactic Gladiators in fights to the
death, betting on who wins and what the odds were. Captain Kirk engaged an alien warrior in hand-to-hand combat in an arena
with the 3 legged symbol painted on the floor of battle. I guess the brods' penchant for "pusoy" is just a coincidence. But
clearly, Tito could have been, and still probably is, a "TREKKIE".
I still have one surviving decal, affixed to my
leather checkbook cover since 1979, still intact to this day. How are we to know that from such trivial beginnings, noble
principles could be derived? It is a classic version of "function following form" and "the means justifying the ends". Pure
symbolism, yet true to principle. And it takes real Triskelions to find the true meaning of our norms and ideals and live
our lives according to them.