by Eagle Celso P. Mariano
PEIL Executive Director Emeritus
The Historic Rendezvous May 1979
THE EAGLES DAWN
They were barely six or seven when they initially met at the Aberdeen Court, Quezon Avenue, Quezon City. The second meeting was probably a bigger group perhaps only thirteen of them. No clear or specific agenda was prepared. Nothing was definite in the minds of the group except the fixed rendezvous at the Aberdeen Court. None of them consciously knew that the meetings they had hurriedly arrange were already the inception of a historical rendezvous which was to eventually have some fixed destiny in the country.
The nucleus group grew in numbers every time it met. The original paltry nucleus was composed of Nilo H. Raymundo, Pedro R. Balbanero, Celso P. Mariano, Cirsanto T. Saruca, Rizal Alberto C. Nolido, Eugenio E. Llarena, Elueterio C. Dumogho, Mel P. Samson, Lorenzo “Choc” Tolentino, Mel V. Diaz, Dominador DL. Ordenez, Ambrocio A. Valones and Arturo Purugganan, all prominent Lion members of District 301-D of Lions Clubs International.
For want of any fixed agenda, the discussion during the meetings of the nucleus group went on and on and meandered on a variety of topic and subjects. Although free-wheeling, the discussions were serious, analytical, perceptive and at times light and bantered.
Inevitably, they buckled down to the implacable controversy which beleaguered Lions District 301-D. The group fell that somewhat it had some stake in the problem because most of its members were occupying top positions in the Lions District. Some had expressed disappointments over the sharp divisions among the Lions which inexorably exacerbated because their leaders entirely failed to close ranks.
Earlier on, the group had Nilo H. Raymundo on deck to run as District Governor of Lion District 301-D. In fact, Raymundo was to have run earlier but temporized and postponed the seeking to another time. That time never came at all. The events and decisions that had shaped during the meetings entirely reversed any ambitions in the Lions organization. The group by some unwitting strong of fate, was already deciding to chart an entirely new but tenuous course history which brought into the offing the forming on an indigenous service organization conceived on strong brotherhood. The group staked their gambit and decided finally to take the historical risk. An indigenous civic organization ideologically crafted on strong fraternalism was soon to be born in less than a month after those series of historic rendezvous.
THE CRITICAL CHOICE
The inexorable decision of the nucleus group to form a Philippine-born fraternal civic organization spread like wild fire. The civic odyssey being launched by the group was welcomed with mixed feelings of approval, cynicism, and skepticism. The group was undaunted
Many names were proposed for the incipient indigenous civic organization. The first proposal was to name the organization after the tamaraw, an indigenous wild carabao. This did not do because the name was earlier pre-empted by another group. Some Lions (not the nucleus group) who later joined the Philippine civic Odessa suggested that the organization could perhaps be named Philippine Lions presumably it was perceived that the members of the nucleus group were all Lion members. The proposal was nonetheless rejected because the name itself would have been conflict-laden later on and it was the consensus of the group that it never wise to name the organization with controversial undercurrents.
Some suggested the name griffin which, in Greek mythology, is a creature with the head, wings, and forelegs of an eagle the body, hind legs, and tail of a lion. This name was likewise rejected by the group saying that the name of the organization should not be derived from a myth but from same reality.
Somebody proposed the name Lakan but was rejected as very parochial.
The group thought of the Philippine Eagle, an indigenous but endangered bird. The group’s immediate predilection for the name was visibly palpable. The group requested Celso P. Mariano and Crisanto T. Saruca to make a research and report as to whether or not the organization could have been name appropriately after the bird. Within a couple of days or so, Mariano and Saruca told the group that naming the organization after the Philippine Eagle was very appropriate saying that the Philippine Eagle is, after all, a majestic bird, courageous, noble and possessed with keen foresight. The group adopted the proposed name which is now. The Fraternal Order of Eagles (Philippine Eagles) or briefly the Philippine Eagles.
More than a mere civic organization, The Fraternal Order of Eagles (Philippine Eagles) is a historic brotherhood concord. The nucleus group believed that strong fraternalism should characterize its humanitarian service. It agreed that its guiding principle shall be SERVICE THROUGH STRONG BROTHERHOOD. The group issued a statement to the following effect:
We have called our organization The Fraternal Order of Eagles (Philippine Eagles) because we have chosen as our guiding principle SERVICE THROUGH STRONG BROTHERHOOD. The choice of the name was conscious and the idea behind the choice of the word “fraternal” is deliberate. We should, indeed, be brothers in service and the world “fraternal” precisely describes the quality of our bond. This Philosophy we want to intensify among us.