The Paddle

by Rigo Villacorta (Class 2022)

Warning: Explicit language and mature themes are included in this piece.



It is an implement used to strike a person’s thing. Until he passes out. Sometimes until he dies.

It consists of a wooden blade and a handle. But now it comes in many forms.

The paddle could be a slap in the face or a punch in the gut.

The paddle could be a curse word. A loud “putangina mo”, or something less explicit “ang tanga mo, bobo”.

The paddle could be humiliation – [to] lie on the mud and [to] pretend to be a sausage and make the sound of a crocodile.

Pa’no ‘pag niluluto yung sausage? Pa’no ‘pag kinakain yung sausage? Ganyan ba yun? Tanga.

The paddle is psychological torment. “‘Wala kayong kwenta, isa kang kahihiyan sa org na ito’, say it to yourself, ‘wala akong kwenta’.”

[Or] “No” with fucking conviction “WALA AKONG KWENTA, WALA AKONG KWENTA”.


The paddle is unlimited booze. “Drink these until you’re drunk. Drink these until you’re dead.”

The paddle is inappropriate decision-making. “Strip or quit. Eat this shit or quit. Suck this dog’s dick or quit.”

It is harassment. “Go to this place so I can fuck you.”

The paddle is exhaustion – an additional lap or 10 extra pushes.

The paddle is starvation and a liter of water for a whole lot of work.

The paddle is your work, burned and unappreciated.

The paddle is an encroachment of your personal life.

The paddle is a talent show. And they will taunt you in front of many people.

Sometimes it is masked as a formal interview. No. It is just a barrage of more insults and humiliation.


Many applicants, pledges and neophytes are told to trust the paddle.

“The paddle is good for you.”

“The paddle is good for the org.”

“The paddle is a simulation of real life.”

It is meant to teach you important lessons. This is tradition. Everyone goes through it. Trust the paddle.


If you want justice for Horacio, then you must also not believe in the paddle. Not in any of the type I mentioned above.

Not all forms of hazing will cause death, pero kung ‘yung lang kinukundena mo, that’s bullshit.

Stop hazing. ALL FORMS OF THEM.


Trust the paddle kuno. Did they think that if people have enough trust for the paddle, it wouldn’t cause them harm?


Seriously, when we are we going to stop these stupid traditions? Kapag may namatay na ulit? Kapag may nagpakamatay?




Ed.: This piece was originally a Twitter thread and was subsequently posted in Facebook on September 19 and 20, 2017, respectively. [Link:]

The Horacio in the piece refers to Horacio “Atio” Castillo, a freshman law student at the University of Santo Tomas who died after attending a supposed welcoming party by the Aegis Juris Fraternity on September 16, 2017. Castillo’s body was found wrapped in a blanket on a street, and covered in bruises and candle wax drips.


Disclaimer: The views set out in this piece are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of UP Medics.


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