UP Rayadillo
The Honor Guard Battalion

The UP ROTC was in line for a major change in the form of the addition of the Rayadillo into their ranks. Although there has been a model company existing in the ROTC since it has began, the Rayadillo would prove to be the “model” unit.

The call for a special “model unit” came from the office of the President of UP, then the famous diplomats and statesman, General Carlos P. Romulo upon his ascent into office. General Romulo felt that there was a need for an elite group of men. This would be a unit with the capability of executing a “military reception” for visiting and local dignitaries with all the characteristic “pageantry”, “glamor”, and military discipline.

A committee was formed to deliberate on the possibilities and relevance of creating such a unit. Those called into the historic meeting with Romulo were Ms. Iluminada Panlilio, the University Secretary; the acting UP ROTC Commandant, General Armurfo Banez (who was Captain at the time) and the tactical officer, Vanguard David Madrid. No sooner than it was approved, the task was quickly and vigorously undertaken. Within the second semester of SY 1962-1963, the task was fully accomplished and a special unit was born.; the UP Rayadillo “Honor Guard” Battalion.

 The name “Rayadillo” was adopted because of its historical significance. That it was the name given to the Elite Presidential Guards of President Aguinaldo during the Philippine Revolution of 1896, because of the blue cloth of their uniform which were uniquely pinstripped. To accurately and wholly give honor to those men of the Elite Guards, the present uniform of the Rayadillo was strictly patterned after the original paraphernalia, to the use of four types of headgears; the “demonito salakot”, the “buri” hat, the guinet cap, and the “upo-salakot”. Therefore, the “nationalization” process on-going today in UP may actually be attributed to the early dream and accomplishment of Romulo of a “Filipino” (in all aspects) model company.


General Romulo founded a legacy in the military through the introduction of the use “tagalog” commands during Raya formations as well. This adoption of the use of tagalog commands during drills was quickly followed by the Philippine Constabulary and later on by our Armed Forces of the Philippines as a whole. The Rayadillo was even more honored with the creation of the musical composition of the “Rayadillo March” to be played by the band during pageants. Finally, everything was set and the Rayadillo was ready to makes its mark in Philippine History.


The Rayadillo was inaugurated on August 18, 1962 during the Presentation of Sponsors of the Board of Regents. Since that time on, the Rayadillo has performed to the delight of several dignitaries, fellow students and countrymen alike. Exhibition ranging from parades for the President and the Vice President of the University of the Philippines, the Board of Regents, for the Philippines Congress and for the reception of the President of Mexico, President Suharto of Indonesia and Prince Akihito from Japan. And because of their military precision, the Rayadillo was justifiably regarded as the “Honor Company” of the Metropolitan Citizen Military Training Command, in Fort Bonifacio. Thus, proving that tested through time, the pursuit of honor, discipline and excellence has never waned for these attributes are at heart of every proud member of the elite group of men called the “Rayadillo”.


The original company of the Rayadillo was activated in Diliman in the 1960’s, upon the directive of U.P. President Carlos P. Romulo. When this photo was taken, the unit had expanded to a battalion composed of four infantry companies. Cadet privates were issued the M1 Garand rifle, CNCOs and guidon bearers the M1 carbine. The double ranks of cadets in each platoon indicate the use in this instance of the Old Drill Regulations (ODR) or Cadet Drill, as opposed to the more common New Drill Regulations (NDR).The entire Corps was adept at both systems for drill and ceremonies. – Photo and caption courtesy of Edwin Villarico, Dil 1981

Voice by: Mike Arribas