Christmas Luncheon 2012

It was raining hard the night before and the morning forecast was more of the same. If the belief that weather dampens attendance, this meant there was a strong possibility that attendance was at risk. To our surprise the weather did not dampen the UP spirit as 40 guests (alumni, friends and family) attended UPAASF's Dec 2 Christmas Luncheon at Chevy's Restaurant in Foster City.

Hosted by Legal Counsel Richie Dira, the afternoon began with the usual welcome and introduction of guests. In his brief message, Deputy Consul General Jaime R Ascalon gave his Christmas greetings and well wishes to the group. Incoming President Letty Quizon of ABS-CBN Foundation announced and invited everyone to the Induction of Officers on January 27, Sunday, at One Ferry Plaza Restaurant in San Francisco. She reinforced her commitment to Westbay and the Mentoring Program.

Among those who came were fresh faces such as Cecile Gregorio Ascalon, a mass communications graduate and wife of Consul Ascalon, Mark Joseph Tan who is taking up advanced computer courses at the Carnegie Mellon extension campus in Mountain View, Marlyn Corpuz a BS Industrial Pharmacy graduate of 2011 and is pursuing a higher degree in biotechnology. Mr. Jun Abrajano of UPAAA was attending a conference in San Francisco and was able to join us.

During lunch, BOD member Gil Ongchangco with help from Westbay ED Rudy Asercion, led the group in singing Christmas carols. Tina Novero, Westbays consultant on Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Program gave a report – outlining the positive impact of the Mentoring Program on the kids enrolled at their Center. After Tina's report, UPAASF handed over $1000.00 to Westbay as its 2013 commitment.

A special feature of the afternoon was the "commissioning" of BOD member Dr. Isagani "Gani" Sarmiento. Gani is headed for Manila as a Balik Scientist and will work with DOST on how to make Quality and Productivity a norm rather than an exception in the Philippines. He asked the group – why is there a difference in quality of work protocols and personal behavior between the (previously US occupied) Subic Bay area and the City of Olongapo or between the International Rice Research Institute and UP Los Banos when both areas are contiguously located -- just divided by an imaginary fence ? Hmm…a thought provoking question -- indeed. A special article on this will follow.

The last part of the afternoon was the raffle and exchange gifts and fellowship. A great afternoon spent. Cheers and a Merry Christmas and a Joyous New Year!!