UPAASF holds 1st Quarter Mixer

It was an experiment. We did not know what to expect. To make matters worse it was a (payday) Friday afternoon and traffic was snarled. To our pleasant surprise, 50+ alumni-Scholars ng Bayan, from a broad range of campuses, colleges and era, made it to UPAASF's first quarter mixer at the Philippine Center in San Francisco.

Designed to create a campus-like, "free and open" and fun-filled atmosphere, the mixer was an attempt to reach out to the Alumni – to those residing or working in San Francisco.

It was the first of its kind.

There were the "regulars" -- Atty's. Cesar & Vicki Ramirez (Law),Tanya S.R. Cruz(Eco),Cecile Ascalon (Mass Com),Sonia Delen,Ed &Jean Damasco (Pharmacy), Atty. MayAnne Teodoro (Law),Clod Gomez,Atty. Dennis Mesina (Law),Vic & Nelia Gacusan,Richie Dira(Law),Isagani Sarmiento Ph.D. (UPLB),Stella Mendieta (Music),Joe Santos(BSBA), Atty.Babes Ignacio (Law), Letty Quizon(MassCom),Gil Ongchangco (Engg.),Prof. Cesar Torres,Tourism Officer Gabby Agcaoili, Malu Yee and Gabby Moraleda (Engg.).

There were fresh faces – Rev. Arnold Zamora(Music), Rosalie Say (Eco),Joseph Gallao,Herminigilda Carino,Rhona Lansangan(Eco), Sonny Matawarn(BA), Glenda Manalastas(ChE),Consul Reichel Quinones (PoliSci),Acting Consul Gen. Jaime Ramon Ascalon,Jaime Cortez,Angel Pagaduan (UPLB), Frank Morales, Ian Bagabaldo, Vivian Araullo, Joyce Vives_Diloy, Rene Ciria Cruz,Eric Biglang-Awa (CAS),Tourism Director Rene delos Santos, Aldrin Tabo, Louie Laudencia (UP Forestry) and Mae Closa Williams. There were community leaders namely,Mr. Rudy Ascercion Executive Director of Westbay and Jafilam dela Cruz, President of the Filipino American Society of Architects and Engineers (FASAE).

It was emotional moment when Mae Closa Williams, a graduate of UPV Tacloban (2007), shared how her parents were without food and decent shelter for several days after Haiyan struck. She lamented that "things on the ground" are not moving as fast it should.

The highlight of the evening was a wonderful and inspiring (DVD) message by UP President Alfredo E. Pascual (PAEP). In his message, PAEP thanked the Association an said,

  • "I share in your joy as you hold your first alumni mixer."
  • "Your support was never more keenly felt than in the aftermath of super typhoon Yolanda."
  • "Your generosity continuous to encourage and inspire us."
He reported that UPV Tacloban and UP Manila School of Health Sciences in Palo were severely damaged. Haiyan (Yolanda) left a widespread trail of death and destruction and spared no one including UP staff,faculty and students. With compassion, PAEP said,
  • "Now we turn to rebuilding lives."
  • "Many students from Tacloban lost everything and yet they are determined to graduate."
UP faces a huge task of relocating both campuses because they are in a “no build danger zone”. With a sense of urgency, PAEP called on the alumni and said "We welcome your help. The gift of your expertise as well as your assistance in networking with supportive agencies." It will be a big undertaking.

In closing, Pres. Pascual said "UP's strength does not lie in its buildings but in its people, most importantly in you – the Alumni of our beloved University."

A timely call seeking a timely response – from us.

Ms. Letty Quizon and Sonia Delen reported on the state of affairs of the Association among them was the recently concluded summer cultural camp. Twenty FilAm students enrolled and were given scholarships by the Association. Mr. Gabby Moraleda gave a brief background on the interest paper "After Haiyan,Where?" and the status of his trip to Manila. UPAASF raised $ 4000+ for relief operation of UPV Tacloban. It is in collaboration with FASAE to do more.

To spice up the evening, music was provided by "Me and My Friends" band whose crooner is Mr. Bobby Dulay. Three band members are UPians Babes Ignacio, Kiko Delmendo and Frank Morales.

One member commented --- "UPians are known for their talent and hard work and they certainly know how to have fun." Well, we had more than that – fun plus fellowship --- hopefully lasting friendships.

"One good round deserves another." From the feedback we got, we would like to do it again – probably in another part of the Bay Area.

Stay tuned on www.upaa-sf.org and/or our FB account at UP Alumni Association San Francisco (to join our FB group, contact administrator is Ed Damasco -- ed_damasco@yahoo.com).

Sa ating muling pagsasama.