Trees are the longest living organisms on earth, the paradigm being the 4,300-year-old bristlecone pines in the White Mountains of California. Yet, almost paradoxically, some trees that spring from tiny seeds bear fruit and an abundance of more seeds in just 3, 5, or 7 years. We cannot help but see UP and the UPAA in that miracle of nature most people today just take for granted.
The University of the Philippines was founded in 1908. A scant five years later, the UP Alumni Association was organized by some of the first UP graduates on April 2, 1913, at the Hotel de France in Manila. Thanks to those dedicated predecessors of ours, we are this year, 2013, celebrating the UPAA Centennial.
It is fascinating to imagine that at 100 we are still very young. And we do feel young; that is why with a thrill the new UPAA Board of Directors for 2012-2015 embarked on our term of office on July 1, 2012, in enthusiastic anticipation of the imminent unfolding of the UPAA Centennial and the beginning of a new century of service to our alma mater come 2013.
CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION & PROJECTS
As one of our first steps, the UPAA Board, in a move to further clarify, tighten, and strengthen the UPAA Vision-Mission and Objectives, together with a new set of Values and Catchphrase, adopted the following in August 2012:
● The UPAA as a broad-based, united and strong body of fully supportive alumni members willing to commit their resources towards the attainment of its objectives.
● To lead the alumni of the University of the Philippines in concerted support of the alma mater’s mandate as the national university.
1. Provide organized alumni assistance to U.P. in its role as the country’s premier academic institution
● Raise funds
● Establish scholarships
● Engage expert services and advice on U.P.’s various activities
2. Contribute to a more effective participation of U.P. in the development of Philippine society
● Sponsor interactive programs and fora to tackle issues of national concern
3. Establish an efficient placement bureau to assist U.P. graduates and other alumni
● Compile a directory of organizations led by U.P. alumni
● Build and maintain an alumni profiling system
4. Acquire competence on various areas of social activity outside the U.P. System
● Establish a needs analysis system
U – United as ONE U.P.
P – Principled and proven Leadership
A – Active involvement in U.P. and Alumni activities
A – Ardent advocate of Philippine social transformation
“All as ONE to keep UP No. 1!”
Preparations for the UPAA Centennial celebration began as early as August 2012 with the crafting of a Centennial Theme or slogan. The Board approved the theme in September, worded as follows:
“Bagong Siglo. Bagong Sigla.”
The theme underscores the UPAA’s constancy of purpose bolstered by renewed vigor in facing new challenges as we forge ahead into our succeeding 100 years.
The next step was to emblazon the Centennial Theme in a distinctive Centennial Logo that would visually communicate the continuing vibrancy and unflagging spirit of the UPAA. We launched a Centennial Logo Design Contest among UP alumni, students, faculty members, and employees, with trophies and cash prizes at stake.
By early December 2012, a design based on an entry submitted by Isias Domingo L. Canay, a graduating College of Fine Arts student, was adjudged First Choice Winner.
The winning design is symbolic of the year-long UPAA Centennial festivities and the unfading energy and excellence of the UPAA and its many brilliant members.
Early in 2013, the UPAA kicked off its Centennial celebration on Palm Sunday, March 24, in UP Diliman, with an all-day “Alumni Family Fiesta,” consisting of three parts:
“Bagong Sigla Fun Run.” The race took off on a rousing gunstart at 5:30 A.M. Some 900 runners of both sexes and various ages in three groups — 3K, 6K, and 12K — ran around the UP Academic Oval and adjacent streets.
“Fiesta Games.” Fun-filled field games, like palo sebo, pabitin, piñata, tug-of-war, and table games such as scrabble, chess, and sungka, followed at 9:00 A.M. Two marching bands with dancing majorettes paraded around Ang Bahay ng Alumni and the track and field oval, which mushroomed with fiesta booths offering games, food and beverages, and various items.
“Bagong Siglo Bingo.” At 1:30 P.M., a bingo social with P150,000.00 in cash prizes reeled off at Ang Bahay. The first three regular games, aside from extra games and surprise raffle prizes, gave P10,000.00 each to the lucky gamers; the fourth game yielded P20,000.00 to the winner; while the fifth game shelled out P100,000.00 to three ecstatic bingo callers who shared the pot.
On April 2, the 100th Foundation Day of UPAA, the oil portraits of all thirty UPAA Presidents, past and present, were formally unveiled at 3:00 P.M. in the UPAA Board Room at Ang Bahay ng Alumni.
The guests of honor were four of the nine living past UPAA Presidents, namely: Atty. Estelito P. Mendoza, Lt. Gen. Jaime delos Santos (ret.), UP President Alfredo E. Pascual, and Regent Ponciano E. Rivera, Jr., who is also the incumbent UPAA president. Atty. Mendoza thanked the Board in behalf of the past UPAA presidents.
The oil portraits had been executed gratis by members the College of Fine Arts Alumni Foundation, Inc. (CFAAFI), headed by its president, UPAA Executive Director Romeo S.A. Carlos.
To memorialize and generate nationwide awareness of the UPAA Centennial, the Board arranged for the issuance of UPAA Centennial Commemorative Stamps by the Philippine Postal Corporation (PHLPOST). Four stamp designs were created – featuring well-known UP and UPAA icons such as the Oblation, the Carillon, Ang Bahay ng Alumni, plus the new UPAA Centennial Logo.
The Commemorative Stamps were officially launched at Ang Bahay ng Alumni on April 2, 2013, at 4:00 P.M. Souvenirs are available, as of this writing, at the UPAA Office at Ang Bahay ng Alumni, R. Magsaysay Ave., UP Diliman Campus, Quezon City, in the four formats below, with their corresponding prices:
1. Souvenir Stamps Block of four stamps (4 designs) P50.00
2. “First-Day Cover” Letter envelope with the Oblation and Centennial Logo on the left, block of four stamps on the right P150.00
3. “Souvenir Folder” Illustrated color brochure with the messages of UP President Alfredo E. Pascual and UPAA President Ponciano E. Rivera, Jr. P350.00
4. “Souvenir Frame” First-Day Cover and four (4) blocks of four stamps, with a PHLPOST write-up addressed to the purchaser, signed by the Postmaster General. P1,500.00
As part of the UPAA Centennial celebration, the UP Diliman Tennis Club (UPDTC) hosted a tennis tournament at the UP Tennis Courts in the Diliman campus on April 20, 2013. Tennis-playing U.P. alumni, former Varsity tennis players, members of the UPDTC, as well as former Philippine government luminaries participated.
The UPDTC, a registered chapter of the UPAA, took the opportunity to hand over to the UPAA its annual donation (P60,000.00 this year) for the scholarships of Varsity tennis players.
The UPAA commissioned the creation of a UPAA Centennial Song. A talented College of Music alumnus, Leo Quinitio, admirably responded with a lively composition in Filipino. The lyrics are as follows:
“Bagong Siglo. Bagong Sigla.”
|Kung hindi ngayon ay kailan? Kung hindi tayo, eh sino?Magiting at matapang, Ating paninindiganPinag-alab na diwa, Hubo’t hubad, malaya (yeah)!|
|Bagong siglo, bagong sigla!Mas matingkad na luntian at pulaBagong siglo, bagong sigla!Mas matinding paglilingkod sa Inang BansaPaglilingkod sa taong ang tanging katambal
Ay husay at dangal, At pusong nakakintal
Ang U.P. Naming Mahal
|Tuloy ang ikot ng mundo, Kailangan ang ating talinoPag-asa tayo ng bayan, Mag-ingay na’t magdiwangMakukulay nating Sablay, Sabay-sabay iwagayway!|
SiningSaysay Historical Mural
A pet UPAA project that harks back to the term of President Gari M. Tiongco (2006-2009), SiningSaysay will be an imposing thirty-piece 6 ft. x 12 ft. mural of Philippine history – the collective opus of thirty members of the College of Fine Arts Alumni Foundation, Inc. (CFAAFI).
Nearing completion, the SiningSaysay mural will be set up before the culmination of the UPAA Centennial in a prominent location at the UP Institute for Small-Scale Industries in UP Diliman, or at the 5th Floor of the New Gateway Center at the Araneta Center in Cubao, Quezon City.
Recently launched “Mga Tanghalang Bayan” is an integrated performing arts workshop on acting, dancing, and singing in Filipino. With Ang Bahay ng Alumni as venue over four weeks, three hours per day, Monday to Friday, the workshop is open to all UP alumni, students, and faculty members for a fee of just P3,600.00.
The workshop is conducted by acclaimed film-TV-theater director Behn Cervantes, nominee for a UPAA Lifetime Achievement Award. He is assisted by other UP alumni who have made names for themselves in the performing arts.
Planned as an October 2013 UPAA Centennial event, the RJ Retro-Hits Concert is expected to score a hit among elderly and not-so-elderly UP alumni who remain enamored with the rhythms of yesteryears.
The affair is being arranged by the UPAA-SURP (School of Urban and Regional Planning) Chapter, which staged the “Green Guitar”/“Isandaang Pitik, Isandaang Pik para sa Kalikasan” Concert, a summit of guitarists with Ramon Jacinto, Ely Buendia, The Octaves, Noel Cabangon, Barbie, and other artists at the UP Sunken Garden on April 26, 2013, in celebration of Earth Day.
At the 2012 Homecoming and Reunion, the UPAA received a donation of P1,100,000.00 from the Golden Jubilarians led by GMA Chairman and CEO Atty. Felipe L. Gozon for the installation of an elevator at Ang Bahay ng Alumni.
For a lift that will go up to the third floor, the UPAA has received two quotations from Otis Elevators:
- Screw-type, for 5 persons, Swedish-made, P2,600,000.00
- Cable-type, for 3 persons, Japanese-made, P1,600,000.00
The proposals, however, do not include the cost of the civil works for the installation. The Board is weighing the option of asking for additional contributions from alumni donors.
The newly completed UP Men’s Basketball Team Gym (beside the UP Gym) was inaugurated on June 15, 2013, exactly one week before the Alumni Homecoming. The seed money came about 20 years ago from then Senator John Osmeña. Unfortunately, the donation was just enough for the flooring and the roof. Thus, for two decades the UP-MBT Gym’s future hung in the balance – do or make do.
An all-star team was finally assembled to finish the job – in the likes of Sonny Belmonte, Manny Pangilinan, Robina Gokongwei-Pe of Robinsons Handyman and Robinsons Supermarkets, Raffy Villavicencio of Filoil, Doy Vea of Digitel (Sun Cellular), Alpha Sigma Fraternity; and, of course, the UPAA, represented by UP-MBT co-managers Chitong Rivera, Bong Somera, Bert Mendoza, Rico Domingo and Rey Madrid. .
The new gym augurs well for the UP Fighting Maroons. Since practicing in the facility, they have racked up a string of victories in pre-UAAP tournaments.
The UPAA Website, maintained gratis by the UnionBank IT Department by virtue of a MOA between the UPAA and UnionBank under its president and UPAA Director Victor B. Valdepeñas, used as benchmarks those of highly esteemed institutions such as Harvard University, et al. It is intended as the primary medium for interactive communication between the UPAA and UP alumni worldwide. They can learn about the latest news, events, and projects of the UPAA, as well as make payments and donations to the UPAA through the PayPal money transfer feature of the site.
In our rapidly advancing technological world, yesterday’s brilliant breakthroughs are today’s white elephants, so much so that the UPAA Website needs continuing upgrading and enhancing. With the help of Ms. Fe Ferriols and the Ink Elephant Design Studio team, who themselves are alumni of UP College of Fine Arts, in collaboration with UnionBank, UPAA is steadily improving the current website with the latest trends in web development, converting it to Responsive Web Design to improve readability and navigation on all internet devices. Ink Elephant Design Studio was also able to enhance the back-end of the website to make it easier for UPAA administrators to moderate and update.
“Upholding the tradition of UP excellence”
In line with one of the UPAA’s objectives, i.e., “Establish an efficient placement bureau to assist U.P. graduates and other alumni” and towards its accomplishment “Compile a directory of organizations led by U.P. alumni,” the Board gave the go signal for a website section named UPHOLD, an acronym for “University of the Philippines Organization Leaders Directory.”
The directory will feature UP alumni who are leaders – top executives to middle managers – in their respective organizations: business, government, professional, social, civic, religious, sports, etc. A UP alumnus may have several entries if he or she is the leader of more than one organization. UPHOLD will maintain each entry for a period of at least six (6) months from the date of publication – free of charge. Simply email data to [email protected].
To ensure tighter security in the premises of Ang Bahay ng Alumni, as well as the Alumni Hostel, the UPAA Board will install CCTV cameras in strategic locations both inside and outside the two buildings.
The cameras will operate 24 hours per day for 20-40 days, after which the recorded video will auto-erase, unless there is a backup hardware for storage.
A bi-monthly public service project of the UPAA, “Kapihan ng Bayan sa U.P.” aims to serve as a vehicle for intelligent and constructive discussion of issues relevant to the Filipino people’s advancement as a nation. In a democracy like ours, such public discourse is a valuable tool for guiding the national leaders and all concerned citizens to collectively confront and attempt to resolve the challenges posed by these issues.
The Kapihan is held at the Luciano E. Salazar Hall of Ang Bahay ng Alumni in U.P. Diliman, Quezon City, every third Tuesday at 3:00-5:00 P.M., with leading authorities on each topic as resource persons.
“Mining Issues and Environmental Concerns.” October 23, 2012: Kapihan addressed this festering issue that had been in the news intermittently for decades.
“Political Dynasties.” February 23, 2013, Kapihan tackled this timely issue that had begun to percolate in the public mind as the May 13, 2013, mid-term election drew near.
“The Sabah Claim.” April 23, 2013: Kapihan waded into troubled waters in view of the recent bloody incursion into Sabah of 200 members of the “Royal Army” of the Sultan of Sulu.
“Keeping Mind and Body Young and Healthy.” June 11, 2013: Kapihan hosted the UP Medical Alumni Society (UPMAS) for the latter’s continuing medical education series “Seasons of Life II: Wellness throughout the Lifespan” Conducted in a talk show format, the symposium delved into the topic “Defying Time and Genetics: Keeping Mind and Body Young and Healthy.”
The UPAA does not miss participating in the annual UP Lantern Parade, which has become a yearly media event. At the Lantern Parade of December 21, 2012, the new UPAA Centennial Theme and Logo were prominently displayed to the UP community and national TV viewers via the networks’ cameras.
The UPAA officers and other members of the contingent rode on a ten-wheeler float festooned with eye-catching images of the Centennial Logo.
The UPAA Alumni Institute is a means for the University’s interaction with its alumni and for the continuing education and professional development of the graduates. The first regional Alumni Institute was held in Cebu City in November 1976.
In recent years, the Institute has been held in Davao City; Tagbilaran, Bohol; Cabugao, Ilocos Sur; Tuguegarao, Cagayan; and neighboring Asean cities, such as Brunei Darussalam; Bangkok; Bogor, Indonesia; and Singapore. The Institute also serves as a stimulus for the founding of more UPAA chapters in the provinces and abroad, as well as the reactivation of many dormant UP alumni associations.
40th Alumni Institute at UP Visayas. Held at the UPV campus in Iloilo City on April 12-13, 2013, with the cooperation of the UP Visayas Alumni Association. A workshop on “Productivity through Values Formation” was conducted on the first day, sponsored by PR Bank and the UP College of Business Administration Alumni Association. In the morning of the second day, a lecture-forum on “Political Dynasties” was held, followed by the Alumni Association Presidents’ Meeting in the afternoon.
Your UPAA President and Alumni Regent, Ponciano E. Rivera, Jr., presented the events lined up for the rest of the year-long UPAA Centennial celebration.
The UP Alumni Council is the advisory body of the UPAA composed of University officials, deans and directors, past and present members of the UP Board of Regents, incumbent UPAA Board of Directors, current officers of UPAA chapters, distinguished alumni awardees, and others designated by the UPAA Board of Directors.
Traditionally meeting one day before the annual UPAA Grand Alumni-Faculty Homecoming and Reunion, the UP Alumni Council, by the time you read this, should have already convened on June 21, 2013, at Ang Bahay ng Alumni. This year’s Alumni Council has the theme “Bagong Siglo, Bagong Sigla – Balik-Tanaw, Tugon sa Bagong Hamon,” a takeoff from the UPAA Centennial Theme.
The annual Homecoming and Reunion, today highlighted by the recognition and presentations of Jubilarians (Diamond, Golden, Ruby, and Silver) and the Distinguished Alumni Awards, began on April 9-10, 1970, with the UP Alumni Conference.
In 1983, the homecoming was held at the Philippine International Convention Center in Manila. The next two reunions were held at the National Engineering Center in UP Diliman. From 1986 to 1992, the Fiesta Pavilion of Manila Hotel served as the venue; while in the following year, it was the UP Film Center. From 1994 onwards, the venue has been Ang Bahay ng Alumni, except for 2008, when the homecoming was held at the Araneta Coliseum to accommodate the larger number of alumni, faculty and others who celebrated the UP Centennial.
For the UPAA Centennial Homecoming and Reunion on June 22, 2013, two adjoining venues had been chosen: Ang Bahay for the reception and dinner; and the UP Theater for the program proper.
Billed as the “card for the iskolar ng bayan,” the UPAA-Visa Credit Card, a project of the UPAA and UnionBank under its president, UPAA Director Victor B. Valdepeñas, offers UP alumni special discounts and privileges in various establishments. The availability of the card was published in the UPAA website in August 2012.
Each time the UPAA-Visa card is used, a percentage of spend is automatically donated to the UPAA towards its educational, healthcard, livelihood, and other projects.
A PhP2-million fund for typhoon victims, named “Pagbangon Fund” after the “Pagbangon Benefit Concert” in 2009, augmented by contributions from UPAA alumni and proceeds from the auction of artworks donated by UP alumni artists, the fund has been renamed General Calamity Fund, so that it can be apportioned to other beneficiaries other than the Botolan, Zambales, residents for which it had been originally intended.
A PhP500,000.00 check from the Fund has been given to the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC), which has a list of the areas that are most in need of assistance. UPAA Davao also received a UPAA check for PhP500,000.00, which was used to buy G.I. sheets for some 200 families rendered homeless by typhoons.
Created by a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between UP President Alfredo E. Pascual and CARD-MRI Development Institute’s Dr. Jaime Aristotle B. Alip, an award-winning microfinance expert, the project aims to mobilize funds from UP alumni to assist Mga Iskolar ng Bayan in need.
To be administered by the UPAA, the student loans will come from donations by UP alumni, matched with identical amounts by CARD-MRI for livelihood loans to help the parents with the repayments. UP alumnus Atty. Arnel Casanova, BCDA President, jumpstarted the project with a donation of PhP100,000.00, while CARD-MRI put up the same amount as counterpart.
The student loans will be up to PhP10,000.00 each, at an interest of 1% per month on a diminishing method, payable in 1, 3, or 6 months, on a weekly, semi-monthly, monthly, or lump sum basis.
A project of the UP Alumni Cooperative (UPAC), “Botika sa U.P.” is designed to augment and complement the medicinal products supplied by the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) to the U.P. Health Service (UPHS) with lower priced generic medicines.
A meeting is being arranged among UP-PGH officers, UP Health Service (UPHS) Pharmacy staff, and UP Alumni Cooperative leaders to make assurances that the UPAC “Botika sa U.P.” will not take over or replace the UPHS Pharmacy.
As we write finis to the annals of our first century and chronicle our work on the first pages of a new volume, we declare our unflagging resolve to forge on, with constancy of purpose enlivened with renewed vigor, in providing organized alumni assistance to U.P. in its role as the country’s premier academic institution. That is our unchanging commitment — to continue contributing to a more effective role of UP in the development of Philippine society.
I wish all homecoming UP alumni and faculty a most enjoyable and memorable Centennial reunion – whose echoes and images, I believe, will last for a lifetime, if not for another 100 years.
Regent Ponciano E. Rivera, Jr.
UPAA President and Alumni Regent