Today, I was on the phone with Ted Aquino, the president of the University of the Philippines Alumni Association in America (or UPAAA) and one of the board members of the U.P. Alumni Association of San Francisco, Inc., the host of this year’s annual gathering. I had never attended a U.P. reunion anywhere in the world so I was curious what the requirements for membership in the San Francisco organization entailed.
“U.P. graduates who live in the San Francisco Bay Area automatically become members of UPAASF,” Ted explained. “There are no membership fees. Whoever wants to volunteer is welcome!”
“I didn’t even know this, Ted,” I exclaimed in surprise. “I’m a member?”
“Yes, you’re a member,” Ted answered. (Now, I’m thinking, I had better tell Nerissa, Jacqui, Myrna, and all my U.P. friends here in the Bay Area about this.)
He provided more information. “Other chapters, such as the U.P. Association of Northern California (Berkeley) have membership dues. There’s also the newly-formed University of the Philippines Alumni Association – Sacramento.”
Well, let’s help spread the word! If you have any U.P. friends and family members who would like to spend a wonderful “Indian Summer” holiday/reunion weekend in San Francisco, they can register here.
You can also get more information about the planned activities from the UPAASF’s website. Workshop sessions, a golf tournament, a bowling tournament, a fellowship night, and a gala night celebration are in the works. Dr. Emerlinda Ramos Roman, the 19th president of the Philippines’ premier state university, is expected to be the keynote speaker for this event.
The theme of the 2007 UPAAA General Assembly and Convention is “Celebrating the U.P. Legacy! Forging the Next U.P. Century!”
“There is a huge opportunity for all of us to reverse the brain drain in the Philippines. We can do a lot for our alma mater, even if we are here in America” Ted Aquino continued, convinced that the Overseas Filipino Worldwide can make substantial tangible and intangible contributions. “This event celebrates U.P.’s 100 years of great education and the attendees will help forge a vision for its next 100 years.”
“Ted, I’m hoping that U.P. will conduct a future search summit soon,” I suggested. The Future Search Summit that had been convened by the Filipina Women’s Network in 2006 inspired me to strongly recommend this type of planning meeting to other community-based organizations.
We agreed to discuss the future search process at another date.
In the meantime, I hope to be in town for this convention. If I am, yes, this will be my first-ever attendance at a U.P. alumni gathering.