July 17, 2006 — University of the Philippines President Dr. Emerlinda Roman inducted the 2006-2007 UPAANC Berkeley chapter officers led by re-elected President Romi Beza in simple but meaningful ceremonies yesterday evening at Oakhurst Country Club in Clayton, CA. The 4-hour affair started at 4PM and was emceed by event chair Frank Batara. Sworn into office along with Romi Beza were 1st Vice-President Alexis Alcantara-Zulueta, 2nd Vice-President Frank Batara, Treasurer Henrietta Fajardo-Boyd, Auditor Ike Tiongson, Secretary Janine Castillo, Assistant Secretary Rose Ramos and Parliamentarian Joe Aliling. Alexis, Henrietta and Joe, like Romi, also retained their respective positions from the last administration. Also inducted were three new chapter members, namely, Manny Molina, Polly Cortez and Lito Utleg. Three other new members couldn’t attend the ceremonies.
Close to 50 people attended yesterday’s event that was organized to coincide with Dr. Roman’s 2-week USA visit. She actually arrived near noontime yesterday from Chicago where she also attended that chapter’s summer picnic . Dr. Roman arrived in the USA on July 5 and attended earlier functions with the New York, New Jersey and Dallas chapters.
Aside from Dr. Roman, other notable UP alumni guests in attendance were UP Alumni Association of America President Ted Aquino, former UP Professor Cesar Torres and Bay Area Fil-Am activist Satur Respecio. Former chapter presidents Minda Azarcon, Lettie Figueroa, Norma Lacambra, Ceny Duldulao, Jay Castro, Vangie Quesada, Raffi Rey and Joe Aliling led the attendance among the chapter members. In the usual Berkeley chapter style, musical presentations were rendered by chapter members Iris Llavanes, James Trinidad, Minda Azarcon, Ike & Cora Tiongson and Ulysses Dumdum to liven-up the affair.
Dr. Roman took the opportunity to update the Berkeley chapter community on the latest news from Diliman, including the university’s continued excellence in the bar and dental board examination, the successful Mt. Everest climb of alumnus Romi Garduce and the Philippine Madrigals’ recent international honors (please refer to the earlier-posted article in this section). Ever the champion of her fellow educators, Dr. Roman again appealed to the alumni to support the UP Professorial Chair program which aims to supplement the meager salaries of the faculty. Looking forward, Dr. Roman also invited — nay, insisted — all to join the university’s centennial celebration in 2008.
For his part, Romi Beza exhorted chapter members to be sensitive to the needs of the university in particular and the Philippines in general. He mentioned some of the accomplishments of his first term of office and mentioned projects that are in the pipeline. He then presented the current standing and special committee chairpersons, namely: Advisory — Cherry Utleg, Communications — Janine Castillo, Grants — Alexis Zulueta, Membership — Henri Boyd, Music — Henry Torres, Philantropy/Scholarship — Budit FlorCruz, Protocol — Ceny Duldulao and Projects Review — Daisy Rodriguez.
The program ended as it began — with Minda Azarcon leading the assembly in a spirited rendition of UP Beloved/UP Namin Mahal. Kudos to Frank Batara for a successful and smoothly-run event! Thanks also to Alexis Zulueta (e-vite), Janine Castillo (phone tree), Henri Boyd (phone tree), Diosy Rey (reception) and Lito & Cherry Utleg (tablecloths/floral centerpieces) for their valuable assistance!