The Upstate New York – New England Chapter
UPMASA’s 37th Annual Grand Convention – Boston, MA July 3-7, 2022
This year’s Annual Grand Convention at the Boston Marriott Copley Place in Boston, MA is an event that is not to be missed. After having been thru 2 years of the COVID 19 pandemic in isolation and withdrawal from major events, UPCM alumni are about ready to return to some sort of normalcy while showcasing our resiliency amidst all odds. UPMASA is gathering again and is celebrating our Golden and Silver Jubilarian Classes 72A, 72B, 97, and all the other classes of UPCM from 1960 onwards. Aptly so, this year’s alumni reunion and convention will be at the academic center of the United States and The Cradle of Liberty – Boston, MA. Boston is best known for its famous Boston Common (the first public park), Boston Latin (the first public school), Fenway Park, the Boston Marathon, Harvard University/MIT, the bar from Cheers, the Big Dig (a precedent for smart urban planning around the globe), and of course, Facebook (the first social media network), making it one of the best cities in America – and the world. Deutsche Bank says Boston is the highest-ranking U.S. city in terms of quality of life and Money describes Boston as the best place to live in the Northeast. There will be countless things to do in Boston and each one should savor a sampling of the city’s art, music, and theatre.
It was just 3 years ago when the Upstate NY-New England Chapter submitted a bid to host UPMASA’s 2022 Annual Grand Convention. As soon as we were awarded as the host chapter, the AGC Boston organizing committee began its preparations thru our monthly Zoom planning meetings, and to this date, we are about ready to welcome you all from July 3-7, 2022. Attendees should look forward to an agenda full of updates about our alma mater and UPMASA projects, educational opportunities (CME), Pabidahan presentations, award presentations, a Gala night to formally celebrate our Jubilarians, music and dancing, and most importantly, catching up with classmates, new and old friends from across the United States and the Philippines.
Day 1 of the AGC starts off with a Sunday Catholic Mass in the morning and the Welcome Reception (Pabidahan) in the evening. Expect Pabidahan to be a well-subscribed showcase of class and chapter presentations geared to flaunt our alumni’s hidden talents. The BOG meeting the next day is expected to engage in policy and project discussions, while the rest of the alumni have a free day to enjoy the City of Boston and suburbs to celebrate Independence Day. We know that some of you will be going on trips to Martha’s Vineyard and Plimoth Plantation. Days 3 and 4 are CME days in the mornings with distinguished speakers from the US and the Philippines. The afternoons are scheduled for Alumni Business and Fraternity/Sorority Luncheon meetings. There is opportunity to connect with your respective classes in the afternoon/evening of Day 3 while our Awards and Gala night is on the evening of Day 4. The Pre-Gala Awards night is something to look forward to, especially for our Outstanding Alumni and Jubilarians. During the Gala night, our celebrating Jubilarians have prepared special presentations to mark their milestone anniversaries from UPCM. The Beantown Band is expected to provide everyone with the energy and joy while dancing to their music. On Day 5, the convention concludes with a Post-convention breakfast to further cement our friendships and look forward to the next time we gather again.
I am grateful to our AGC Boston organizing committee chairs, co-chairs, members and UPMASA’s national leadership and committee chairs for their dedication, commitment, diligence, hard work, and ample support in ensuring that we have a successful annual grand convention.
Our chapter is enthused about hosting you all! It will be a memorable time for everyone!
See you all in Boston!
Fe E. Diolazo-Festin, MD ’79
President, Upstate New York – New England Chapter
The Southern California Chapter
UPMASA Southern California Chapter
Rumie Su, MD UPCM Class 1978
Hello from sunny Southern California! After a hiatus of 7 years the UPMASA Southern California chapter is making a comeback!
The reinvigoration of the chapter began earlier in 2021, with a nudge from UPMASA National officers, expressing concerns about the chapter’s inactivity. After all, So Cal used to be an energetic and vibrant chapter, having hosted 3 previous AGC’s (1994, 2004, 2014) and participated in countless local and National activities!
A core group of chapter members, namely Drs. Penny Jacinto- Abad Santos, Emy Raval-Ros, Arnel Joaquin and myself responded to the UPMASA National call for revival, and a zoom meeting was set for May 23, 2021. About a week before that, a fire had broken out at PGH, damaging equipment in the operating rooms. We were contacted by Mr. Hero Yu from the Fr. Barbero Foundation for PGH Patients, appealing for donations to help replace the damaged OR equipment. Mr. Yu and a few other officers of the Fr. Barbero Foundation, together with Dr. Rus Querol, an assistant of Dr. Gap Legaspi participated in our meeting and shed light on the urgency of the situation. As a result, with the help of chapter members, their classmates, relatives and friends, we were able to donate $9,050.00 to the Foundation in July 2021, followed shortly by the turnover of newly purchased equipment. This amount was raised in the span of 2 months, with our chapter not even fully restructured!
Inasmuch as we did very well with our fundraising ability, our organizational efforts were sorely lacking! Fortunately, the UPMASA National BOG Chapter and Class Development Liaison Committee (CCDLC) held a “meet and greet” zoom meeting on November 14, 2021. Southern CA had the largest contingent, represented by six of our chapter members. Drs. Emy Raval-Ros, Penny Jacinto-Abad Santos, Coramine Ochoa-Strattan, Lani Quevedo who are seasoned chapter members and Drs. Nonong Jimenez and Enrico Sobong, newer members who expressed their desire to be active members of the chapter. Suggestions and ideas from different committee members regarding chapter development were welcomed.
With lessons learned from the November CCDLC meeting, a chapter zoom meeting was held on December 11, 2021. Acknowledgments are due to hardworking members Drs. Penny Jacinto- Abad Santos, Emy Raval-Ros, Coramine Ochoa-Strattan and Frank Quismorio for preparing the groundwork for this meeting. Dr. Bing Milla provided the unlimited zoom account for the chapter’s use. The meeting was attended by 28 chapter members.
Dr. Frank Quismorio opened our meeting aptly with a talk on The Early Years of UPCM. It was well researched and very informative and the membership opined that this lecture should be part of the UPCM curriculum for incoming freshmen.
Our first election after seven years resulted in the following slate of officers:
President – Rumie Su ‘78
President elect – Joel Gamo ‘85
Recording secretary – Nerissa Galang-Feather ‘81
Corresponding secretary – Arsenio Jimenez ‘69
Treasurer – Arnel Joaquin ‘89
Auditor – Ed Barcelona ‘72B
PRO – Hermie Villar ‘79
As we face the challenges of reorganization and regrouping, I believe that with the new found enthusiasm of our members, the UPMASA Southern California Chapter revival is well on its way!