By: Harold de Guzman (Class 2023), Rory Nakpil (Class 2024), and Josh Protacio (Class 2023)
Responding to the call of this year’s UP Medical Alumni Society (UPMAS) homecoming theme, “Uwi na Po”, celebrating classes 1993, 1958, 1968, and friends led the annual UPMAS parade last December 19, 2018 through the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) and the College of Medicine (CM) campus.
It was a joyous occasion for the alumni to stroll down memory lane, meet, and interact with former classmates, colleagues, friends, and even students (in the form of marshalls, organizers, and official “welcomers” from the various organizations, fraternities, and sororities). It was an opportunity for them to discuss and see for themselves what has changed and stayed the same throughout the years, and come home to the medical school and hospital that nurtured them into the medical professionals that they are today.
This year’s UPMASA homecoming festivities, hosted by the celebrating classes 1993 (silver), 1958 (ruby), and 1968 (gold), began early in the morning with a solemn mass in the PGH chapel. It was followed by registration and voting for the officers of the Alumni Association, and an opening ceremony at the plaza of the PGH flagpole, behind the statue of the Oblation. The view of the PGH facade perhaps served as a reminder of their home back during their time in medical school and working as members of the hospital staff in PGH.
The over 400 Attendees came sporting their batch shirts, each batch having a different color. Breakfast was provided by the PGH Dietary Department, and while the rest of the company was enjoying the food, batches were called to take their pictures in front of the oblation with Chancellor Carmencita D. Padilla, Dean Charlotte M. Chiong, PGH Director Dr. Gerardo Legaspi, and Special Assistant to the Dean Dr. Irma Makalinao. Dr. Jericho “Ricky” Luna, president of the Silver Jubilarian Class 1993, served as the MC and prompter during the breakfast event.
Following these activities, the parade through PGH and the UP Manila campus began. Class 1958 made a quick stop at the fourth floor, where they visited the fruits of their donation to the renovation of a wing in the hospital. The parade undoubtedly was a trip down memory lane for the alumni batches as they reminisced their medical student days. Batch headers gave updates and news regarding renovations and changes as they traversed the route.
“Tanda niyo pa ba ‘yong third floor roofdeck sa Calderon? It’s now a covered area! Itong luma nating library? Gigibahin na!” Dr. Ricky said to his batchmates as they crossed the gate separating the PGH and the CM tambayan areas.
As they reached the tambayans, medical student marshalls and volunteers led the alumni through the campus. The alumni were greeted by the different institutions and organizations of the College. The different stations set up by the organizations, fraternities, and sororities served as photo booths for the alumni, giving them one last chance to cherish the tambayans before they are demolished.
The parade ended in Buenafe Hall, where a business meeting transpired among the different attendees involving the state and plans for the university, college, PGH and UPMAS, which were delivered by the Chancellor, Dean, Director, and UPMAS president respectively.
The final event for the day commenced after a lunch break: the annual Pabidahan program, this time organized by UPCM Class 1998, which featured variety of performances from the different batches, followed by the annual Pabidahan program.
This year’s parade was organized by Dr. Faye Cagayan of UPCM Class 1993 with her student liaison for the marshalls, MSC Vice Chairperson Danee Mangila of UPCM Class 2022.
Though stressful to organize and pull together, Mangila felt that their efforts were worth it after seeing the alumni come together to enjoy the festivities. She fondly recalls a moment during the picture-taking of Class 1958, where Class 1993 recognized their medical school professors and got to celebrate this homecoming alongside them. Student volunteers and marshalls, happy to see the old and new faces of the UPCM alumni, greeted them enthusiastically and learned the respective class cheers.
This is the last set of events before the annual UPMAS Homecoming Ball on December 20, 2018, having been preceded by an Open Golf Tournament held in Laguna (December 14, 2018), a fun run in UP Diliman (December 16, 2018),and an educational seminar on a Holistic Approach to Preventive Medicine in Diamond Hotel (December 17, 2018).