Celebrations, converges, commemorations, care

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Proclamation Order 539

Malacañang issued Proclamation Order 539, signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on 25 July 2018, recognizing the Upsilon Sigma Phi as the oldest student organization in the University of the Philippines and declaring 2018 as “year for the celebration of the centennial anniversary” of the fraternity. P539 recognizes Upsilon, also the oldest Greek letter student fraternity in Asia, for its significant contributions to numerous civic and humanitarian causes, as well as the dedication and commitment of its members to public service and nation-building.

100 Years, 100 Smiles

The Upsilon’s One Hundred Years, One Hundred Smiles project aims to provide cleft repair surgery for 100 children in cooperation with the Smile Train Foundation.

Every year, 200,000 Filipino children are born with a cleft lip or palate. When left unchecked, this impairs the child’s ability to eat, breathe or speak properly. Although the surgery to repair the cleft only takes 45 minutes and costs P12,000, it changes the course of the recipients’ lives for the positive immeasurably.

Johnder is one such child. He was born to Badjao parents who used to live in a coastal community in Sulu where the incidence of cleft was prevalent. Upon hearing of the opportunity for free reconstructive surgery program Johnder’s parents relocated to Davao, where they built a house on stilts over waters in the outskirts of the city and and where they hawked sunglasses to earn for their son’s future. Today, Johnder is seven years old and has begun school. He is no longer afraid of being bullied and is looking forward to each day of class. More importatly, he now smiles withouth the restraint of embarassment and ridicule.
This year, One Hundred Years, One Hundred Smiles started in August. In October, they reached their target of 100 surgeries.

‘Upsilon Cares’

On 29 September, the First Technical and Administrative Service Brigade, NCR (Reserve), of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), led by Fellow Brigadier Gen. Peter Suchianco, ’83 and the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) led by Fellow Jaime Mora ’91, embarked on Upsilon Cares, a health and environment outreach program along the lake shores of San Antonio, Bay, Laguna.

It was held in partnership with Upsilon Sigma Phi Los Baños Alumni Association, headed by chairman Albert Ocampo ’83, and president Gigoy Tayao ’83, and USPLB residents led by IF McNeil Alvarez.

The event is one of the many tree planting activities lined up for USPLB alumni association in line with LLDA’s mission and vision to protect and preserve Laguna Lake by planting mangrove trees on its shores.

Upsilonian and Sigma Deltan doctors together with the AFP medical team conducted a medical and dental mission where they also distributed free vitamins and medicines.
Upon its conception, Upsilon Cares evolved into various outreach programs from medical and legal missions to tree planting activities.

‘Bangkaw sa Mindanaw’

From 4 to 8 November, Upsilon Sigma Phi circumnavigated Mindanao by land, sea and air in Bangkaw sa Mindanaw headed by its Davao alumni association. A biennial gathering of members in Davao City, Bangkaw sa Mindanaw began in 1996 and usually features a golf tournament, site tours and feasts.

This year’s Bangkaw was called Centennial Fellowship of the South with the theme “Scatter the Light Far and Wide, Rekindling the Spirit of Brotherhood through Generations.”

Bangkaw was held in six sites — Bukidnon (Bukingan sa Bukidnon), Cagayan de Oro (Tagayan sa Cagayan), Gingoog, Butuan (Buto-Buto sa Butuan), Davao (Bangkaw sa Dabaw) and Samal Island — covering about 1,345 kilometers.

Highlights included a three-leg golf tournament and a fraternity convention. About 200 Upsilonians from all over the country as well as from Myanmar, Sweden, Germany and the United States attended the event. Some of them were from the 1950s.

Courtesy call on Secretary Melchor Quitain

Members of the Upsilon Sigma Phi Alumni Association Board of Directors paid a courtesy call to Upsilonian and newly appointed Special Assistant to the President Secretary Melchor Quitain ’63 at Malacañang.

The delegation consisted of former UP President and incumbent USPAA chairman Fred Pascual ’67, Atty. Jordan Lim ‘12, Atty. Raul Paras ’90, USPAA Board Director Mel Sadang ’72, former USPAA president Atty. Jesse Andres ’81, USPAA president Thad Liamzon ’81 former Leyte congressman, Philconsa president and USPAA Board Director Martin Romualdez ’85, Pagcor general manager and USPAA Board Director Eric Livelo ’81 and USPAA Board directors Ernest Salazar ’82 and Noah Nocon ’93.

Day of Roses

On 13 November, the Upsilon Sigma Phi, together with Closeup, celebrated the traditional Day of Roses at UP Diliman. Named Sinta, this year’s Day of Roses was all about love and romantic piety.

Of course, the fraternity pink rose signified an everlasting and blossoming love. It is also about the freedom to love, because love knows no race, religion, gender and social status.

Upsilon Fair

On 14 November, the Upsilon Fair was held at the UP Los Baños Oblation Grounds. It featured an array of activities by different partner organizations and sponsor establishments. Among the activities were the Upsilon Feast, an acoustic night, and the return of Touch My Car 2018, a test of endurance, determination and skills with the grand prize of P15,000.

100 Novembers: Launch of UP Promenade

On 15 November, the UP Promenade was formally launched.

The 120-meter walkway has alcoves, plazas and benches, with the Freedom Plaza in the middle. It is meant as a venue for the free expression of ideas and dreams.

This structure has 10 sections, each representing the 10 decades of the fraternity’s history. There are 14 custom-built lamps in the shape of the Greek letter ‘Upsilon,’ dedicated to the 14 Founders.

The Promenade ends at the octagonal Upsilon Garden, where a marker from the National Historical Commission of the Philippines will be installed.

Inspired by the centennial celebrations and the vision of former UP president Fred Pascual ‘67, the Upsilon Sigma Phi volunteered to build a walkway from Gonzalez Hall (the Main Library) to a terminus along the Beta Way as part of an external learning center within the Diliman campus. Concept, design and construction were an all-Upsilon effort — Butch Aguila ’73, was project head, Ace Dimanlig ’67 designed the walkway, Jet Calosing ’88 built the Promenade and Garry Hidalgo ’94 did the landscape works. The construction firm of Ernie de Castro ’64 provided the engineering designs and management support services.

The UP Promenade launch, called “100 Novembers,” was spearheaded by the Upsilon Centennial Commission, the Upsilon Sigma Phi Alumni Association and Batch ’86 of the fraternity.

Included in the program was the unveiling of the dedication wall, recognition of the donors and a light-and-sound show.

Kapit-Kapit Legacy Monument

The USP Los Baños Chapter is installing a legacy monument at the UPLB Alumni Plaza. Called Kapit-Kapit, the art installation features 14 life-size statues whose arms are locked at one another’s elbows, while forming a circle. The statues represent the founders. Within the circle is a space for one, symbolizing an opening for someone seeking the light of the Upsilon.
A creation of Upsilon artists, Kapit-Kapit is located between the Carillon Tower and the Marya Fountain.

Restoration of Jose Rizal’s “Triumph of Science Over Death”

The Upsilon Sigma Phi North America Chapter, through its president Bill Romero ’76 sponsored two restoration projects as its contribution to the 2018 Centennial celebration. One is the large, concrete replica of Jose Rizal’s “Triumph of Science Over Death,” which stands in front of the Fernando Calderón Hall of the UP College of Medicine. Located within the UP Medical School compound, the sculpture is popularly known as “Lady Med.” The original artwork is on display at the Rizal Shrine Museum at Fort Santiago, Intramuros, Manila. Made of clay, it was a gift of Rizal to his friend, Ferdinand Blumentritt.

Bintao: Ang Buhay at Kabayanihan ni Wenceslao Q. Vinzons

The play Bintao: Ang Buhay at Kabayanihan ni Wencelsao Q. Vinzons will be staged on 23 November at 7 p.m. and 24 November at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the University of the Philippines Theater in Diliman, Quezon City.

Written by Efren Yambot and directed by Tony Mabesa and Alexander Cortez, Bintao traces the life and times of Wenceslao Q. Vinzons from his beginnings as a UP student to his rise in the politics, ending with his martyrdom as leader of the Vinzons Guerillas during the war years.

The cast is composed of members of the Upsilon Sigma Phi and Sigma Delta Phi Sorority, as well as outside guest performers.

This is in cooperation with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, National Historical Commission of the Philippines, and the University of the Philippines System.

Upsilon Centennial Ball

A grand gathering, called The Fellowship of The Lights Centennial Ball will be held today, 18 November at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City.

A special musical presentation, commemorative videogram and an intimate fellowship ceremony will highlight the event. No less than Via Mare has been selected to cater the affair.

The grand ball will usher in the fraternity’s 100th year, signaling its journey to the bicentennial.

Ray Orozco ’65, heads the organizing committee. Danger Sanchez ’91, Ernest Salazar ’82, Enzo Pizarro ’99, Juor Buted ’80, Joseph Olfindo ’75, Myki Cantero ’88, and Babes Calixto ’92, among others, are in his team.

Olympus: The Party of the Gods

Culminating the Upsilon Sigma Phi Month Celebration is a big party to end the semester. It is set for 29 November at Asiaville, Bay, Laguna.

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