The University of the Philippines High, Preparatory, Elementary, Integrated School Alumni Association of North America (UPHPEIS – AANA) ——-this must be the association with the longest name thus far!!! Where did it all start, and where are we now?

Most reunions are occasions to enjoy warm fellowship, reminisce the good old days, and enjoy sugar- and cholesterol-laden lunches and dinners! But in 1992 something special happened here in Los Angeles. UP Prep ’72 celebrated their 20th anniversary and reached out to invite UP High ’72 to the event. What a great time everyone had, and for the next few years the hosting jubilarians invited more and more batches to join in their celebrations. Unfortunately, this trend was short-lived, maybe because of logistical difficulties or reunion fatigue.

All this changed, however, when the BIG MOVE occurred and the UPIS got relocated inside the main U.P. Diliman campus. In 2011, a call was sounded from Manila for alumni to “ADOPT A CLASSROOM” and provide for the classroom needs. Immediately, batches ’70, ’71, ’72, ’73, ‘7S, and ’76 sprang into action  and started  meeting on a monthly  basis to create a database  of alumni in North  America which would become the basis for soliciting donations  to fund that UPIS needs. Calling themselves the Organizing Committee (or OC),  these dedicated and motivated alumni reached out across the United States and  Canada and hosted the 1st Grand Reunion in December 2011, a fun-filled event attended by 220 people! Encouraged by this successful turnout, and having collected a good data base, the OC again hosted the 2nd Grand Reunion in December 2012. At this time the first set of officers were inducted into office. A silent auction and raffle yielded $2500 which allowed the UPHPEIS AANA and UP High ’70 in tandem to “adopt” the Geography Room.

On our 3rd Grand Reunion in December 2013 we celebrated not just the “ADOPTION” of our room, but also the fact that we are now legally recognized as a Non-Profit California Corporation and are in the process of applying to become a Non-Profit Tax Exempt Organization. Also, because of the impassioned address of Dr. Luis Calingo (UP High ’71 and the  former President of Woodbury University) as the keynote speaker the previous year, several batches have been moved to “PARTIALLY ADOPT” classrooms, specifically UP Prep ’68 and UP High ’68.

In November 2013, the Philippines was hit by a powerful typhoon internationally known as Typhoon Haiyan, also locally known as Typhoon Yolanda. It caused untold lost of lives and property damages especially in Eastern Visayas, particularly in the city of Tacloban. Not only did it disrupted the the lives of the students in UP Tacloban, it also affected those students in UP Diliman and other UP campuses whose main source of support come from their parents and relatives residing in Tacloban. And because of Typhoon Haiyan, they lost all their main source of support for food,clothing, lodging and allowances. Moved by this tragic incident, the OC decided to raise funds to support them. A dinner dance on June 21, 2014 was organized and successfully raised $1,000 to support UP’s current assistance program for these UP students from Tacloban.

On our 4th Grand Reunion in December 2014, we continued with our efforts to raise funds for the UP Integrated school to support the completion of classrooms and other related school projects.  Then on our 5th Grand Reunion in December 2015, our goal was to raise funds to construct a decent guard house located near the entrance of the new building – to complement and enhance the beauty of the new facility.

On 2016, we postponed our annual grand reunion in deference to the untimely demise of our beloved leader President Melba Solidum-Lim . She went with the Lord on Oct 30, 2016.

This year, the Organizing Committee decided to continue the annual Grand reunion – entitled “UPIS Sights and Sounds” – to raise funds to furnish the UPIS Bulwagan room with a video projector,  a wide screen and a piano. The date was set to Dec 2, 2017 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Whittier in Whittier, CA.

Our work is not yet done. There will always be opportunities to give back of ourselves, our time, and our resources. Let us help the students of the U.P. Integrated School face their future brightly by helping to provide them with the highest standard of education today.