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EAST COAST CENTENNIAL REUNION AT PHILIPPINE CENTER
2007Steering Committee: Daisy Barawidan Lala David Sherry David Marita Legaspi Cecile Lowlicht Mike Palileo Emma Villa-Real Fifty attend in Manhattan
What started out as a simply planned affair turned out to be spirited but soignée — typically Scholastican, with a decidedly New York feel. The destination at the unlikely hour of three in the afternoon on Saturday, April 28, 2007, was the Philippine Center in midtown Manhattan, with its very own beloved “watawat” waving gaily at the shoppers and tourists milling about Fifth Avenue th and 45 Street. Unlike in November 1987 when the squeals and greetings of recognition from fellow alumnae greeted one at the entrance of the hall at Barbizon Hotel (the site of the much touted “first ever East Coast Scholastican reunion”), in the lobby of Philippine Center one felt only a sense of expectancy and an eagerness to begin. An hour before the start of the event some twenty guests could be seen quietly gathering in small groups, particularly around the two very special guests who had planed in from the Philippines a few hours before, Mother Mary John Mananzan and Dean of Music Sister Mary Placid. Albeit jetlagged, both nuns beamed cheerfully at their arriving former students. S. Mary Placid in particular seemed especially pleased with herself for having flown in to New York at a few hours notice. She got permission at the airport, she said, from who else? her plane companion, M.Mary John, the Prioress! “I’m already here,” she grinned, “but I still haven’t packed!” Spotted in various states of controlled nervousness were the members of the Steering Committee who had organized only weeks before to stage the event. Overall coordinator Daisy Barawidan should probably have been the most nervous. Being a
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Guess who’s getting married Sunday
Our featured alumna, serendipitously selected at the recent gathering is Giocky Oca, aka Dr. Maria Assunta Gioconda Oca, HS 76, UP 80, FEU Medicine 84. Giocky trained in Elmhurst Sinai 1997-2000, specializing in Internal Medicine-Primary Care. Giocky arrived around 1985 to be with her family in New York. She’s getting married next week to her longtime friend (since her residency at the hospital). They had gone on to different practices, and 3 years ago got back together. In December came a proposal. Like all weddings away from the motherland, the bride is busy being a hands-on party planner. Her groom is a cardiologist who is working on a study about Filipino Health, and is involved with the South Asian Community.
Communications Committee: Rotating Editors: Rose Constantino Gilda Fule-Prael Yvette Jarencio Sylvia C.Leonard Salve Neelankavil Ronie Nieva Giocky Oca Mike Palileo Lulut Valte
The SSAA NA (East Coast) scholarship fund through the SSRDF (St. Scholastica’s Research and Development Foundation) as of 2006 annual report was P387,559.20, more than half of the goal of $10,000. The first scholar, Carlo Falcis, a Bachelor of Music student who will have his graduation recital in June. Members are: Corito Bunag, BeAnn Castro, Sherry David, Mercedes Menez-Blume, Amy Poster, Dingding Quintos, Chayong Ronquillo-Castro and Emma Villa-Real. Manila side: According to Sr. Soledad, Executive Director of the SSRDF, "Music is expensive, and the fund is not sufficient to completely support a scholar... we have had to resort to 'shared sponsorship' when interest rates went down and tuition and other fees kept going up." Plans in New York: BeAnn reports, “This year we hope to bring the amount to $10,000 with an event in Sept-Oct. Committee members are exploring talent -- from SSC like Ruby Topacio-Bernales, to celebrities like Jose Mari Chan.”
Sol Oca, for the Spiritual Committee, reports: The spirituality committee plans a recollection in December; a spirituality hotline for those in need of prayers for someone who is sick, a death in the family or just someone who needs to talk to someone (this idea came about from all the prayers we received when we were sick or had a death in the family); a "Project Salubong" for new Scholasticans in NY, NJ and CT so they have a network of people or an extended family. This latter one is especially needed in this sometimes lonely city especially if you do not have family. The last activity was the "prayer buddy" where you choose somebody to pray for and that same person will pray for you at a certain hour. List of members in next issue.
May 14, 2007 Reunion…(cont’d)
Boston resident she could do her coordinating mostly by cell. As one crossed the foyer one could not help but notice Emma VillaReal courageously manning (or more aptly, womanning) the registration table. The rest, Marita Legaspi, Cecile Lowlicht, Sherry David, Lala David, and Mike Palileo fluttered back and forth and up and down, negotiating last minute details of reunion hosting. There were, after all, two venues to take care of at once: Kalayaan Hall on the second floor appointed for the program, and the Center lobby bedecked for the reception and dinner. Let no one say this affair was not original – two venues, and the guests would eat twice! By the middle of the festivities, the count was in. Fifty guests, comprising 49 women and one male guest. Familiar faces from past reunions, officers and members of the original founding group: Daisy, Emma, Sylvia Cornista-Leonard, Corito Bunag, Cecile Bunag-Lowlicht, Chell Jarencio-Bengzon, BeAnn Castro, Yvette Jarencio, Nene del Rosario-David, Marita NadresLegaspi, Joann Lara, Sol Oca, Lillian Ronquillo-Gatchalian. Officers of succeeding boards: Mike Palileo, Salve PenaNeelankavil, Dingding Quintos-Cortez, Sherry, Rosemarie Constantino, Helen de Gorostiza-Bayani, Charo de GorostizaEncarnacion, Lala David-Amoros, Pinggay Lara, Amy CastilloPoster, Blanca Oca-Pertierra, Maite Barrantes-Arguelles, Chiqui del Rosario-Zarrella. A glimpse of old friends to gladden one’s heart: Mercedes Menez-Blume, Ruby Topacio-Bernales, Tips Busmente-Jackler, Gilda Fule-Prael, Ronie Nieva, Chayong Ronquillo-Castro, Giocky Oca, Charisse Oca, Pinky PratMendoza, Gigi Aragon-Mander, Lulut Valte, Remy LucianoLeal, Therese Rodriguez, Aya Villegas, Toni Ty-Semar (her husband the one male guest). And finally a new generation of SSC New Yorkers: Maria Fe Abesamis, Maria Lourdes ColinaGribbon, Anna Villacorta-Arellano, Del Ocampo-Quisumbing, Vangie Matreo, Erlinda Gonzales, Maria Leonor Llorin-Paliguin (the evening’s youngest alumna). Modesty aside the program at Kalayaan Hall was flawless. Scripted and paced to the very second, program numbers went like clockwork. Daisy kicked off the program with her opening remarks, “It’s Good to be Together Again.” Sherry called attention to the guest speaker’s stellar background with her introduction, “We All Know.” M. Mary John’s interactive speech invited the audience to participate in a Shibashi dance to the accompaniment of a recorded flute. S. Mary Placid appealed for donations of musical instruments and announced plans to set up a U.S. alumnae-run Battig Foundation for music scholars. In her speech “Celebrating Our Seven” Mike Palileo introduced the Outstanding Centennial awardees from SSAA East Coast: Toni, Sol (on behalf of her mother, Dalila Solis-Oca), Daisy, Chell, BeAnn, Therese and May Mayor who was out of town. Then all the guests sat for forty-five minutes of committee discussion ending with committee reports. To cap the program S. Mary Placid led the group in Benedictine song, “We Are Here, Dear SSC” and “Let’s Cheer for Saint Scholastica” with violinist Leonor Llorin-Paliguin. One round of group photos on stage, and the whole entourage retraced their steps down to the lobby for an abundant spread. At the end of the evening it was most heartwarming to hear the compliments: “Such an enjoyable homecoming!” “Very well organized and the turnout was good.” “That was a great reunion, similar to the first one.” “Really successful reunion.”
Consisting of nine members, the group has created the SSAANA_EastCoast@yahoogroups.com email account, initiated the Pergola e-Dyaryo, with Mike Palileo coordinating with the Steering Committee.
Report f/rom Remy Luciano-Leal and Cecile B. Lowlicht: First planned activity will be the picnic tentatively scheduled for July 21, 2007. Venue to be determined. Also plans for seasonal gourmet dining at fine restaurants are afoot. Members: Gigi Aragon-Mander, Maite Barrantes-Arguelles, Cecile BunagLowlicht, Chiqui Del Rosario-Zarrella, Regina Del Rosario-David, Erlinda Gonzales, Jo Ann Lara, Ma. Leonor Llorin-Paliguin, Remedios Luciano-Leal, Marita Nadres-Legaspi, Therese Rodriguez, Lillian Ronquillo-Gatchalian, Antonia Ty-Semar and Asteria Villegas.
Recruitment and Database Committee
Members: Helen De Gorostiza-Bayani, Marita Legaspi, Lala David, Charo De Gorostiza-Encarnacion, Chell JarencioBengzon and Yvette Jarencio. The initial goal is to rationalize and update the existing database. The second aim is to determine a strategy for recruitment among the younger generation, and in a wider East Coast context.
Available: Daughters True
the Centennial book written by four prominent Journalist-Scholasticans
“Experience what being a Scholastican means; appreciate the seamlessness of well-written articles…”
Please contact Emma Villa-Real firstname.lastname@example.org cell (914) 714-2762. Books will be mailed to you - $30 plus postage
The Shibashi routine
“Celebrating the 7” New Yorkers
S. Placid and Leonor
Reunion (cont’d) Successful and spirited indeed it was. There are enough congratulatory pats on the back to go around.
by Mike Palileo
Pergola e-Dyaryo is a publication of the Saint Scholastica's Alumnae Association East Coast
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