It is indeed a great honour, a privilege, and a daunting challenge to head this year’s UPMAS BOARD. I am in awe with the doctors I will be working with for this year. To be able to work with such accomplished physicians leaves me star-struck. Really. After an unprecedented year of 2020 (the year that will go down in history as the most infamous, maybe) here we are faced with the Herculean task of celebrating our class’ 25th year and UPMAS’ 75th year with a new kind of normalcy.
But let us backtrack a bit. The UPCM Class ’96 has been known to be an “all-around class”. We have had our share of geeks, hunks, glamourous gays-guys&gals, athletes, musicians, artists, dancers and a lot of “O-C”(Obssesive-Compulsive) leaders. Truly, our class has a treasure trove of talents and personalities who can make our 2021 homecoming significant and memorable to the UP alumni while remaining relevant to the times.
Our preparation for our silver year has been in the works since 2011. Back then we pledged to contribute 50000 pesos per classmate to be paid over 10 years so as not to be a financial burden for a lot of us then. We were able to raise enough funds in 2015 and we decided to pledge a classroom in the UPCM Medical Sciences Building which is now fully paid.
Our motto then, and now, was GIVING BACK. Giving back to the school that gave us everything it could, for us to be the kind of doctors we are now. It is now OUR time to repay our Alma Mater. Galing tayo sa UP. Mag-balik tayo sa UP. With this battle cry, we saw our classmates step up to the challenge of spearheading activities that would help us raise funds for our homecoming celebration.
We had our first post-graduate course in July of 2019 held in Baguio City which drew out 182 attendees and 50 classmates who joined the learning and camaraderie of the event. We had T-shirts tarpaulins and badge pins made. We were just happy to band together for a good cause.
In that same year of 2019, our classmates who were art aficionados came up with an art sale inviting Mr. Daniel De La Cruz, the country’s foremost metal sculptor to create his rendition of our “lady med”. To date, we have sold 35 peices of these “PIECES OF HISTORY”. If you wish to have one, please contact any of my classmates.
We had planned another post-graduate course in July of 2020 to be held in iIloilo City but unfortunately Covid happened. And here we are now. 2021. A year that is looked upon with hope and optimism that we may go back to what we used to be. The past year has taught us that NOTHING IS EVER CERTAIN. And so in planning this year’s homecoming activities, we OPEN OUR HEARTS for the best and OPEN OUR MINDS for the worst.
For starters our webinar calendar is full until December. Starting January 18, 2021, all Mondays Wednesdays and Fridays have been booked with interesting topics by esteemed speakers (all alumni of the college, of course) and moderated by our classmates from all over the world.
We will be featuring our co- jubilarians on a regular basis just to highlight the MANY colourful personalities that the UP College of Medicine has in its roster. Of course, we will be reminiscing our days as medical students; at a time when face & book were two separate words, when social media could have just been a mass communications subject & social distancing? Totally unheard of.
So join us in celebrating 2021 with the fervor & unswerving hope that we will be able to see each other face to face in December.
So join us in celebrating 2021 with just enough fervour and hope that we will be able to see each other Face-to-Face in December.
LARA THERESA ALENTAJAN-ALETA, MD
UPMAS President, 2020