LOS ANGELES — Some 300 proud University of the Philippines alumni gathered together with a pair of Vice Presidents to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the UP Alumni Association of Greater Los Angeles.
“The whole point of this is to increase the profile of all UP alumni in the community and because not everybody knows as a group we can actually make a difference so the more we’re out there to promote, about our involvement with the school and giving back that helps a lot,” says Ethel Rubio, UPAAGLA President.
With a theme of using talents to give back, Philippine Vice President Leni Robredo met with the group’s board members.
During her remarks, she recalled her days as a UP student. She also encouraged Fil-Ams to give back to the motherland and spoke about the accomplishments of the Angat Buhay program to help the poor.
“It is much easier to do one time big time approaches for feel-good events, compared with the complicated work of training a community to be self-sufficient, our work is not easy especially with the current political environment but despite the difficulties that come with the position, the hard and challenging work we do is precisely what keeps me going. It allows me to see the world through the eyes of those that are suffering.”
Among the UP alumni present was Doctor Jennifer Zimmerman — a Florida-based Pinay who ran for US Congress last year.
She was roommates with Robredo at UP, and shared eagerness to see the success of their fellow batchmates.
“TO see each other some thirty years later its amazing how far we’ve all come, and now we’ve got people like Leni is Vice President, Gilbert is president of philippine airlines, a lot are working in the government sector, a lot of us are doctors, lawyers, amazing.”
UP Vice President of Public Affairs Dr. Elena E. Pernia also joined the celebration swearing in the alumni group’s newly elected leadership.
The UP Alumni presented Pernia a $5,000 check to fund a library program at UP.
“We celebrate unity while at the same time recognizing all the ways we are different from one another and how these differences serve to compliment and strengthen the whole and instead of dividing us in the spirit of social political and environmental strife. We need more celebrations like this to remind us all of what unity can achieve. “
Several more UP alumni galas are scheduled throughout the united state with in the coming weeks, bringing together more accomplished Maroons, who are committed to help their alma mater and motherland.