PAULINIAN US FRIEND RAISERS
Sentiment, Song and Support
First Paulinian Friend Raiser at SPMA USA Meeting in San Francisco
Paulinians in the US gathered to greet alumni officials from St. Paul University Manila from San Francisco to Alexandria to Los Angeles to New York recently. Marionette Ocampo Martinez, SPUM Alumni Relations Officer, and Sherry Alingod, President of the St. Paul Manila Alumnae Foundation Inc., met up with scores of graduates from St. Paul University on their US Tour. It was a memorable fest of sentiment, song and support for St. Paul.
PCM HS 69 Alumnae with Maria Banatao, Monette Ocampo Martinez and Sherry Alingod.
Kicking off the US Tour, St. Paul Manila Alumnae USA and Paulinian Maria Banatao welcomed Ms. Martinez (fondly referred to as MOM) and Ms. Sherry in San Francisco, Calif. Ms. Banatao spoke to the Paulinian gathering about her work with the Philippine Development Foundation in promoting studies in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. She also stressed the need for women to pursue studies in technology to meet the needs of the 21st Century. Marilyn Abalos, President of SPMA USA, talked about the US based alumnae governed by a Board of Directors and its purpose to connect with classmates, build a Paulinian community and support St. Paul.
MOM reported to the gathering current news about St. Paul in Manila and highlighted its Senior High School Program. The SHS initiative was created to comply with education reforms mandating high schools in the Philippines to expand its program one to two more years in order to provide 12 years of schooling comparable to 97% of the world’s high schools. To meet the needs of the country, St. Paul Manila has taken in a good number of public high school students to provide them with the benefits of a Paulinian education. MOM requested support to maintain the scholarships for the public high school seniors. It costs $550 per student to cover the expenses of the two years of studies.
Left: Paulinians at Beach Blanket Babylon, part of SPMA USA's Father Reuter Theatre Series Fundraiser, in San Francisco. Right: Paulinians gather in Los Angeles.
Ms. Sherry spoke about SPU’s alumni organization and its programs in Manila. Funds received from alumni membership dues and homecoming registration fees supporting the work of SPUMAFI. She related a program where the SPUMAFI and SPUM Alumni Office visit Paulinian inmates at the Women’s Correctional in Mandaluyong several times a year. There are currently 18 Paulinians in the Mandaluyong prison, graduates of commerce, education and nursing programs from various St. Paul campuses including Manila, QC, Makati, Tuguegarao, Ilocos Sur, Dumaguete and Bulacan. They are young and of senior age. For several years now, Ms. Sherry, MOM and the Paulinian alumni bring food, sundries and good company to these women. In addition, SPUMFI also funds their medicine for various ailments including cancer and laboratory needs. Ms. Sherry invited US based Paulinians to also join the SPUMAFI ($6 membership dues per year) and help ensure that its community programs such as Women in Prison are maintained.
MOM and Ms. Sherry presented these requests at meet ups in Los Angeles, Alexandria and New York City for support of the Senior High School Program and community programs of St. Paul alumni offices. In the words of MOM, these “friend raisers” across the US were wonderful opportunities for Paulinians to meet and celebrate the Paulinian spirit.
“Seeing you and meeting with you has been a blessing!” said Ms. Sherry, “Our Paulinian spirit indeed lives! I have met with other ladies for the first time and I felt we were just together in school last week. Our bonding is strong and spontaneous and alive!”
Paulinians meet up in Virginia.
In Alexandria, Virginia, MOM and Ms. Sherry caught up with Soledad Balda Ilagan, Outgoing President of the Paulinian Global Foundation and Paulinians in the area at the home of Joy Karaan with Jane Singson Fields, Incoming President of the Paulinian Global Foundation. Ms. Sol retired this year and will return back to the Philippines shortly. The gathering concluded with a melodious chorus of the Paulinian Hymn. The Paulinian Global Foundation was established in 2002 to support the Vigil House, a facility for elderly and infirmed St. Paul nuns in the Philippines. According to Ms. Jane, the Paulinian Global Foundation also supports specific projects of St. Paul including the SHS Program and SPMAFI membership drive. For more info about Paulinian Global Foundation, visit http://www.paulinianglobal.org/wp/ or Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/paulinianglobal/
A large group of Paulinians, family and friends met in Los Angeles, said Sonia Callejo. “MOM spoke on the K-12 Program in connection with St. Paul's on-going fundraising activity called ‘Hope for Paulinian Education (H.O.P.E. Ablaze)’. MOM specifically called out our HS'62 Class on the outstanding PHP 1,000,000 Professorial Chair donation we did, as well as, our K-12 pledge to support 25 students at $550.00 each. She expressed desire for the other classes to follow suit…HUGE St. Paul family event we had and, hopefully, it will translate into some much-needed $ donation to propel St. Paul's fundraiser.”
Paulinians with MOM and Sherry Alingod in New York City.
“It was a successful Paulinian gathering to welcome MOM and Sherry at the Big Apple to raise funds for SPUM Senior High School project and SPMAFI,” said SPMA USA Co-Chair Patsy Santiago Schultz, “culminating with a lovely Irish dinner followed by a memorable ‘New York Spectacular Show’ starring the Rockettes at Radio City!” St. Paul Manila Alumnae USA and former students of MOM rolled out the red carpet in NYC. Flor Siazon and a few more Paulinians met up with MOM and Ms. Sherry earlier in the week in New York as well.
“A good beginning in getting our Paulinians together,” said Maria Banatao, “Need to follow up and do more to get them active in helping back home!”
Marilyn Abalos and Jane Singson Fields have agreed to coordinate together on these special Paulinian initiatives. Special events to raise scholarship support and promote SPMAFI were pledged from East Coast to West Coast Paulinians. For more info, contact Marilyn at firstname.lastname@example.org or Jane at email@example.com.