SPMA USA LAUNCH
Greetings from St. Paul Manila Alumnae USA
It is with great pride to launch the St. Paul Manila Alumnae USA website: spma-usa-inc.org. We kicked off our alumni organization in the United States and Europe on St. Paul Feast Day, January 25, 2015. Our Board will manage our activities working towards achieving our mission to unite and serve classmates in the US and Europe and provide assistance to our alma mater and community programs in the Philippines.
One could say that the spark of the creation of our alumni group began at a social gathering in June 2014 at the residence of Bing Barretto Babula in Yardville, NJ when classmates from Manila were visiting the NY NJ area. It was a special treat to meet up with Beibi Garcia Bautista and Angelita Eugenio Santiago from Manila. Classmates travelled to Bing's residence for this casual get together including Techie Ignacio Gonzalvo from Virginia Beach, VA and Winnie Abaya Morgan from San Francisco, CA as well as Nieva Quezon Burdick, Patsy Santiago Schultz and myself from New York. This impromptu Sunday luncheon was the spring board for the formal mini reunion in Los Angeles leading to the creation of SPMA USA!
A number of us met in Los Angeles, California last October 2014 to discuss and organize our group. Carol del Gallego Limjoco and Marite Moreno Vella hosted us that fateful weekend. We have since then formed a national network with links to Europe.
“So far we’re doing good. The gathering motivated us to reach out to other classmates.” said SPMA USA Board Secretary Bing Barretto Babula of New Jersey, “When you’re here, you’re all alone. But when we reach out and commit – I have another family. The world has gotten bigger.”
We have caught the attention and receive the support of St. Paul University Manila (SPUM) and the St. Paul Manila Alumni Foundation Inc (SPMAFI). Monette Martinez, SPUM Alumni Relations Officer, said, “When we met Patsy Schultz and other High School 1969 graduates here in Manila last year, I did feel her energy and enthusiasm for your class getting organized for your golden jubilee and being of help to our alma mater. Since then, I have been amazed at how that energy and enthusiasm has been transmitted to you, Paulinians in New York, and has caught fire and ardor that has spread to other parts of the United States and across the seas to Europe. Fantastic! It reaffirms to me the strength and power of the Paulinian spirit.”
From New York, SPMA USA Board Co-Chair Patsy Santiago Schultz said, "Life is short -- there's nothing more rewarding than taking the time to reconnect with old friends and classmates and spreading love and happiness around.”
SPMAFI President Sherry Alingod said, “I am so impressed and grateful that your class is so enthusiastic with matters of SPCM and your upcoming homecoming in 2019. I see only success and fun and togetherness with such a response and a continuing one at that. Paulinians have this unique gift in that we can speak on any and all topics with conviction, truth and elan."
We invite you to join SPMA USA. Your membership will help sustain our effort to meet our goals. All Paulinians are welcome to sign up. We will be able to provide a national and even international system to connect with classmates and Paulinians. Go to the Connect Page for instructions to sign up.
We would like you to help out on various committees. We need your enthusiasm, expertise and energy (like Patsy’s!) from all over the US and Europe. The committees you can join include Fundraising, Marketing/ Communications, Membership/ Outreach and Programs/ Special Projects. Descriptions about these committees are on the Community Page.
“It’s a lot of fun – come to the East Coast!” said SPMA USA Board Member Louie Atienza Naing of Maryland, “We do have fun in-between but business is still the focus of what we are doing.”
Encouraging classmates to get involved and participate in Alumnae activities, “We really need your participation no matter how small. And to those who have more to share in kind then our arms are wide open to accept.” An adamant member of the Finance Committee, she calls out, “We’ll toil away – just hand us the pay!!!”
We will be raising funds to support various initiatives of St. Paul and the Philippines. SPUM President Sister Maria Evangeline said, “St. Paul University aims to consistently provide integral Catholic education which is marked by academic excellence, research capabilities and sustainable community development.” Acknowledging our commitment to giving back, she encouraged our generous backing for education and community programs.
At this time, we are coordinating with the Class 69 Manila Board headed by Chair Marilyn Beibi Garcia Bautista for the 2019 Golden Jubilee. Other officers and directors include Luisa Andal, Co-Chair, Tess Cuevas Mallari, Treasurer, Rachel Gutierrez Martinez, Secretary, and Directors Lita Eugenio Santiago, Ester Javier Resurrection, Marites Pardo Panlilio, Tes Pineda Alpano, and Chris Ramirez Samson. Sending congrats and best wishes, she said, “I am so happy and thankful that we are on our way.”
Monette Martinez said, “Indeed it has been proven that wherever we are, we Paulinians find one another and feel that bond, that tie that binds us as “children of this beloved school…” Whether or not we are classmates, or even belong to the same generation, we feel something intangible that draws us to one another because we come from the same school where we spent “sweet…days of childhood…those golden links of girlhood…”
From California, SPMA USA Board Member Carolina Del Gallego Limjoco reflected, “Friends are treasures we are blessed with. We cherish and care for them and sometimes we can lose them and when the opportunity arises - rekindle that friendship.”
In closing, I can only reiterate the words of the SPMA USA Board, classmates and colleagues in Manila. Please join – it is your alumnae. Let us connect and build a community and give back to St. Paul! Your participation will be the fire wood that feeds the embers of our plan into a bright fire. As it takes all kinds of wood to make a successful fire, you are the tinder, kindling and even the fuel to bring about the glowing coals to dancing flames.
If you look at our old SPCM logo, the fleur-de-lis is sort of a flame. It’s our torch! Let’s heat up this campaign drive! We are the fiery comet in the sky over Manila! We will blaze a trail to our St. Paul! Connect - Community - Caritas!
---Marilyn Abalos, Chair, SPMA USA