by Mighty Baylon
In the four academic years that I have been on-and-off a resident member of UP Ibalon (this covers the school years that started in the years 1974 to 1977 but his stretches up to March 1978), a total of about 110 members entered the organization. This includes the 19 doctors of medicine that I already wrote about [“The MDs of UP Ibalon Of Earlier Years”, 11/15/08]. With my own eyes I have seen Ibalon grow big and flourish.
When I left UP Diliman it had nearly 90 members and its membership roll was still young, unlike when we first started out. Among the 90 are scions of the more prominent families in Bicol as do sons and daughters of teachers. We thought we had the best and the brightest of the Bicolanos in UP. Almost all graduated on time, the Bicolano holders of major scholarships are in the organization and so do those passed the entrance exam of the PSHS.
We even had a putative alumni association which I tried to half-seriously jump start in February 1978 in a meeting in the old Golf Course clubhouse near Philcoa. We already then have 20 alumni members but a significant number of them were in medical school. So, of course, a gesture half in jest does not mean it can be sustained.
But one thing I remember until the time I left UP Diliman, there was no discussion ever about UP Ibalon as a “political organization”. This was not even discussed among the charter members in any length when the constitution was being drafted. The only discussion at length where this topic was tackled was in the Steering Committee [See my article, “The Formation And Legacy Of UP Ibalon: A Testimony”, 11/14/08] where it was roundly and unanimously rejected.
Years after that stormy August night [See my article, “The Calm Before The Storm: A UP Ibalon Saga”, 12/01/74], I needled the eminences grise of the original UG group of UP Ibalon. I asked them, “They said UP Ibalon was a political organization right from the very start”. “Of course not”, came the sharp reply in crisp English. “Saan naman nila nakuha iyon (Where did they got that?)”. And to think that the person was formerly a top staff of the supreme eminence grise.
I am confident that not one of the 110 members of UP Ibalon whom I came to know in my years in UP Diliman will affirm that UP Ibalon “ay poon-sa-poon, sarong political organization”. I have talked to over half of them over the years and all have no recollection that that term was ever used or discussed in referring to UP Ibalon. All the recollections about the nature of the organization was that it was a socio-cultural organization and a varsitarian.
I now dare those who said in 1995 that UP Ibalon is a “pol-org” to identify who told them that and what version of UP Ibalon history were they peddling then. I also dare them to produce even one among those 110 members I mentioned who will back their version of history.
Members should also know that years after that 1995 incident, and even before, they were peddling that false version of UP Ibalon history.
It is unfair to all members that a small cabal will try to “revise” UP Ibalon history when the founders and the senior members are still around. It is as if they are in a hurry to bury us all into oblivion.
It is also the duty of UP Ibalon to teach all the members the right version of history.