Archive for the ‘UPIAA’ Category

The Crying Lady and "Rimposon": A UP Ibalon Saga

December 1, 2008

by Mighty Baylon


The anniversary celebration of UP Ibalon and UPIAA on December 1, 1995 was more subdued than 1994 (which was the organization’s 20th anniversary). But it was no less attended. Its ambience was even better as it was held in the old house of Lodie Padilla and Delen Padilla-de la Paz in Magallanes Village, Makati.

In my recollection the personal highlight of the event came when Min Paje-Banzon, a charter member and UP Ibalon’s second President suggested and led the singing of the old Ibalon songs. So there was the oldies in center stage crooning the old songs with real feelings that it drew tears from some senior members. It was the songs we sang in caroling (no we didn’t use pure Christmas carols then) and we used some really old songs to serenade our old supporters like the late Dean Irene Cortes and Dr. Pablo Botor’s family. There is some controversy now which Ibalon song we usually hold for the finale but I remember in that occasion we used the ditty, “Rimposon”.

When tears were shed, I heard comments na iba daa an bonds and respect to each other kan old members. Yes, I participated in UP Ibalon’s 1994 caroling and I knew they no longer sang the old songs (no use in comparing the quality now). They don’t have our pambatos Raul Sabularse, Fem Espinas (Paladin), Nips Valenciano, Gods Lanuza, Toti Mesia and Eden Borja (Fernando), our soloist.

A short while later the reunion started to break up and I thought Gerlin, the President and me should send off the members and take care of those that can’t go home anymore. But Gerlin was nowhere to be found. I didn’t catch her sight after “Rimposon”.

It was only daybreak when I saw her again and she told me she would walk home somebody. I didn’t really mind it then. She just told me we should talk soon.

A few days later I saw her and her opening was, “Do you remember I was nowhere around when the members were leaving?”. Of course, I noticed. “I was keeping company with a lady who started shedding tears when you oldies sang the old Bicol songs and she walked away crying copiously when you sang “Rimposon”.

“She and her best friend told me everything they knew. She also gave leads to other organizations that are already a-forming”. With her revelations I felt the hair on my back stand. I know the calm is over and my worst fears are now happening before my eyes.

The two ladies, both members of the BOD are founders of the organization of students from a Bicol province. And they gave us leads on members and other personalities that are involved in the formation of other Bicol provincial organizations–those from Camarines Norte, those from Camarines Sur, those from Albay and those from Sorsogon.

Suddenly, hugging the top of the agenda of the UPIAA were no longer alumni matters. And the privileged information was with a caveat that it not reach the BOD of the resident organization and some other persons.

The alumni directors sought out the dramatis personae of the proto-organizations and tried to establish a background dialogue for after all they cannot be perceived traitors. I was at the UP Fair that is traditionally held in the middle of December. No, I wasn’t looking at the booths or exhibits. I was desperately looking for people who I want to talk to and people who can talk to them, people I have not met before in my life and young enough to be my sons and daughters. I felt I cannot go home yet to my family and business in Mindanao.

And all of these discoveries triggered by the oldies’ rendition of the old Bicol songs and “Rimposon”.

The Calm Before The Storm: A UP Ibalon Saga

December 1, 2008

by Mighty Baylon


I always fancied UP students to be bright. And as bright persons I thought they will be able to sift truth from facts. After all, UP was strong in empirical research.

I was hoping the queer incident I mentioned in my last article [“One Stormy Night In August 1995: A UP Ibalon Saga”, 12/01/08] will blow away after the contentious UP Student Council election. I thought that with the founders and senior members still around and being UP students they will not be brazen enough to change UP Ibalon’s history while we are still alive (but later it turned out that I was wrong in this).

It is with hope that I reminisced that though UP Paglaom was torn asunder by the CONCOMSA (Consultative Committee on Student Affairs, a predecessor organization before the full-pledged restoration of the UP Student Council) elections in 1974, it survived in the form of UP Ibalon [See my article, “The Formation And Legacy Of UP Ibalon: A Testimony”, 11/14/08]. And UP Ibalon lived to be the organization and home of the Bicolanos in UP Diliman and this is Ibalon’s legacy.

There were no other recognized UP Bicolano organizations at that time except for UP Lawod, the organization of students coming from Masbate [See my article, “A Multitude Of Bicolano Organizations In UP Diliman: The Present Problem And The Lessons Of The Past”, 11/15/08], which I didn’t really mind because Masbateno is considered a separate language and only a minority speaks Bicol in Masbate. But my initial impression of UP Ibalon is it is a small and troubled organization (a membership roll of 23 and with debts to pay). With a UP Diliman Bicolano population estimated to be 700 I can surmise that the situation is volatile.

We were asked by the President of UP Ibalon, Gerlin Catangui, to help in their upcoming traditional high school students’ contest, the Padunungan, which will be held in Legazpi City during the semestral break. It was Gerlin’s wish that the project earn enough so that all UP Ibalon debts will be paid and all unpublished souvenir programs of the previous years will be printed and distributed. She feels it was the shame of UP Ibalon that it cannot live to its commitment and promise to the donors and sponsors.

Flushed with the success of the premier of the movie “Congo”, I tapped my UPIAA Treasurer, Dan Daz, to help them out and teach them how to launch projects with enough sponsorship. Through Dan, UP Ibalon was able to tap former sponsors in “Congo”. We also tapped and the Ibalon alumni in Albay was enthusiastic in helping them on other logistical concerns. In my recollection of the project, the Ibalon couple Kulas and Lea Sala, Mac Pavia, Dean Jun Perdigon and the late George Evangelio comes to mind as the most active of its supporters.

The project achieved its highest goal and UP Ibalon’s debts were paid and all the souvenir program backlogs were erased. I thought it would usher a new era of mutually beneficial cooperation between the resident and alumni organizations of UP Ibalon. In my analysis of the “Congo” premiere, it was obvious that the UPIAA (UP Ibalon alumni Association) needs the warm bodies the UP Ibalon can provide and UPIAA can help the resident organization in a lot of ways.

It is thus with hope and enthusiasm that the resident and alumni organizations jointly prepared for the December 1, 1995 anniversary celebrations.

But illusions were soon shattered and this just turned out to be the proverbial calm before the storm.