2013 Year in Review: Unparalleled excellence and intensified leadership and service


The Upsilon Sigma Phi’s imperatives of brotherhood, integrity, excellence, leadership, and service have once again led us to uphold our continuing tradition for the past 95 years. The Fraternity’s mission to mold aspiring and purposeful men into responsible leaders of the highest caliber has created a tradition of excellence unparalleled in Philippine society, and in 2013, this mission has indeed bore fruit, as exemplified by brods who proved to be at the forefront of their chosen fields of endeavors.

True to the Fraternity’s motto, “We gather light to scatter,” we proudly recognize the achievements of Upsilonians who proudly embellished 2013 with outstanding accomplishments.

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In Memoriam: Upsilonians who passed away in 2013

The Upsilon Sigma Phi remembers the fellows who passed away in 2013:

Luciano E. Lactao ‘41, Executive Secretary, Agricultural Cooperative League of the Philippines

Ramon T. Batungbacal ‘45, an ophthalmologist practicing for 44 years, he finished his medical course (internship & residency) at UP PGH. He took his fellowship at the Harvard Medical School, USA. He was a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology and the Philippine Academy of Ophthalmology and Professor-Emeritus at the UE Medical School. He was also connected with the Makati Medical Center. He owned the Batungbacal EENT Clinic, also in Makati City.

Jose E. Suarez ‘46, the last of the pioneering antibases stalwarts in Central Luzon, called “Tata Sensing,” he belonged to the nationalist bloc of the 1972 Constitutional Convention and 1986 Constitutional Commission. Although his family was landed, he led the convening of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan in Central Luzon in 1981 and had supported the Kilusan para sa Pambansang Demokrasya since 1997. He was also a Liberal Party member. Suarez was the personal choice of former President Corazon Aquino as secretary of either the justice or agrarian reform departments or as justice of the Court of Appeals. He declined, preferring private practice and civic involvement over government service.

Onofre D. Corpuz ‘47, former Education Minister and National Scientist, an academic, economist, and historian, he served as Secretary of Education from 1968 to 1971. He was elected to the Batasang Pambansa and served again as Minister of Education from 1979 to 1984. He was founding president of the Development Academy of the Philippines in 1972 and served as the 13th President of the University of the Philippines from 1975 to 1979. He was named National Scientist in 2004. Dr. Corpuz was Professor Emeritus of Economic History at the UP School of Economics from 1993 until his death. He also wrote several books, among them An Economic History of the Philippines and The Roots of the Filipino Nation.

Manuel “Mart” Martell ‘47, one of the fraternity’s iconic figures and lyricist extraordinaire of many Upsilon songs, most notably, the Upsilon March Song, When You’re Away, and Time Will Tell. He wrote several Upsilon musicals in the 1950s, including Aloyan, Hanako and Linda. The summer tour of some of these musicals in selected Philippine cities helped raise funds for the construction of the Catholic chapel in UP Diliman in the early 1950s.

Vicente C. Valenciano ‘48, a professional photographer, was two-time president (1976 & 1978) of the Camera Club of the Philippines. Vic took interest in photography while he was pursuing his mechanical and civil engineering degree in UP Diliman. Since 1977, he has been teaching, lecturing, and conducting seminars on photography.

Jaime M. Alfonso ‘49, a brigadier general of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, he was Senior Assistant Secretary of National Defence before he retired. After retirement, he founded the Alfonso and Associates Law Firm.

Carlos C. Aguilar ‘50, a brigadier general of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, he served for thirty-four years, including ten years in Mindanao.

Ismael A. Mathay, Jr. ‘50, former Quezon City mayor, he was assemblyman for Quezon City at the Batasan Pambansa from 1984 to 1986, Quezon City’s fourth district representative from 1987 to 1992, and after that, served as Quezon City mayor from 1992 to 2001. Previously, he served as vice mayor from 1968 to 1971. He also served as vice governor of the Marcos government’s Metro Manila Commission, the forerunner of what is now the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), from 1979 to 1986, director of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System from 1979 to 1987, and chairman of the Metro Manila Authority from 1993 to 1994.

Raul R. Ingles ‘51, journalism professor and later professor emeritus of the University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication, he was also assistant private secretary to Presidents Ramon Magsaysay and Carlos P. Garcia; confidential secretary to Manila Mayor Antonio Villegas; assistant secretary of UP Diliman under presidents Carlos P. Romulo and Salvador P. Lopez ‘31, among other positions in the academe and literary circle.

Maximo Aglibut, Jr. ‘53 graduated from UPLB in 1956 with an agriculture degree. He served the Bureau of Agricultural Research of the Department of Agriculture.

Rogelio O. Juliano ‘53, a professor of the College of Fisheries from 1963 until his retirement in 1989, he was the first Dean of the College of Fisheries, UP Visayas to have been appointed twice from 1970 to 1980, and from 1986 to 1987, and Chancellor of UP Visayas from 1987 to 1989. He received his Zoology degree from UP in 1955 and immediately after that was a Stanford University Gold Star Scholar for his Master of Arts (Biology) degree. He was a fellow of Rackman School of Graduate Studies, University of Michigan for his second masteral degree, Master of Science (Fisheries). UNESCO awarded Dr. Juliano a fellowship in 1964 in Advanced Marine Biology Training at University of Copenhagen and Institute of Fisheries Research, Copenhagen, Denmark. He conducted numerous researches on fisheries and published several articles on fisheries in various journals and magazines here and abroad, and authored or co-authored more than 50 scientific papers.

Federico T. Herrera ‘54, a graduate of Veterinary Medicine in UP Diliman, he joined the US Army and retired with a rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

Rodulfo Antonio ‘57 graduated in 1959 with a degree of Agriculture at UPLB. In his younger years, he was a wrestler. After graduation, he became a corporate executive who served as board chairman of King Traders Marketing & Services Inc. which is based in Davao del Sur.

Benjamin H. Cervantes ‘58, a prolific theater director with works ranging from a Broadway repertoire to the protest theater movement during the Martial Law era, he established the UP Repertory Company in 1974 “to combat the censorship that was in place during Martial Law.” Among Behn’s outstanding and memorable theater plays were Pagsamabang Bayan and Sigaw ng Bayan. He taught at the Department of Speech Communication and Theatre Arts of the College of Arts and Letters for 22 years, starting as Instructor in 1967 until his early retirement as Associate Professor in 1989. He was named Artist-in-residence in UPD from 1974 to 1976 and at the University of Hawaii in 1991. He was also critically acclaimed in Philippine cinema. He took pride in his 1976 film, Sakada, which counts among the great social-realist and allegorical films at the time. In 1981, Sakada won a Dekada Award for Best Film of the Decade. His other films include Masikip, Masakit, Mahapdi & Bawal na Pag-ibig. Among the most visible and vociferous opponents of the Marcos regime, He fought dictatorship in the streets, on stage, and on the big screen. Behn received a Life Achievement Award from the University of the Philippines Alumni Association, and an Aliw award for Life Achievement in Theater.

Rodolfo C. Rocamora ‘62

Jose N. Bibal ‘70, appointed to the Hercules Planning Commission (Hercules City, California) in 2007, he served three total terms as commissioner. Under his tenure, the planning commission undertook the review and approval of the Sycamore Crossing Initial Plan Development, the Waterfront District Master Plan update and development agreement, the Town Centrale project among various other projects. He graduated from the UP Los Banos in 1973, with a degree in Forestry, served as instructor in the College of Forestry, and completed his MS in Forestry, with a major in wood science and technology in 1976. Bibal came to the United States in 1980 to pursue a doctoral degree at University of California Berkeley, under a fellowship granted by the World Bank.

Romeo B. Dorado ‘71, Executive Director of the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development, he completed his Agricultural Economics degree at UP Los Banos in 1977. Twenty years later, he completed subjects/units leading to the Masteral Degree in Public Administration at the Colegio De Los Banos. He started his career as Agricultural Economist of the then Palawan Integrated Area Development Project Office. He also served as Director of the USPLBAA Board.

Teofilo C. Esguerra ‘73, professor of the Spanish Language, he taught in UP Diliman and later transferred in UP Tarlac campus. When the Tarlac campus was closed, he went on to teach in UP Los Banos where he joined the fraternity in 1973. He received his M.A. Spanish from the Central Universidad de Madrid in 1967 and studied Anthropology in UP DIliman.

Edgar M. Sandalo ‘73, project manager at the Social Security System and actor, he finished his BS Agriculture, major in Animal Science degree in 1978. In 1996, he earned his MBA degree from Ateneo de Manila University. He is known as the “the actor” who has shown his acting skills in various ABS-CBN soap opera such as May Bukas Pa (2009), Green Rose (2010) and Kolorete (2008). He served as director for USPLBAA and USPAA Boards.

Moises E. Maramba, Jr. ‘78 (JohnMark L. Marrald), Catholic priest at the Archdiocese of San Francisco, he received his AB Classical major in Philosophy, Bachelor in Sacred Theology (STB) & Licentiate in Sacred Theology (STL) degrees from the University of Santo Tomas. After his ordination, he took up Law at UP Diliman where he joined the fraternity in 1978.

Past and future align as Upsilon Sigma Phi approaches its centennial celebration

Upsilon Sigma Phi Alumni Association, Inc. (USPAA) held its 2013 Fellowship Recognition Night at the Executive House in UP Diliman to celebrate the diverse achievements of accomplished Upsilonians and to officially welcome the new leadership of USPAA.

The members of the USPAA Board of Directors for 2013-2015, led by Chairman Benedicto dL. Tabin ’64 and President Jose S. Ejercito ’74, were officially sworn in. The oathtaking was led by former Solicitor General Estelito P. Mendoza ’47, a former USPAA President himself.

Aside from Tabin and Ejercito, the other members of the new USPAA Board are: Dr. Ernesto de Castro ‘64, Atty. Rodolfo Reyes ‘78 (VP External), Robert Bastillo ‘78, Jose Barcenas ‘80 (VP Ways and Means), Edgardo Fuentes ‘86 (VP Internal), Edgar Mababangloob ‘86, Emer Remulla ‘87, Atty. Joel Urriquia ‘88 (Secretary), Joel Ciron ‘91 (Treasurer), Richard Sanchez ‘99 (Deputy Treasurer), Erwin Escubio ‘02 (PRO Internal) and Gelo Villar ‘05 (PRO External).

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2012 Year in Review: The legacy of leadership & excellence continues

The Upsilon Sigma Phi’s mission to mold aspiring and purposeful men into responsible leaders of the highest caliber has served to create a tradition of excellence unparalleled in Philippine society.

Last year, as the Upsilon turned ninety-four, Upsilonians once again exemplified outstanding competence in various fields of interest, receiving high distinctions and recognitions not only for their successful personal endeavors but also for their notable contributions to the community at large. Their individual accomplishments in greater service of their fellow men reflect the realization of the Fraternity’s sacred motto: “We gather light to scatter.”

We are proud to recognize the achievements of our brods who have capped year 2012 with flying colors.

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Juan Lorenzo T. Tanada ‘92 named Customs Deputy Commissioner

Atty. Juan Lorenzo T. Tanada ‘92 was recently named Customs Deputy Commissioner for Internal Administration. Atty. Tanada will be responsible for the formulation of policies and the setting up of objectives relative to financial, administrative, personnel, planning and management improvement services of the BOC. Congratulations Brod! Read more...

Tony Mabesa ‘54 & Dondi Ong ‘88 take home trophies at 24th Aliw Awards 2011

Antonio O. Mabesa ‘54 and Conrado “Dondi” C. Ong III ‘88 scored wins at the 24th Aliw Awards 2011. Mabesa was named Best Stage Director (Non-Musical) for Fake of UP Playwrights Theater. He also received the Lifetime Achievement Award for Theater. Ong was named Best Classical Performer (Male), an award he previously received in 2009. Congratulations Brods!

Carlos Juan Paolo L. Vega ‘04 elected president of University of Hawaii’s EWCPA

Carlos Juan Paolo “Chip” Vega ‘04 (B.S. Economics summa cum laude ‘07) was elected president of University of Hawaii’s East West Center Participants Association (EWCPA). Vega was installed as the newest President of the EWCPA during the induction ceremony last October 2011, attended by Mary Hammond, Dean of the Education Program, Charles Morisson, President of the East West Center, as well as the previous board members.

The EWCPA is an organization of over 400 active graduate students at the University of Hawaii representing more than 50 countries from all over the world. These students study and carry out research through various competitive scholarship grants administered by the East West Center among which include the Asian Development Bank-Government of Japan Scholarship, East West Center Graduate Degree Fellowship, Freeman Foundation Scholarship, US-South Pacific Scholarship and the Obuchi Student Scholarship.

Vega is the only Filipino member of the new board and one of the few Filipinos to have claimed the position in recent years. He is an ADB Degree Fellow, earning his MA in Economics and will be joining the Hawaii State Energy Office to participate in the work going into its various projects including the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative. Congratulations Brod!

Car Stuffing and Dakdakan 2011

31 people in a car, an intense dunk-off, students holding on to a car for nearly 6 hours – the night could not have been more exciting as the Upsilon Sigma Phi celebrated its 93rd anniversary with Car Stuffing. Touch My Car, and Dakdakan.

The Upsilon closed off the AS Parking Lot as early as 6am to prepare for the evening festivities. The UP campus watched on with eager anticipation as tents, food stalls, and a truckload of lights and sounds were being set up right in front of Palma Hall. By lunchtime, students were flocking the parking lot for food and a seemingly inexhaustible supply of free ice cream from Selecta, adding some flavor to the events to come. The parking lot filled up later in the afternoon as the entire UP campus – students, faculty, campus staff, and passersby – came together to take a break from school and work to enjoy the evening.

Dakdakan – a dunk contest on an 8-foot rim - kicked off the nightlong celebration. 9 students from different colleges and organizations went neck-to-neck for the title of Master Pinakaswabe Dakdakan Champion. One by one, they were eliminated until only 2 remained. The final showdown was, indeed, one for the books. The competition was brought down to a faceoff between Wilfredo “Wilf” Martin and Ralph Nasara (UP 49ers).  The two exchanged an arsenal of electrifying and creative dunks. There was no clear winner, as even the judges could not settle the score. Each ensuing dunk only intensified an already intense crowd. The final decision was up to the audience – the contestant who drew a louder cheer from the crowd would claim the title. After a loud chant followed by an uncomfortable silence, Wilf Martin edged out Ralph Nasara and was crowned the Master Pinakaswabe Dakdakan Champion.

After a grueling Dakdakan showdown, the attention shifted to Car Stuffing as a brand new Mini Cooper and a brand new Mini Countryman made a dramatic entrance to the middle of the parking lot. Participating orgs were given time to inspect the cars and strategize their approach. As the signal sounded for the opening round, the Countryman was pushed to its limit as 9 organizations were each given 3 minutes to fill the car with people – UP ALCHEMES won out with a record-breaking 31. The Countryman proved formidable, as it was able to withstand the beating that ensued with only a few “bruises”. Only UP ALCHEMES (31), UP ICTUS (30), and UP 49ers (29) made it through to the final round. In the finals, the three organizations were met with a grey Mini Cooper S. The car took more than a beating as UP ICTUS stuffed the car with 23 people, beating UP ALCHEMES and UP 49ers who were both tied at 22. Surprisingly, though, the Cooper S went home without a single scratch.

The night ended with Touch My Car. This ultimate test of patience and perseverance began at 5:45pm as 9 students held on to a Mini Cooper S, not letting go lest they be eliminated. Contestants were bothered by a series of challenges such as squatting, lifting chairs, drinking lots of water, and the like. One by one, they left, exhausted and distressed. And by 11:32pm, only one man, Ho Yong Park (UP CURSOR) was holding on. Exhausted but fulfilled, he claimed his prize. What followed after, though, was completely unexpected. In a unique act of sportsmanship, Park shared his prize with the other 2 who stood by until the closing minutes. He embodied the spirit of the Upsilon Month: sharing and celebrating with others in UP – even those beyond your circle.

Car Stuffing, Touch my Car, and Dakdakan are part of the month long celebration of Upsilon Month. They are 30 year old traditions which are celebrated annually every November and December.

The Upsilon Month 2011 is Co-Presented by Mini Philippines, Selecta, and Master and brought to you by Banapple, Boulevard Diner, Karimadon, DZUP 1602, 9 Waves Resort, and Moonleaf. We would also like to thank our following org partners: UP ICTUS, UP ACES, UP GPS, UP 49ers, UP CURSOR, UP KEM, UP Music Circle, and IE Club.

Day of Roses 2011 held in celebration of Upsilon’s 93rd anniversary

What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name, would smell as sweet.

Quezon City – Ladies first! The Upsilon Sigma Phi kicks off its 93rd anniversary by paying tribute to the women of the University of the Philippines through its annual Day of Roses. The event was an extravagant showering of appreciation and gratitude to the women of the University as “brods” of the Upsilon Sigma Phi distributed over 3,000 roses accompanied by an ensemble of modern and classic love songs. 

Clad completely in black, Upsilonians went from room to room throughout the different colleges and different buildings in UP while handing out the fraternity’s official flower – a long stemmed, pink rose – to each and every woman in UP.

Women in student tambayans and classrooms were crooned by small choirs with guitar accompaniment in traditional Filipino ‘Harana’ style and were given roses tagged with an endearing message of gratitude and empowerment.

Female faculty members and administrators were also visited, serenaded, and given bouquets by the Upsilonians, who conveyed their appreciation to the administration for its unwavering support and service to the University and the Nation.

The Day of Roses is an annual tradition celebrated during the first Friday of the 2nd semester in UP Diliman and the first Monday of the 2nd semester in UP Manila.

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Making UP a Great University: Investiture Speech of Alfredo E. Pascual ‘67

Isang mapagpala’t mapagpalayang araw sa inyong lahat!

About a year ago, I accepted my nomination to the UP Presidency in my desire to lead in the remaking of UP not only as a great Philippine university, but as a great Asian and global institution as well.

I said then that “many of us remember UP as a great university, the best in the country, and a respected center of learning in Asia. Over the years, however, comparative surveys of world universities have jolted us into realizing that UP’s preeminent position as an institution of higher learning has faded”.

When I assumed office seven months ago, I declared that UP’s path can be nothing else than the path, not only to the greatness of its past, but beyond it. This University must seize the leadership in the making of a globally competitive Philippines. But even more urgently, it should be focused on addressing those problems of the country that for decades have resisted solution.

Today, I join all of you as we collectively embark on a journey towards making the University of the Philippines a Great University in the 21st century. I do not profess to make UP great overnight, but I shall mark the path and launch UP towards greatness during my term.

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Upsilon Sigma Phi bids farewell to Ricardo V. Zamora ‘49

It is with deep sadness and regret that we announce that Ricardo “Dick” Zamora ‘49 joined our Creator at 12:55 p.m. today, September 10, 2011. Farewell brod! Your music, those songs within our hearts live on, your legacy will be forever as the sun!

Dick Zamora’s name, to many Philippine music connoisseurs, is largely and especially associated with, among others, “Aloyan,” – whose melody he conscientiously composed when he was barely in his 20s. This particular piece marked his discovery if not entry into music’s mystifying world where he remains a living icon for over half a century now. For all his low-key personality, Dick has assiduously added to the Philippine musical bank through his numerous and dazzling contributions towards the true appreciation of this art form, classical or Philippine. Playing at first the piano like a virtuoso, he went on to write and arrange loads of novel compositions, cavalcades, and other musical scores. He took time when possible to share his knowledge and skills as a professorial lecturer with college and university students. More so, he was able to teach to and reach out with the masses through the medium of broadcast and television, having been a show director. Not be missed out were his additional efforts at spreading zarzuela appreciation as well as his musical endeavours for the GSP (Girl Scouts of the Philippines).

This is a brief account about the life of this humble but ardent music lover. Presently almost an octogenarian, Dick can look back, with honest glow and pride, at his countless accomplishments in the boundless realm of music, Philippine and others.

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Sean Vincent L. Aquilino ‘09 named one of the Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines for 2011

Sean Vincent L. Aquilino ’09 was named one of the Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines (TOSP) for 2011 at awarding ceremonies in Malacañang Palace last August 4, 2011.

Aquilino was recognized for his exceptional performance in both academics and student leadership. He served as Chairperson of the College of Science Student Council for AY2010-2011 and received his B.S. Biology degree cum laude with the Best Undergraduate Thesis this year.

Earlier in the year, Aquilino was also awarded the Gawad Chanselor para sa Natatanging Mag-aaral for 2011, and the UP Diliman BPI-DOST Science Award. Aquilino is currently a first year student at the UP College of Medicine.

Since 1961, the TOSP program has recognized outstanding youth of the nation for academic excellence, exemplary leadership, community involvement and good moral values. The last Upsilonian to be recognized by TOSP was incumbent Illustrious Fellow Benjo A. Delarmente, M.D. in 2008. Congratulations brod!