AUP Hosts AWESNA 53rd Alumni Convention
The Adventist University of the Philippines hosted the 53rd PUC-AUP Alumni of Western North America (AWESNA) Annual Convention with the theme “Carpe Diem” from June 30-July 4, 2023. This event stood as a testament to the Association’s enduring devotion to God and their unwavering commitment to support the University.
House of Delegates
On the 30th of June, the House of Delegates meeting commenced from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Taal Vista Hotel, Tagaytay City. Esteemed alumni leaders, the Board of Trustees, and the University administrators gathered for a discussion chaired by Pastor Jose Manalo, Sr., the AWESNA president. Among the Board of Trustees present were Pastor Gerardo Cajobe, NPUC president; Rabi Velasco, NPUC treasurer; Pastor Jose Zabat, Jr., NPUC executive secretary; Dr. Mary Jane Zabat, NPUC education director. Atty. Fugoso, the University in-house counsel; Engr. Lagariza, the facilities and development director; Maureen Marinas, the planning and institutional effectiveness administrative assistant; Dr. Mendoza, the COM dean, were also present.
The discussion, spearheaded by Dr. Rosario, revolved around the University’s priority projects. Significantly, it focused on the ongoing College of Arts and Humanities building and the plans for a teaching hospital.
Moreover, Engr. Lagariza, the Facility and Development director, provided insights into the structural framework of these buildings. In response, the alumni delegates expressed their support for the University’s endeavors.
The convention officially opened during the evening vesper service at the Philippine International Church. Representing the 16 chapters of the Association, presidents and alumni walked to honor their regional affiliations: Alberta, Arizona, Cascadia, Glendale, Greater Central Valley California, Greater Los Angeles, Greater Northern California, Hawaii, Las Vegas, La Sierra, Loma Linda, Pacific Northwest, San Diego, San Fernando Valley, San Gabriel Valley, and the Young Alumni chapters. Moreover, members from the Eastern North America Chapter Alumni Association and the National Chapter joined the ceremony.
“You are home. And we are very happy that you have chosen to come home,” Dr. Rosario, AUP president, welcomed the alumni delegates. In response, Welmie Guerra, Loma Linda chapter president, expressed how great it is to be back home and “make the most of every opportunity with wisdom and grace as we convene together.”
Guided by the theme, Pastor Manalo shared a message on the nearness of God, urging all to seek His presence. “Come as you are. Come to Jesus Christ. He is waiting for you,” he reassured.
On the 1st of July, Pastor Simeon Rosete, Jr., the AWESNA spiritual advisor, and speaker during the divine service, highlighted the importance of redeeming the time. He shared how one must value time by using it wisely for the glory of the Lord.
The worship services continued in the afternoon, highlighting God’s blessings to the University, shared through presidential reports. Pastor Jose Manalo, Sr., AWESNA president, reported on the committee elections and how the association had continually raised funds to complete the CAH building since its initiative in the year 2021. Chapter visitations for the longevity of AWESNA’s legacy. He concluded the AWESNA report with an invitation to join the next alumni convention.
Emmanuel Dizon, PUC-AUP Academy Alumni president, reported their events and programs through an audio-visual presentation, such as the online alumni banquet last June 21-25, 2021. He also discussed plans of the Academy Alumni Association, such as scholarship grants, menu-driven donations, and the aspiration to have their designated academy dormitory.
Dr. Arceli Rosario, AUP president, reported the University’s accomplishments. First, she shared a glimpse of the university’s history, the blessings received, and the University’s achievements through its strategic goals. Then, she presented the major academic programs, innovations on the campus, and research involvements. The University’s plans for 2023-2024 were also introduced.
“To all of you who made the 53rd AWESNA Convention, your memories and efforts are etched in our hearts,” Pastor Manalo remarked during the alumni banquet at the University gymnasium in the evening.
More than 500 alumni from various batches attended the event to celebrate the moment. Honoring classes were acknowledged, and the Class of 1993 rendered a performance that drew resounding applause from the alumni.
The event highlighted the presentation of gifts to the University from Pastor Jose Manalo, AWESNA president; Dr. Elmer Bangloy, Endowment Fund Committee chair; and Eppie Manalo, Fundraising Committee chair. The University administration received PhP2,875,147.30-PhP556,500.00 for the teaching hospital and PhP 2,318,647.30 for the College of Arts and Humanities building.
Notable alumni, namely Minnie Tamayo, Ramon Lijauco, Jr., and Annie Lee Ibarra, were awarded by the Association for exemplary service. Loma Linda Chapter received an award as the most active and supportive chapter.
CAH Naming Ceremony
The College of Arts and Humanities held its naming ceremony for its new building revealed on July 2, 2023. The building was named “College of Arts and Humanities AWESNA Dr. Alfonso P. Miguel Jr., M.D.”
Dr. Eunice Aclan, CAH dean, narrated the College’s history while Engr. Jessrel Lagariza reported the progress and future completion of the building. By virtue of the Administrative Committee Action No. 2023-0368, the building was dedicated to its major donor— Dr. Alfonso Miguel, Jr.
Dr. Alfonso Miguel, Jr. and his daughter, Dr. Carolyn Louser thanked all who supported the CAH building. By faith, they looked forward to completing the CAH building amidst challenges. “Seize every opportunity that you have to make it happen,” Dr. Miguel, Jr. encouraged us to do what we can to help as supporters of AUP. In conclusion to his response, he assured the University that “AWESNA has always been there. We will have your continued support.”
One hundred seventy-five stakeholders witnessed the ceremony as Dr. Alfonso and Loida Miguel, Jr., donors; Pastor Jose Manalo, AWESNA president; Dr. Arceli Rosario, AUP president; Pastor Jose Zabat, Jr., NPUC president; and Dr. Eunice Aclan, CAH dean, did the ribbon cutting and unveiling of the plaque. The donors also have unveiled the signage installed on the top front of the building.
A series of medical missions organized by the AWESNA and the University’s Community Extension Services were conducted. These activities below demonstrated a shared commitment to serve humanity’s diverse health needs:
July 2 Surgical Services
July 3 Medical and Dental Services
July 4 Chiropractic Services
The surgical mission was conducted at the AUP Health Service Department. A total of 210 patients were served: cyst excision (39), cataract/pterygium screening (65), and circumcision (145). The surgical mission was supported by 44 medical volunteers from organizations such as the International College of Surgeons, VLuna Medical Doctors, AFP Medical Center Orthopedic Residents, AUP College of Medicine, and AUP Health Service.
The dental services were held at the College of Dentistry. Sixty-nine dental volunteers served 271 patients: 218 for dental extraction and 53 for oral prophylaxis.
The University gymnasium hosted the general medical services attended by 84 volunteers across 16 stations. The following service were administered by stations with corresponding volunteer designations:
- Registration and waiting areas – AWESNA and AUP volunteers
- Triage – Esther Malate and Ariel Pumarada
- Vital Signs – College of Nursing
- Body composition – AWESNA and Nutrition and Dietetics Department
- Laboratory Testing – Medical Laboratory Science Department
- Discharge Instructions – AWESNA and AUP Health Service Department
- Physician Consultation – Dr. Gabriel Lopez, Dr. Serafin Lalas, Dr. Maureen Teves, Dr. Sharon Ibañez, Dr. Lennie Teves, and Dr. Paula Caagbay
- Spiritual Care- Led by Pastor Manalo, the spiritual care pastors prayed for the patients.
- Physical wellness – Led by the Santiago-Francisco family
In the stations below, the patients were also given instructional demonstrations and lectures on how they could care for their bodies with medicines, vitamins, and kits to take home:
- Pharmacy – PUC-AUP nursing batch 1989
- Nutrition lecture and cooking demonstration – Nutrition and Dietetics students
- Hand hygiene – PUC-AUP Nursing Batch 1992.
- Oral and foot care – PUC-AUP Nursing Batch 1990
A total of 276 patients from the community were served, with the majority of patients coming from Cavite, including Puting Kahoy, Tartaria, Inchican, Carmen, Lumil, Balubad, Pasong Langka, San Francisco, Hoyo, Ulat, and San Miguel. Six patients from Laguna, specifically Canlubang, Santo Domingo, Mamatid, Banadero, and Balubad, also received medical attention. The 0-17 and 45-54 age ranges had the highest number of registrants, with 58 patients in each age group. Of the total patients, 189 were female, and 87 were male.
As for the chiropractic services, 74 patients received alignment treatment from Windell Pedreso, the chiropractor, and his team.
CES Visitation and WSA Luncheon
On the 4th of July, AWESNA continued to seize the moment by extending visitation to the University’s community extension services in the neighboring barangays, specifically the “Bigasan” Livelihood Project.
A luncheon for the University work scholars and alumni was organized at Finster Hall of Nations, sponsored by the Canlas and Villanueva families. One hundred fifty working students received cash gifts sponsored by the Malagar family. Moreover, the scholars got freebies sponsored by the AWESNA San Gabriel Valley Chapter and Advent Mission Foundation.
The 53rd AWESNA Convention gathered the spirit of shared mission, unity, and well-being. The alumni have continued to be a beacon of light, nurturing the legacy of excellence and compassion.