Day 1 (August 30, 2018)

Departure to General Santos City
The UST Office of Alumni Relations (OAR) and UST Alumni Association Inc. (AAI) teams arrived at the General Santos City airport at around 2:30 in the afternoon. They were warmly welcomed by the president of the SOCCSKSARGEN Alumni Chapter Ms. Maria Carmela Royeca and the rest of officers of the association. Afterwards, the UST representatives were brought to Hotel San Marco, their home for the next 3 days.

UST OAR & UST AAI Inc. Officers with UST SOCCSKSARGEN Alumni Chapter’s President, Ms. Maria Carmela Royeca at Cafe Verona, Hotel San Marco

UST OAR & UST AAI Inc. Officers with UST SOCCSKSARGEN Alumni Chapter’s Officers and Members at Cafe Verona, Hotel San Marco

UST OAR Staff with UST SOCCSKSARGEN Alumni Chapter’s External Vice President, Mr. Gerald C. Duremdes at Cafe Verona, Hotel San Marco

Day 2 (August 31, 2018)

Courtesy call to the General Santos City’s Mayor’s Office
The first day of UST AAI and OAR Teams’ chapter visit started with a courtesy call to General Santos City Mayor’s Office. An introduction of the officers of the AAI and the OAR delegates was done before Mayor Ronnel Rivera, who gave his welcoming remarks. He mentioned in his short speech that with the construction of UST General Santos, many opportunities are in store for the city—giving positive impact to the entire community. The representative of the City Economic Management and Cooperative Development Office delivered a presentation regarding the economic development programs and business opportunities in the city which are focused on investment, tourism and services.

After the courtesy visit, the teams had the privilege to have an an ocular inspection of the 80-hectare UST General Santos site located at Barangay Ligaya. The tour ended with a visit to the gallery of the Miss Universe Philippines 2011, Shamcey Supsup. The group then had their lunch at the Shamcey Café Farm in Envirogreen Village, Purok 7, Brgy. Katangawan, General Santos City.

UST OAR & UST AAI Inc. Officers with UST SOCCSKSARGEN Alumni Chapter Members at the General Santos City Mayor’s Office

The Very Rev. Fr. Herminio V. Dagohoy, OP, UST OAR, UST AAI and UST SOCCSKSARGEN Alumni Chapter Members at the 80-hectare site of the future UST General Santos Campus

Induction Ceremony and Fellowship Night
The induction ceremony started with the registration of alumni and guests at 6:00 pm at the function room of Hotel San Marco where the OAR Team assisted in the registration process. Exclusive Thomasian Alumni Card application for the chapter members was also offered to all the UST alumni present at the event.

The Very Rev. Fr. Herminio V. Dagohoy, OP with UST OAR’s Director, UST AAI Inc. Officers, UST SOCCSKSARGEN Alumni Chapter’s Priest Members, Fr. Boyd R. Sulpico, OP and Fr. Gerard C. Zabala, OP.

UST OAR with UST SOCCSKSARGEN Alumni Chapter President, Ms. Maria Carmela Royeca at Hotel San Marco’s Lobby.

UST SOCCSKSARGEN Alumni Chapter President, Ms. Maria Carmela Royeca, Ms. Grace Lim and the Hon. Mayor Ronnel Rivera’s wife, Ms. Jane Rivera.

The program proper commenced after dinner with an invocation led by Fr. Gerard Zabala, OP who was followed by Mayor Rivera—delivering an inspirational message about his support to the fulfilment of the UST General Santos. His speech was followed by a heartfelt welcome remarks from the UST AAI President, Dr. Evelyn Songco, who focused on the three core values of the university: faith, hope and love. The program was highlighted with the induction of officers, board of directors and advisers of the chapter who were introduced by the UST OAR director, Asst. Prof. Fredeswindo Medina, MACHS.

UST SOCCSKSARGEN Alumni Chapter Officers and Members

Awarding Ceremony after the Induction of the UST SOCCSKSARGEN Alumni Chapter Officers

Day 03 (September 01, 2018)

The third day of chapter visit started with a tour at the Lemlunay Dive Resort located in Maasim, Sarangani province. One of the alumni association chapter advisers, Dr. Socorro Partridge, hosted a hearty Filipino breakfast for the group and some of the chapter officers at the resort.  After the delicious meal, the group headed to Sen. Manny Pacquiao’s Mansion where they were warmly welcomed by Mrs. Dionisia Dapigran, the beloved mother of Sen. Pacquiao and popularly known as “Mommy Dionisia.”

The chapter visit continued with a trip to the Dole Pineapple Plantation located in Polomolok, South Cotabato province. Dole Philippines Incorporated is the largest industrial firm involved in the growing, processing and exporting of fresh and canned pineapple in the country.

UST OAR, UST AAI and UST SOCCSKSARGEN Alumni Chapter Members with the iconic Mommy D at the second mansion of the Pacquiao family in the province of Sarangani

UST OAR, UST AAI and UST SOCCSKSARGEN Alumni Members at Lemlunay Resort, Sarangani Province

After the visit, the group went back to the hotel to rest and refresh for the next big event, the Opening Ceremony of the Tuna Festival. At around 7 in the evening, the UST group proceeded to the city plaza to witness the opening ceremony of the 2018 Tuna Festival dubbed as the “Mega Tuna Fun in Metro GenSan.” Colourful floats paraded at the start of the event which was followed by the program proper. Hon. Mayor Rivera welcomed all the “generals” (General Santos city locals) and all the guests, with a special mention to the UST group, during the ceremony. The festival also featured brass band exhibition and dance numbers from the talented locals.

After the program, the Mayor’s Office hosted a dinner for all the VIP guests. The night ended with a taste of Mindanao’s delicacy—the Durian fruit—in Santiago St. in General Santos City where a number of Durian fruit stands are found. The UST SOCCSKSARGEN Alumni Association Chapter allowed the UST OAR and UST AAI Teams to taste the fresh Durian fruit which is considered as part of Mindanao’s gastronomic culture.

 The last day was a day of realization and appreciation. The UST OAR and UST AAI would continue to reach out to our alumni to further strengthen the connections and programs of the university for them, at the same time, solicit strong support from the UST alumni community to fulfil the goals and objectives of the University.