The UST Education High School Graduates Association, Inc. (UST-EHSGAI) got together last February 27, 2021 through Zoom to celebrate its alma mater’s 71st anniversary and give recognition to its jubilarians. It was also aired simultaneously on the association’s Facebook page.

The association has always been active for years in organizing reunions and jubilarian anniversaries. They were lucky enough to hold their 70th anniversary celebration at the UST Campus before the pandemic hit the country. Now with the world in standstill and virtual get-togethers are on a roll, nothing can stop them in celebrating and honoring milestones of their graduates. This year’s celebration has been dedicated to all of their alumni frontliners around the world who have selflessly rendered their services to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

Present in the event were the association’s board members and jubilarians. The master of ceremonies is UST-EHSGAI Vice President for International Affairs, Mr. Philippe Jose S. Hernandez, MEng. The program started with an opening prayer led by the current UST EHS Regent, Rev. Fr. Maximo P. Gatela, O.P., PhL. The current principal, Assoc. Prof. Marielyn C. Quintana, PhD, highlighted the generosity and unfaltering support of their alumni to the university.

“Now that you are all successful in your field, EA has become the perfect avenue where you completely realize the mission–your scholarship grants, book and allowance sponsorships of Batch 1963, 1970, 1976, 1980, 1984, and 1990. And the provision of computers for students’ online classes this pandemic has [been] sponsored by Batch 1980. [These] speak of your great love to UST Education High School,” said Assoc. Prof. Quintana during her opening remarks. She prayed for the prosperity of the alumni and hoped the alumni can inspire more people in doing great things. 

The alumni were also welcomed with open arms by the association’s president, Mr. Arnel Ocampo. He promised them a face-to-face celebration soon to personally hand them their jubilarian medals together with his Board of Trustees whom he had also introduced to them.

President: Arnel M. Ocampo (Batch 1976)

Executive Vice President: Gilbert Artificio (Batch 1996)

Vice President (International): Philippe Jose Hernandez (Batch 2007)

Vice President (Local): Marilou Madrona-Mendoza (Batch 1984)

Secretary:  Sheila Vicenta Tagbo-Jacinto (Batch 1985)

Treasurer: Ma. Consolacion Exconde-Pingol (Batch 1970)

Auditor: Lizbeth Reynes-Jose (Batch 1973)

PRO: Katherine Lou Keyser-Bundang (Batch 2000)

Board Members:

Leticia Abad-Durens (Batch 1975)

Elvira B. Caballes (Batch 1961)

Arturo Gungon (Batch 1960)

Philip Lustre, Jr. (Batch 1971)

Arni Manjarres-Agustin

Aida Pastrana (Batch 1985)

Marilu Tagbo-Caballes (Batch 1970)

The Board of Trustees were also congratulated by the Office of Alumni Relations Director, Asst. Prof. Fredeswindo R. Medina, MACHs for organizing such a momentous celebration during this pandemic and still bringing together dedicated alumni all over the world. “This event is your living testimony of your commitment to the University of Santo Tomas,” said Asst. Prof. Medina in his speech. 

Then, jubilarian anniversary certificates were awarded by batch followed by their nostalgic yearbook photos. Presentations prepared by the jubilarians were played for everyone to see. There were slideshows of throwback photos, and videos of community singing and dancing. Participants in Zoom and viewers of the Facebook livestream were very active at the chatbox and comments section thread.

After the fun and nostalgia-infused walk down the memory lane, the association presented an AVP showcasing batch-sponsored projects such as scholarship grants and outreach programs. A tribute video dedicated to the EHS graduates who are currently at the frontlines of battling the pandemic was shown. Through the chatbox and comment section, jubilarians and viewers gave their sincere salute to them.

As the program draws closer to the end, Ms. Josephine Sobrepeña-Geotina of Batch 1971 was given the floor to speak on behalf of the jubilarians. She thanked UST-EHSGAI for its effort to make this possible. “Despite the pandemic, you, the EHS Alumni Association, were able to come up with this virtual celebration gathering all the jubilarians. It may not be the best attendance that we have, but I think it’s [the] best because number one, it’s the first for all of us. First in the history of [this] alumni association to celebrate virtually,” she added. Her batch also pledged a donation of PHP50,000.00 to the association for the benefit of its current ongoing projects. 

In his closing remarks, the UST-EHSGAI executive vice president, Engr. Gilbert Artificio, revealed the association’s future plans such as the preparations for the alumni awarding season, and the publication of EHS History Book. He also looked forward to everyone’s participation during the compilation of photos and documents as possible.

With a very hopeful and delightful atmosphere, the 71st alumni homecoming ended with the EHS and UST hymn.

Catch the livestream of the event here: