By Cyrus A. Natividad
CPUAAI President Dr. Florentino Alerta and CPU President Dr. Teodoro Robles with some of the Board and Bar topnochers.
411 Centralians registered and attended the 2022 CPUAAI Alumni Homecoming and General Assembly last October 1, 2022 at the Rose Memorial Auditorium, Central Philippine University. Some were present via Zoom, and also joined the livestreaming via the CPUTV Facebook Channel.
The famous extract by Henry Ford, “Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success” is relevant with regards to the alumni gathering.
For the Centralian Alumni (with more than 160 chapters – worldwide), the desire, imagination, planning and looking forward have started even before the Covid19 could set in. Despite the pandemic, we were not prevented to communicate or see our dear alumni from around the world online (mostly on social- media). We invited everyone, exchanged ideas and encouraged them to come home.
We believe many ideas have been hatched for that significant event (a homecoming after more than a couple of years without it). Despite the situation, our being away from one another encouraged us to value our CPUAAI membership. It is not about being invited, or having an award. It is the willingness going strong because of loyalty and commitment.
When Mauro Somodio from Australia called to ask, “How’s the attendance at the Rose?” We told him “It’s not full to the brim, but we feel the Central Spirit more than ever.” The program was lively – with great expectation from world-class Centralian talents, who gave out their best –with perfect special numbers. They were the CPU Dance Company with Artistic Director Prof. Randy Lero; Mr. John Bryan Carnaje; Multi medallist and 2019 Champion of the World (23rd World Championships of Performing Arts ) Long Beach Performing Arts, Long Beach California, USA; and Gold Medalists: Dancesport Competition (Latin American), 2022 Palarong Pambansa (with Coach: Mrs. January Love Desamero).
Centralians were welcomed by various music played by the CPU Symphonic Band under the baton of Band Master Mr. Ascencion Bautista outside the Rose Memorial Auditorium. Earlier at 6:00 AM, about 20 Centralian riders led by Mr. Ernesto Carvajal travelled from the CPU campus and passed by various areas including the Philippine-American Cemetery to pay homage to some of the American Baptist missionaries who are buried there.
The registration started at about 7:00 AM with alumni dropping in their raffle coupons in drop boxes; coupons are teared-off from the meal tickets. It was time to start the program at 8:00 AM. Dr. Florentino P. Alerta II, President, CPUAAI, and Chair of the 2022 Alumni Homecoming and General Assembly; CPU President Dr. Teodoro C. Robles, and BOT Chair Dr. Elmer Q. Pedregosa delivered their welcome remarks. Dr. Esther Rose A. Romarate, CPUAAI Corporate Secretary made a Roll Call of the Alumni.
The variety of activities included the “Pasidungog”, a Recognition of Centralian Achievers – presenting the Centralian Board Examination Topnotchers of the Year. The Centralian Medical Frontliners video – of those ‘medical heroes’ who died on duty at the height of Covid-19 followed.
A moment of silence was observed to remember and honor Atty. Joshua C. Alim, CPUAAI Past President before the Business Meeting began. CPUAAI President Dr. Alerta delivered the President’s Report and Engr. Rey L. Balogo, the Treasurer’s report. On a wide screen, President Rodrigo J. Gonzales extended his greetings on behalf of the CPU Federation of Overseas Alumni Association, Inc. (FOAAI). Dr. Robles delivered his report during the President’s time.
Prosecutor Atty. Noel C. Siosan, Jr., CPUAAI Corporate Auditor and Chair of Nomination and Election Committee announced the Nominees for the election of CPUAAI Board of Trustees and for the CPU Corporation. The Ratification of CPUAAI By-Laws was presided by Atty. Jeremy V. Bionat, Chair of the Amendments Committee. Bionat later announced the development of the “Plant- a –true-Narra Project”.
CPUAAI Vice President Rev. Francis Neil Jalando-on prayed for the food, and lunch was served before 12 noon. Engr. Vitini Edhard O. Idemne launched the book, “Central Songs through the Years.” It was followed by the Central Song Challenge led by with Ms. Crista Huyong, CAO Director with Engr. Idemne.
After lunch, the CPU Alumni Jubilarians were recognized. They are the Batch ’97 on their 25th Anniversary, Batch ’92 on their 30th; Batch ’87 on their 35th, Batch 82 on their 40th, Bach ’77 on their 45th; Batch ’72 on their 50th , Batch’67 on their 55th and Batch 1962 on their 60th.
The election results was also read by Atty. Siosan. Door prizes were announced from time to time during the event. Ms Huyong and Engr. Idemne led in the singing of the Alumni Theme Song ‘Centralite’ before the University Church Associate Pastor, Rev. Roger T. Quimpo led the Closing Prayer and Benediction.
Ms Divine Grace M. Sorioso (BS Social Work 2018) and Mr. Jean Nico J. Gumban (Kinder 1996/ Elementary 2003/HS 2007/BSHFLM 2015) were the hosts of the homecoming event.
Indeed, the Homecoming was a milestone. As we look forward to a new horizon, may we never forget that our love for the alumni celebrations must be carried on by the next generation. Congratulations Centralians! The 2022 Alumni Homecoming and General Assembly was a resounding success!