Career tips, Broadway actors enliven NY ‘Homecoming sa Konsulado’
NEW YORK – More than 160 alumni representing 23 Philippine colleges, universities and alumni associations gathered at the 8th edition of “Homecoming sa Konsulado” on October 26at the Philippine Center New York.
The homecoming had a full slate of activities in addition to the traditional parade of colors. Dr. Joie Calub and Roxanne Cajigas updated the alumni with the recent Consul General Claro Cristobal welcomed the alumni to the Philippine Center and expressed hope that the alumni make beautiful memories as a great foundation to “Makisalamuha, Makibahagi, Magkaisa,” the theme for this year’s homecoming. He talked about the significance of each word and how important they are in community-building.
The homecoming had a full slate of activities in addition to the traditional parade of alumni flags. Dr. Joie Calub and Roxanne Cajigas gave an update on last August’s Gabay Mag-aaral Project outreach in their hometowns.
Gulapa Law ‘s Atty. Al-Shwaid Ismael gave a brief talk about the rudiments of executing last will and advance directives here in the U.S. that are enforceable in Philippine court. The alumni found the topic it very relevant.
A panel discussion on career perspectives moderated by Silliman University’s Laura Garcia featured four Filipino Americans from different fields, namely: Dr. Kevin Nadal, a professor of psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and The Graduate Center of the City University of New York; Dr. Connie Uy, an Emerita Professor of Pediatrics at the Rutgers-New Jersey Medical School; Reagan John Rada, a fine jewelry designer, president of Serendipity Gems and owner of media entertainment Reagan John Productions; and Ricardo Cinco, a certified public accountant and Director of Business Services of Eisner and Amper. They shared what prompted them to immigrate to the US, the challenges they faced, and how they overcame them, as well as their thoughts on how to engage Filipinos to be involved and active in community building.
Aside from the informative discussions, the day was highlighted by the outstanding performances of talented Fil-Am Broadway singers Diane Phelan, Jaygee Macapugay and Lydia Gaston, with pianist Justin Ramos, and Carla Mongado.
Also featured was a special dance performance by Marilou Cristobal of the Tausug traditional Pangalay dance, while Rowena O’Mary and Al Usman showed the ancient Filipino martial arts dance, Kuntao.
Dance instructor Noel Gamboa kept the alumni on their toes during a line dancing session in the afternoon. The participants were also in high spirits as some of them won raffle and door prizes provided by the different alumni associations and corporate sponsors, Philippine Airlines and Philippine National Bank. Marilyn Abalos of St. Paul’s College won the grand prize Philippine Airlines round-trip ticket to Manila.
The event was co-hosted by Nelsie Parrado of UPAAA, Dr. Fely Santiago of UPMASA and Ramil Buenaventura of PSK. Alex Esteban of PWU served as the Stage Coordinator for the event.
The participating alumni associations, colleges and universities who were also involved during planning meetings led by the Consulate were Assumption College, Ateneo family, Cebu Normal University, Centro Escolar University, De La Salle University, Letran College, Lyceum of the Philippines, Mindanao State University, Paaralan sa Konsulado, Philippine Women’s University, San Beda University, Silliman University, St. Scholastica, St. Paul’s College, University of San Carlos, University of Santo Tomas, UP Alumni Association in America (UPAAA), UP Alumni Association – NJ, UP Nurses of the East Coast (UPNEC), and UP Medical Alumni Society in America (UPMASA). St. Joseph’s College of Quezon City joined for the first time while alumni from St. Louis University of Baguio City and Asia Pacific College attended as observers.