Rustles of Spring in UP NorCal
by Willie "Tatang" Vergara

[Photos by Ike & Tanya Araneta and Cheng Valdez]



When springtime comes, it’s always party-time in UP Northern California Chapter.

It started last March in Salinas with the birthday party of Brod Bobby Pascual ‘68a (Blitzkrieg), an event that is becoming a tradition in the Chapter. For the Salinas photos, please see PICTURE-an II at the left column of the FEATURES page.

Last April 10, Brod Gerry Abenes ’66 (Spirit of 66) offered his home as a venue to welcome his ka-batch, our big brother in the Philippine media, Brod Rolly G. Reyes. But then Rolly decided to stay home rather than go with another government-sponsored trip to the United States as part of PGMA’s entourage. The event that was intended for Rolly was called off… but not for long. Gerry and wife Lleva had other things in mind: a classy cocktail party featuring different mixed drinks as elegant as the bartender herself. For the professionals and the beginners (like me), the cocktail drinks were utterly enjoyable. A tip box was made available for those who remembered to drop in their few dollars in appreciation for these nice and refreshing drinks. A raffle that sold at $5 per ticket was also held. All in all, this mini-event gained a modest initial amount for the newly-launched project for this Chapter’s members called Rainy Day Funds Drive, an initiative of host Gerry Abenes.

On the same occasion, immediate past GP Bong Beredo also went around to pass-the-hat for the OBBF-sponsored Golf Tournament for the Johnny Chiuten School of Martial Arts Center. (OBBF as we all know from numerous postings at the website, has been one of the fraternity’s most productive groups considering its long record of conducting several impact and long-lasting projects that had the residents in mind as beneficiaries, not to mention their recent heroic Oplan Sunshine during the devastating typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng.) So successful was big Bong’s blitz that he generated more than $450 in collections and pledges, more than enough to sponsor one-hole ($220) and the rest of the money to be given directly to JC-SOMA.


What gave added luster to the occasion was the entertainment provided by Brod Rey Bantegui ’69 (Panzer) of UP Southern California with a large collection of Motown music and popular songs. Rey must have had a good night’s sleep at Brod Ike Araneta’s home the night before that he seemed never to tire himself out of the singing. Not to be forgotten, of course, is our very own, A Band of Brothers, who sang with Rey and who provided instrumental support for diva Mercy Villegas. Just as the night was heating up, Brod Greg Palis UPLB ‘71a (Silver Woodstock) a Manila-based brod visiting his wife Julie, who is currently working in San Francisco, also arrived at Gerry's and Lleva's Grill. Surely it was fun to see that both Greg and Julie also love group singing and easily found themselves into the partying mood of the other brods and sisses.








A most recent UP NorCal party was held last April 24 at the home of Cy Abiog at Foster City, as a despedida for Vicente Valdez, Jr., the son of Brod Dr. Titing and Cheng Valdez. “Titing Junior” will always be remembered as having won championship awards for UP NorCal, being that he is a member of the Philippine Bowling Team that has been competing internationally.





That famous song by the late James Brown, rendered by Rotsen Lawas’66, was the tone of UP North’s Christmas party last Saturday, December 12, in Suisun City, California. Couple this with Kiko Delmendo’73 on saxophone, leading our very own, A Band of Brothers’s euphoric version of Santana’s “Europa” it was a wild and wonderful party to remember.








Let's drink to spring!!




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