UP North Celebrates its 28th Year
Article by Willie Vergara
[Photos by Willie Vergara, Brandy Ancheta, Ike Araneta, Kiko Delmendo and Gerry Abenes]



The UP Beta Sigma of Northern California (UP North) held its 3-day biennial celebrations once again on Memorial Day weekend of 2011. This year’s festivities were conducted in the suburban cities of Albany and Emeryville, a few miles away from the charming city of San Francisco.

Grand Princep Gerry Abenes and his supportive wife Lleva had prepared early and systematically for this 3-day occasion, held several meetings, and assigned key organizers several months before the event. With him as Over-all Coordinator, Gerry assigned key Coordinators namely Ike Araneta (Hospitality Nite); Gene Samson (Fraternity Ball); Bobby and Harlean Pascual (Hospitality Suite) and Eric Punzalan (Send-off Picnic). He also assigned Working Committees to back-stop the different areas of the three-day festivities. These committees wee: Souvenir Program and Ads (Johnny Regadio), Programs (Fred Aquino), Music and Entertainment (Kiko Delmendo and Babes Ignacio), Publicity and Documentation (Tatang Vergara), Transportation (Alan Torneros), Awards and Prizes (Pogs Gaspay and Cecilio Felix), Welcome/Reception/Venue Prep (Dave Villegas), Souvenirs (Cyrus Fagar), Utility (Johnny Salud), Tournaments (Gilbert Basbas), Finance (Ding Cavestany), and Food and Beverages (Lleva Abenes).

The celebration started with a Welcome Night at the Albany Community Center. This event offered a lot of pleasant surprises that included (a) the professional class and constantly improving All-UP North's A Band of Brothers; (b) a slide presentation as a tribute to Founding Father Jesus R. Jayme, aka Jesse James and his beloved wife, Leonor, courtesy of Gabby Moraleda and Tatang Vergara; (c) a presentation by UP North ladies mimicking popular rock stars and divas (e.g. Cindy Lauper, Madonna, Lady Gaga, etc.); (d) two pretty Eastern European belly-dancers, courtesy of Brods Gene Samson and Bobby Pascual, with talent scout Nong Fred Aquino; and (e) a lot of booze, dancing and Filipino food.



Slide tribute to Betan Founder Jesus Jayme


UP North's "A Band of Brothers"




UP North's "Rock Star Ladies"





The Belly Dancers














A rollicking Welcome and Hospitality Night


Gilbert and Eileen Basbas organized the friendly golf tournament at Castro Valley

The traditional Fraternity Ball was held on the second night (May 29) at the Hilton Garden Inn @ Top of the Bay at the City of Emeryville, where most of the attendees were billeted. In the afternoon before the grand event, the ladies spent time doing the ikebana arrangements under the supervision of Ikenobo-expert Lleva Abenes placed on each and every table.


The Roll of Officers headed by GP Gerry Abenes went through the ceremonial oath-taking i.e. “ceremonial” because by virtue of the new Constitution and By-Laws, the new GP assumed his post as early as October 22, 2010. Now containing engraved names of all Grand Princeps, the paddle that has become the symbol of the Chapter’s headship was handed over to Gerry. Dr. Edith Oliva represented former GP Eto Oliva, who passed on in the early 2000s. The event’s guest speaker was Brod Rene de Rueda, former Usec of DENR and President of our Mother Chapter. He likewise inducted the new set of officers.


Guest speaker RP Mother Chapter President Rene de Rueda




The First Couple of UP North, Gerry and Lleva Abenes














Dr. Narcing and Tuding Lapus


The Jayme's - Telly, Mom Leonor and Brod Jayjay





Most of the members and guests arrived on time. Out-of-towners included brods and spouses from UP Southern California, Canada, Ohio, Hawaii and the Philippines. As the guests and members registered, the advertisers were handed souvenir programs, which is considered by many as Ago Romero’s “masterpiece”. All guests were given copies of the 28th Anniversary Special Issue of The Betan featuring the historical highlights of the UP North since its founding in 1983.

The evening was also an occasion to grant Chapter awards. Never to be forgotten was the Special Award given to Mom Leonor Jayme for the inspiration she has given to the then Jesse James (e.g. accompanying JRJ in his fraternity functions to as far as the Philippines), for her consistent representation in UP North that included her family since the Grand Reunion in 2001 (even after the demise of her husband), and for her sterling achievement as the titular head of the big JRJ clan comprised of successful, well-mannered businessmen and professionals. Telly Jayme-Miller, one of her daughters, delivered a heartwarming response to such award. Diva Mercy Villegas sang a fitting song, “Dahil Sa Iyo” dedicated to Mom Leonor. Two other awards were granted, specifically: (a) a Professional Achievement Award to Gene Samson for his contribution to society for his inventions in the field of radiology and neuro-radiology; and (b) a Service Award to Rick Velasco.




Special award to Mom Leonor Jayme


Professional Service Award to Gene Samson


Gilbert Basbas, Chairman of the 2011 Golf Tournament, handed several awards of winners in various categories such as the longest drive, closest to the pin, etc. etc.

Another memorable site was the presence of the Chapter’s oldest (Narcing Lapus, Batch ‘48) and youngest (Luigi Topacio Batch 2010). Luigi enrolled in the University of the Philippines last year, then went back to finish his BS Biology course, graduating Cum Laude at the University of San Francisco. He and his girlfriend Kimberly did not disappoint during the pinning ceremonies that both added to the merriment and tradition-laden celebration.


Ballroom dancing to the live music of D’ Grove followed the formal program and the usual midnight snacks was offered right after.




            UP North's oldest, Narcing'48, and youngest, Luigi'10                                        Luigi's dad, Yay'77




Luigi and Kimberly kept the Betan pinning ceremony alive






The celebration ended the following day with a farewell send-off picnic lunch featuring Pilipino delicacies at the scenic Marina Park in Emeryville. It was a very chilly day and the women covered themselves from head to foot, making them look like Talibans. But it was great fun nonetheless, with Brod Danny Pamilar providing most of the laughter.







SEE YOU AT LOS ANGELES THE NEXT TIME AROUND, and the year after that, on 2013 for our 30th Anniversary!




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