The UP Beta Sigma Grand Reunion of May 23-25, 2009

by Gabby Moraleda'68b and Willie Vergara'67a


The Great San Francisco Reunion: Day 1

“Hindi nagbago si Pamboy”: The Betan Spirit Lives

[Photos by Willie Vergara, Ike Araneta, Cesar Amurao and Norman Bituin]


“Hindi nagbago si Pamboy!” These were the words expressed by RP Usec & People's Television Network Chairman Rolly Reyes when he saw Brod Josue Castillo after 40 years. "Cute at pogi pa rin." It captured the spirit that prevailed during the UP Beta Sigma Grand Reunion. Attended by 260 guests, the atmosphere and mood was very festive and jolly -- filled with fun and much laughter. It was an affair to remember.


 At the Sheraton Hotel lobby



Vet Med pals Drs. Noli Nolasco & Josue '"Pamboy" Castillo: cute at pogi pa rin


L-R: RP Usec Rolly Reyes, Norman Bituin, Edsel Arceo, Founder Atty. Rico Arranz & Bong Beredo


L-R: Kay Smaby-Symons, Barbara Hizon, Cherry Bituin & Bing Villanueva


Among the guests from Manila with RP Usec Rolly were co-Founder Atty. Melencio "Rico" & Sol Arranz and family, Eding & Barbara Hizon, Dante Fagar, Ed & Rose Abon and family, Ed Cheng, Bobby Manansala, Buddy Curameng, Bernie & Bing Bantegui, Greg & Boy Palis. From Canada came the 15-strong Jayme clan led by Mama Leonor Jayme, JJ Jayme, Noli Nolasco, and Art de Vera. From Australia came Bal & Bing Villanueva. Then there were the “first timers” like Dr. Pat & Lisa Gonzales, Jun Reyes, Rey & Anna Resureccion, Maeng & Jenny Ramirez, Jim & Teresa Gonzalvo, Tony Martinez, Orlino Ancheta, Jess & Fe Monzon, Angie & Jo Garbes, Jun & Andrea Samaniego, Tito Garcia, Dave David, Renzi del Rosario. Then there were the out-of-state Wally Rodriguez, Kay Symons, Manny Casaclang, Caloy & Cora Las Marias, Ernie & Eva Igot, Bob Lorenzo, Ted & Ling Quijano, Peter Guzman, Lem & LC Lorene Michelena. There were Sigma Betans Edith Oliva, Marie Ganchorre. Of course, the “locals” were there – UP Beta Sigma Southern CA led by Frank Mamaril, Federation of Beta Sigma led by Sonny Pagador, Beta Sigma of San Francisco led by Dutch Aragones, Beta Sigma Western USA led by Jet Salas, Beta Sigma Northwest led by Cosme Santiago and the host chapter -- the UP Beta Sigma Northern CA.


At the Westborough Recreation Center



                  Nonoy Bautista & Rico Arranz                         Cecilio Felix, Narcing Lapuz, Dave Villegas, Darius Munoz, Edsel Arceo, Ding Cavestany 



                   Ex-USAF pilot Jim Gonzalvo & Teresa                        Doris San Luis, Cherry Bituin, Julie Cavestany, Barbara Hizon & Bing Villanueva 



                                    Kay Symons & Bal Villanueva                                    All LB: Vic Gacusan, John Singh, Maeng Ramirez, Nick Galvez, Ed Cheng



               Edith Oliva MD with Josie & Angie Garbes MD                                           Atty. Ed & Rose Abon with kids



 Gabby Moraleda, Buddy Curameng, Bobby Manansala, Dan Galoso                 UPD Spirit of '66: Gerry Abenes, Rolly Reyes, Gene Samson



       Titing Valdez MD, Bal Villanueva, Boy Ramos, Noli Nolasco           DVMs: Narcing Lapuz, Cesar Antonio, Rey Resureccion, Winston Acevedo


Founder Rico Arranz'46 flanked by 60's brods: GerryA'66, BobbyP'68, NonoyB'60, EdA'69, WillieV'67, BernieB'68, RollyR'66


L-R: NormB, TitoG, TitingV, DaveV, EricP, EdingH, CyrusF,YayT, AngieG



For the 3 days, we were all transported back in time -- reminiscing our campus activities in the Collegian, Student Government, ROTC; in musical plays like Folkways, “The Becket”, “Batingao”, “South Pacific”; in special events like the Hay Ride, the Lantern Parade, the Harana; in sporting events like Rodeo Tumbleweeds, School of Martial Arts, Basketball, Volleyball, Chess and many more. We recalled our “first crush”, our “first love” and “our first kiss”.














The first day began with a Memorial Service for our departed brothers. This was held at the Westborough Recreation Center, about 15 minutes away from the ‘main headquarters’ in Sheraton Airport Hotel. The Holy Mass was officiated by Father Mark Reburiano. UP North’s pride and our ever beloved professional singer Mercy Villegas sang a spine-tingling version of “Our Father”. Right after was a "Celebration of Life" powerpoint presentation. There were tears shed as we paid tribute to brods that have gone before us – briefly recalling their lives, deeds and friendship. A very touching response message was delivered by Evelyn Jayme Amurao, daughter of our beloved departed Founding President Jesus R. Jayme, on behalf of the families.


"Celebration of Life":  Memorial Mass for Departed Brothers






                                   Mom Leonor Jayme                                                                     Evelyn Jayme-Amurao





This was followed with a Hospitality Nite where more than 200 guests were welcomed. The noise level inside the hall was exceptionally high as each brod and sis floated from one small group to another either introducing themselves to new faces or reliving memories of long ago and far away. Even so, Brod Winston Acevedo sportily proceeded to deliver his welcome message for the fellowship, reminiscing and bantering could not wait any longer. The food prepared by the Hospitality Committee was so delightfully delicious that an additional order for the late-comers had to be made.






Then came the jamming, singing and dancing. Music was provided by our very own "A Band of Brothers", who had been practicing so many months before the affair. And they did not disappoint! They prepared a repertoire of songs and music from several periods and decades. This home-grown band is composed of UP Northern California members, namely: Babes Ignacio on the lead guitar, Ike Araneta on the rhythm guitar, vocalist Vee Vera also assisting with the rhythm guitar, bass guitarist Frank Morales, professional musician Kiko Delmendo on the sax and clarinet. On the drums, conga & percussion are Gerry Abenes, Dutch Aragones & Manolo Banzon; and vocalists  MayAnne Teodoro and Nestor Lawas. Rey Bantegui came in with an exquisite period costume and his repertoire of Motown songs. Helping out in the singing chores were Ivy Cosio Bautista of LA and Pogs Gaspay. With the microphone open to anybody who wished to sing, it was a delight to see Renzi del Rosario, Bobby and Harlean Pascual, Eva Romero, Tanya Araneta, and McGarry (son-in-law of Mom Leonor Jayme) on stage.


"A Band of Brothers"


Mercy Villegas belts it out



        Cheng Valdez twirls the keyboard, Frank Morales on bass guitar                      ...while Ding "Satchmo" Cavestany croons



                                      Hermie & Doris San Luis                                         Orlino Ancheta from Hawaii & partner



                                      Lita Punzalan & Cesar Antonio                                             Angie & Josie Garbes



                                      Bobby & Harlean Pascual                                       Jun-jun Villegas & Mercy Villegas



                                            Ed & Rose Abon                                                       Darius & Cely Munoz



                                  Cora & Caloy Las Marias MD                                       MayAnne Teodoro & Fred Aquino



                                  Ago & Eva Romero                                           Angie & Jo Garbes: take 2 (lakas mo sa UP NorCal, Doc)



                           Ding Cavestany & Kay Symons                                                             Eding & Barbara Hizon


The Hippies: Bantegui Brothers - Bernie & Ray


Banteguis + the ever smiling Bobby Manansala, Ed Rivera & Jun Reyes




                                      Ike Araneta on rhythm guitar                                                          Kiko Delmendo on sax and clarinet



                                    Pogs Gaspay                                                                    Fred Aquino & Ivy Bautista



                                      Babes Ignacio on lead guitar                                                      McGarry, Mom Leonor's son-in-law


Tanya & Ike Araneta, Dutch Aragones on conga and percussion


Get down, Ladies!!  Is that the boogaloo?!


Ernie Tremor & Edith Orlino-Oliva do the boogie, like in the Los Banos days of old



     Beta Sigma Midwest GP Lem Michelena gets funky                       ... while Tito Garcia clowns with "Bob Marley's" locks        



           Tatang Vergara looks happily "spaced" out                              ... and Nonoy harmonizes with Eva, Iou & Cherry


Who's your Momma?



Kiko on sax & Ray rock with UP SoCal wannabe cage dancers Ivy & Eva



   The air was filled with music,
The stories, nostalgic,
The bonding, harmonic,
The humor, fantastic,
The ambience, artistic,
The food, prolific.
The kinship, authentic...




To be continued....  Day 2, Part 1



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