Monday, January 13, 2014

Alumni homecoming

An open letter to PLM’s 1st Batch, Class of 1967

By Willie Jose

Dear friends and beloved alumni,

We are happy to know that in the next few days, most of you, the First Batch, Class of 1967 will be visiting once again our alma mater- the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila—to hold a heartwarming homecoming, a great chance to renew your close and warn bonding and to meet up even with some overseas-based friends whom you’ve not seen for years.

Belonging to Class ‘67 ourselves, my wife and I would really like to join you there; how we wish we could be with you in   reminiscing the wonderful memories we had   back then when we were still young men and women struggling to survive as  “Iskolar ng Bayan”.

Though, we cannot be there physically but surely we are with you in spirit. At present, there are some pressing things we have to attend to, and also we have been   experiencing some freezing and chilly weather here in Toronto.

However, just like the reunions we’ve had before, we’re certain, this gathering will be another occasion when we can feel young again, looking back to the days when as young teens, we had full of dreams, hopes and ambitions.

When the PLM   was formally opened its door on July 17,1967 to the poor but exceptionally talented graduates of Manila’s public high schools, we were so blessed to be its   pioneer students but we had to prove to all and sundry that we were worthy of the free education given to us by our alma mater.

In remembering our    good”ol days at PLM, how could we forget the anxiety weighing us down, burning the midnight oil and giving everything in our power to maintain our scholarships. Of course, occasionally, we would really be sweating blood    specially at the end of every semester because of too much worrying about getting either low or failing marks from some “ terror” professors.

The danger of being “ kicked out” for failing to keep up the grades was a reality we had to face, it was just like the sword of Damocles hanging over our heads every end of the school year, seeing how the various classes had been decimated as years passed by.

At that time, we all had one all-consuming dream—to escape from poverty—and that was the main driving force that spurred us to give our best shots in our studies; we knew then that the PLM education would be our only chance, a chance of a lifetime, or our families’ way out from suffering and hardship.

Most of us are children of carpenters, drivers, dressmakers, office workers, vendors, laborers, soldiers and other workers; and that our parents worked hard all day so they could give us our daily baon and transport fare but they themselves also dreamt that someday their children would be their only chance to provide them some respite from life’s adversities.

How happy we are today to think that we have not failed both our parents and our alma mater.

Look at ourselves now and what we’ve become--executives of some companies, school deans, journalists, writers, accountants, professors, lawyers, teachers, nurses, doctors, engineers, public officials, and other professionals--and from having lived   in small houses along the railroad tracks, and other shanties in Tondo, Sampaloc, Paco, and Sta. Ana, many of us have    moved to some affordable subdivisions in Metro Manila while the others have migrated to US, Canada and Australia.

But still, we have not forgotten to give something back to our alma mater as testified by   our scholarships programs, the various drives of donating books and magazines to library, medical equipment for the Ospital ng Maynila and donations given to the Enterprise Center and for the bust of Gatpuno Antonio Villegas.

A few years ago, when my wife and I attended one of our reunions, we were happy seeing you all that despite the prominence and status you’ve reached, you still acted like teenagers, eagerly enjoying the company of one another --chatting, joking, dancing, engaging in a never-ending kuwentuhan—not having been affected by the temporary trappings of titles and status in life.

Why did we behave that way?  Simply because that’s the kind of education we’ve got from the PLM-- not being puffed up with pride, always   reminding ourselves of our humble beginnings.

Whatever little comforts and success, we alumni are rejoicing in now, we can all say with certainty that poverty should not be a barrier but a spur to intelligent and poor students to keep on   dreaming dreams until they reach their goals in life.
And wherever we are, our beloved Pamantasan will always be part of our lives and we’ll be grateful forever for the kind of education our alma mater has bestowed upon us.

Best wishes,

Willie and Lilia

Monday, April 29, 2013

PCUAA Summerfest Awards Night
Philippine Colleges and Universities Alumni Associations Summerfest Awards Night – April 20, 2013

Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila Alumni Association is first runner up at 2012 Summerfest of PCUAA. Standing, from left: Delia Gonzales, Myrna Yranon, Bett Lacanlale-Romero (President), Evelyn Simon (Auditor), Ping Nacua, Lynda Caratao, Ollie Bermudez, Camille Duque. Front row: Rey Bermudez and Gani Caratao.

Winning teams at PCUAA 2012 Summerfest awards night with Consul General Junever Mahilum-West (center). Champion: Feati; 1st runner-up: Pamantasan; 2nd runner-up:
UST; 3rd runner-up: CPU. Event was held at Holy Angels Church, Toronto.

Friday, May 18, 2012

"Thank You for helping us"-- PLM alumni

By Willie Jose

My   alumni-friends from the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila Alumni Association in Canada had a very successful tête-à-tête and luncheon with the members of the local media held at Mayetta Restaurant in Toronto last weekend.

Actually, this is the first ever alumni-newsmen affair hosted by us -- a small bunch of indefatigable PLMers. And our main aim is to show appreciation for the noble work these media people have been doing not only to keep updated our kababayans here on the going-ons back home but also to unify them by being   responsive to their needs.    

 But on a personal level, the event is our own way of telling them “thank Sir for accommodating our requests (lots of pakis) for the publication of press releases and write-ups”. Through the help of the community papers, we have been able to reconnect and touch base with the rest of the PLMers living in Toronto and its neighboring areas,

As a journalist myself, I know how journalists feel when people show appreciation for their work. And just a simple expression of   “thank you Sir” is enough to bring immense joys to us—mababaw lang ang kaligayahan naming mga journalists.

I would  like to think this media appreciation affair was not only a real  success  based on  the big  turnout of media men-- publishers, reporters, owners of media outfits and other writers--  attending   this event but most importantly, their presence was also an indication of their willingness to  be partners of other associations and groups  in community and to be of help to them  in disseminating information on  their  projects primarily  aimed at benefiting our  kababayans  back home.

Jojo Taduran, a veteran journalist, commented that “I have been amazed by the cohesiveness of this small group but despite their number they have shown their determination to help their alma mater in whatever best they can; they have not forgotten the poor but talented PLM students who need financial help for their schooling.

These alumni have been sending a stipend of P3, 500 per students/ semester and this amount is just enough to cover the students’ transportation fares and some snacks. Even if these students are scholars, most of them  don’t have enough money  for jeepney fares simply  because their parents are living on the edge being  jeepney or tricycle drivers, laborers, dressmakers and  a number  of them are living  on shanties  in some  squatters areas and cemeteries in Manila’

We PLMers who are fortunate enough to be given a chance to live in this part of the world can relate to the situations and circumstances of the students whom we are helping because just like them, they had parents who were also poor, we had experienced walking from the PLM in Intramuros to Quiapo or Sta Cruz and from there, get jeepneys going either to \Sampaloc, Tondo or Divisoria where most of us lived. The only thing we had before was our sole determination to finish studies which we firmly believed would liberate us from the clutches of poverty.

Romy Marquez, a newsman, who took a video and posted it on website, had been awed by the tenacity and the cohesiveness of the group, that Despite their small in number these alumni have been trying their best to help extend help to their former school\judging by the turnout of media men who attended the affair, and the enthusiasm shown 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Another feather in PLMers' caps

Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM) alumni won the 2nd Runner up trophy for the sports events hosted recently by the Philippine Colleges and Universities Alumni Association (PCUAA). Though,this is their first time joining the PCUAA, these PLMers have shown that aside from their brains, they've got talents too. Photo (inset) shows Rey Bermudez,Rusty Simon, Dani Nacua and Beth Romero regaling the audience with their rendition of Hagibis' " Katawan".

For the YouTube PCUAA Summerfest coverage follow this link--

Thursday, July 14, 2011

PLMAA Canada welcomes new members

We welcome Mr. Eric and his wife Zeny Fernandez for joining our group.They attended the PLMAA Canada's Kapihan sa Pamantasan (West) held at Yatco Filipino Restaurant in Brampton recently. Shown in photo (L-R) are Ador and Myrna Yranon; Eric and Zeny Fernandez; behind them are Rey Bermudez, Beth Lacanlale Romero and Evelyn and Rusty Simon.We have another alumni joining us—Gani Caratao and Raquel Medina

Sunday, May 22, 2011

PLM Summer Get-Together Picnic July 10; Kapihan sa Pamantasan revived

We-- members of the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila Alumni Association in Canada (PLMAA) -- are inviting all PLMers residing in Toronto and its surrounding areas to join our Summer get-together picnic/ get-to-know you affair on July 10 (Sunday) at the Mississauga Valley Park on Mississauga Valley Blvd. Our whole-day (potluck) event is open to all PLMers, their families and friends. Let’s strengthen our camaraderie; let’s enjoy our "kamustahan and kwentuhan", reminiscing the good old days at Pamantasan. Since we have formally joined the Philippine Colleges and Universities alumni Association-- for the first time, we PLMers will be exchanging pleasantries and rubbing shoulders with other alumni from different universities and colleges in the Philippines. And to reach out our batch mates and schoolmates, we have revived our monthly Kapihan sa Pamantasan and we’re initially holding this event on June 4 at 11 a.m. at Yatco Filipino Restaurant at 120 Advance Blvd. in Brampton. For particulars, call on the following alumni: Ping Nacua. 416-439-5427; Beth Romero, 647-444-1851;Delia Manguba, 416-444-7340 ; Myrna Yranon, 416-431-5002 and Evelyn Simon, 905-564-1988. E-mail us at