Category Archives: Uncategorized

Welcome to UPAAS

Welcome to the official website of the University of the Philippines Alumni Association (Singapore). UPAAS is a non-stock, non-profit association organized in 2003 for the primary purpose of bringing together the UP Alumni in various parts of Singapore. The organization seeks to devote its efforts to the advancement of the UP Cause and Ideals as well as pioneer in the identification, conceptualization and implementation of projects for the benefit of the UP campus and the community at large.

Galilee Repainting Project

by Gilbert Bejo

What could be the main thing that impelled these groups of people to meet one beautiful, sunny day of June 18?

As early as 8:30am, volunteers were already at the Galilee Centre, an HDB void-deck-turned-school for less privileged children located at Ang Mo Kio Ave. 4. They came with excitement etched on their faces. Some even brought their friends and colleagues.

Who wouldn’t be excited? It was the first time that UPAAS embarked on a community outreach activity that has a Singapore entity as its main recipient. In the past, all her activities were geared towards benefitting the Filipino community in general.

With eagerness, volunteers prepared the materials prior to the repainting of the Centre. Paint cans, brushes big and small, old newspapers, rolls of masking tape, paint rollers of various sizes and paint trays were placed conspicuously in areas where painting was to be done. Ladders were there as well to help the guys reach the ceiling – with painting the ceiling proving to be one of the most challenging, if not tough, part of the activity.

However, what stole the limelight was painting the hallway walls. Based on “The Lord is my Shepherd” theme, the task involved sketching the design of a shepherd carrying a sheep with several of the animal in the foreground. It was detailed, at best laborious, and required focus and concentration. The painting lasted until 11:00 at night. It was like having a crash-course on mural painting for amateurs. As tiresome it may be, the thought that the new hallway scene would evoke the children’s delight was enough to lighten the seemingly daunting task of bringing to end the painting of the walls.

The centre administrator, Doris, was very happy to see the newly painted walls, ceiling, and the new design on the walls of the hallway. She was very much pleased with the result of the collective efforts of the group and was left with awe for the camaraderie she witnessed. For a time, she fancied being a Filipino!
Philippine Ambassador to Singapore, H.E. Minda Cruz, accompanied by Vice Consuls Jed Llona and Reichel Quinoñes paid a short visit. Some UPAAS members also dropped by, bringing food and drinks and providing moral support.

The activity was a joint collaboration of the UPAAS Community Outreach team headed by Nannette Villajos, UPAAS Mancom, volunteers and supporters (both members and friends). Rendering of the design was done by Marc Zara.

Still wondering what was that impelling force that brought these groups of people together? It was the thought of giving back what they have received from the Community, the thought of sharing and making a difference, albeit small, in a school called Galilee.

More pictures are available on the Flickr site

Night At The Museum

Can’t recall what you have learned in your humanities class? UPAAS invites you to our museum tour at Singapore Arts Museum.

WHAT: Exhibit: “Negotiating Home, History and Nation: Two decades of contemporary art in Southeast Asia 1991 -- 2011″
WHERE: Singapore Art Museum
WHEN: May 20, 2011 @ 6:30PM ( admission is free every Friday night at SAM )

To join, please register here. This will be followed by our monthly tambayan at Dome Restaurant

Kuleh! Newsletter First Edition Released

Welcome to the first edition of “Kuleh!”, the official newsletter of UPAAS. The aim of this quarterly newsletter is to inform UPAAS members about the activities the organization is involved with and to serve as a platform for all members to express their views, opinions and talents.

Kuleh Newsletter Issue 1

Download the newsletter here.

Exclusive Baldemor Paintings for a Cause

The Ondoy calamity last year hit so many people including our very own major supporter – the famous Manny Baldemor. His residence in Pasig was not spared. A significant 80% of his belongings were destroyed, including some of his art works.
It is fortunate however that Professor Bobby Mariano has with him some of MB’s art works in Singapore. These exclusive paintings are now available for sale for a very limited period only, and this is all for a cause. Part of the proceeds will go towards the scholarship programmes of SMU School of Economics and UPAAS.
Prof Bobby has some 50 MB paintings. For those interested to see the paintings, pls email him at for a viewing appointment.
MB # Title (Click title for image) Size Medium Year Price (S$)
1 Merry Month of May 13″x15″ mixed 2007 $1800
2 Old Chinatown 30″x40″ acrylic 2007 $11,000
3 Blessed with Pristine Rivers and Wetlands 13″x15″ mixed 2008 $1800
4 Walls & Windows 19.3″x27.5″ aquarelle 2007 $4890
5 Offspring 13″x15″ mixed 2007 $1800
6 Inspirational Atmosphere 18″X24″ mixed 2008 $3980
7 Jeepney 13″x15″ mixed 2007 $1800
8 Remarkable Island 13″x15″ mixed 2007 $1800
9 Pabitin 13″x15″ mixed 2007 $1800
10 Viva Sto. Nino 13″x15″ mixed 2007 $1800
11 No Title 10.5″x14.5″ watercolour 1986
12 No Title 10.5″x14.5″ watercolour 1986
13 Blue Mood 10.5″x14.5″ watercolour 1988

UPAAS Annual General Meeting 2010

The UPAAS Management Committee would like to invite you to
The UPAAS Annual General Meeting 2010
Venue: 7107 Flavours, #02-02 Marina Square
Date: March 21 2010, Sunday, 2pm – 5pm
Food and drinks will be served.
Please RSVP on or before Wednesday, 17 March, 2010.
Meeting Agenda

  • Election of new officers
  • President’s report on past year’s activities
  • Discussion of future activites

UPAAS presents: Music in Transit, a Lovni Night of Classical Music

A Benefit Piano Concert by Adolovni Acosta
Dearest friends,

Holiday mood is still in the air as we are still in the midst of Chinese New Year celebrations. Here’s wishing you all happiness and prosperity and good health on each day of 2010!

At UPAAS, we too are having an exciting start for the year. We are busily preparing for a benefit piano recital by Ms Adolovni Acosta – UP alumna and an alumna of the prestigious New York- based Juilliard School of performing arts.

When Lovni heard about the UPAAS Scholarship Programme, she immediately offered to help raise funds by conducting a benefit piano concert in Singapore. This March, she is scheduled to perform and give a master class in Bangkok and thereafter, swing by Singapore for this benefit classical concert pianist, before proceeding to India where she will be having another performance. Music in transit indeed, and a privilege for those in Singapore.

with support from the
Philippine Embassy in Singapore & the Philippine National Bank
proudly presents

A Fleeting Moment: Music in Transit
a rare one-night performance by
Ms Adolovni Acosta
In celebration of Chopin and Schumann’s 200th birth anniversaries and Albeniz’s 150th birth anniversary.

Date: Saturday, March 13, 2010, 7:00 pm (registration starts at 6:00 pm)
Venue: 17 Victoria Park Road, Singapore, 266496
Attire: Cocktail

We would like you to be a part of this. Come and enjoy the classical pieces, in celebration of the bicentennial anniversaries of the masters. Catch this rare and exclusive performance by one of top Filipino talents. And help a poor but bright and deserving student go to school.

Pls email or contact Jon (Jogo) 92262476, Denise 96739447 or Minnie 93554250, to reserve a seat. Seats are limited so pls call early so you will not be disappointed.

Relief for Ondoy Victims – Results

Dearest Friends,

Last saturday – October 10, 2009, we had completed packing your donations-in-kind. To-date, we have filled 36 boxes of food and clothing, twenty nine (29) of which are on the way to the Philippines. Also, we have gathered  a net amount of S$4,322.00 cash to be donated to the victims of Typhoon Ondoy thru the Philippine National Red Cross (apart from the cash collected by/ deposited to UPAAS account).

We extend our gratitude to the kind-hearted people who served us food during the packing, Doc C, Pres Minnie, Jane & Ate Norie; to the sorters and packers especially to our Singaporean friend Eileen and Thai friend Kanokwan; to Joni & Roman for offering your place as our relief depot.

We can’t thank you enough for your generosity… and for that we are just simply speechless.

The details of this relief drive can be found on the attachments.

The Organizing Team,

PS: We may have missed some people’s email address and we need to thank them too for this drive,  would appreciate if you can relay this email.
As of this writing, the scourge of Typhoon Parma caused so many lives in Northern Luzon.  They are also appealing for help.


Ondoy Relief Goods Packaging Team in Action:

UPAAS volunteers packs relief goods for ondoy victims.
The UPAAS relief goods packaging team in action.
UPAAS volunteers pack relief goods for ondoy victims. View more photos…

Metro Cuisine Featured on the Philippine Star

Many thanks to Dr. Ricardo Soler for writing the article entitled “A delicious Filipino-Singaporean connection” which was published in the Sunday Lifestyle section of the Philippine Star last 20 Sep, 2009.

MANILA, Philippines – The Filipino community in Singapore is once again excited and proud – this time with the publication of a cookbook, Metro Cuisine: Cosmopolitan Finger Foods, which was launched on Aug. 27 in a lavish program held at the Singapore Art Museum, one of the priceless heritage buildings of the island state…

The book and its launch are part of the commemorations of the 40 years of bilateral relations between Singapore and the Philippines.

Metro Cuisine: Cosmopolitan Finger Foods is a unique recipe book that reflects the present-day cosmopolitan Filipino migrant who retains his cultural roots while embracing influences brought by other cultures. It showcases the vibrant Filipino cuisine that brings nourishment to the body, mind, heart and soul. It also embodies the harmonious working relationship of Filipinos and Singaporeans. The book was created and spearheaded by a group of Filipinos residing in Singapore with the help of generous funding from the Lee Foundation, Philippine National Bank, Cardinal Porcelain Philippines and two prominent Singaporeans, Goh Eck Kheng (publishing consultant) and Christopher Tan (food consultant, adviser and stylist), who contributed their time, talent and technical know-how.

Guest of honor at the launch was Michael Koh Soon Hwa, CEO of Singapore’s National Heritage Board, who extolled not only the invaluable contribution of Filipino migrants in his country but also their introduction of their native culture there as exemplified, for one, by the publication of the book.

The Philippine Embassy and Singapore Art Museum co-hosted the launch with the University of the Philippines Alumni Association (Singapore) or UPAAS. The Philippine Ambassador to Singapore, Minda C. Cruz, together with UPAAS president Minnie Lau welcomed the ambassadors to Singapore from Thailand, Myanmar, Indonesia and Spain and Dr. Ricardo Soler as VIP guests. Dr. Soler, upon the invitation of the editorial team, wrote the introduction of the book, participated in a panel discussion on parallels among Southeast Asian cuisine and taste. Dr. Soler also delivered an introductory talk on the evolving links between Singaporean and Philippine food.

During the dinner cocktails, the foods served (to the delight of the guests) were those presented in the book. Musical numbers by soprano Anna Migallos, a student of the UP Conservatory of Music, and a chorale presentation by PsalmiDeo composed of Filipino professionals working in Singapore lent an ethnic musical touch to the evening.

The book features more than 60 finger food recipes contributed by UP alumni members, Filipino dignitaries, Filipino Muslim converts in Singapore and overseas domestic Filipino workers there, as well as friends from Singapore and various countries.

The proceeds from the sponsorships and sales of the book will be dedicated to the Endowment Fund of the UPAAS scholarship. The UPAAS scholarship currently supports four students embarking on a full-time, four-year degree program.

The Endowment Fund aims to support four UP students on any UP campus at any given time. This is in line with the UPAAS objective of supporting the University of the Philippines’ vital role in the development of the Philippine society and the Filipino nation while contributing to sustainable poverty alleviation initiatives in our country.

The Endowment Fund will assure the sustainability and stability of the UPAAS Scholarship that provides tuition and stipend to the poorest of the poor students at UP.

View the article [].

Volunteer Work at the Philippine Embassy

We will be visiting the Philippine Embassy again on 26 July, the last Sunday of this month to help out.

Volunteer work will be in the following areas: taking care of the queues, directing people to correct counters, assisting applicants to fill up forms, assisting counters in conveying basic information to queries, assisting in OAV registration, answering telephone queries, conveying basic information and getting messages for polo officers.

If you’re interested to join, contact Erik Ong.

The UPAAS EZ Link Card Design Challenge

The UPAAS EZ Link Card

Year 2009 so far has been a very active year for UPAAS! We had our grandest tambayan in years, the successful 1st Mutya ng Pilipinas Singapore pageant, our involvement in two Independence day celebrations, and of course, the upcoming launch of one of our most ambitious projects to date (drum roll please) — the Metro Cuisine recipe book! And, we should not forget other equally important events, which are already being planned, with details to be annnouced in due time, such as the Barrio Fiesta 2009 ( -> petition list for Palitaw ni Olive?).

To immortalize this successful year, which will be remembered in annals of Philippine-Singapore relations as the year UPAAS exploded to the Singapore Filipino community scene, we decided to come up with a new UPAAS ID design (ez-link).

So, our beloved friends, are you ready for the 2009 UPAAS ID design challenge!?

The rules are simple:

(1) The theme is “40 years of Philippines – Singapore diplomatic relations”.

(2) The design should include UPAAS logo and space for name and details of member. (Logo can be found on the website).

(3) The design should fit on a SMRT EZ-Link card.

(4) The contest is open to all active* members only. (*Members who have paid their dues by June 30 (deadline of submission). Membership fees can be paid to any mancom member or thru ATM or thru online banking UPAAS accnt at StanChart Bank Accnt 4200007591, bank code 7144 / branch code 42, Account name: University of the Philippines Alumni Association (Singapore)).

(5) The deadline for the submission of entry is at 11:59 pm of 30 June 2009. Please send your entries to membership (at) upaas (dot) org.

All the entries will be posted on our website ( and uploaded to our yahoo group . They will be open for viewing for a week (from July 6 to 11:59pm July 13, 2009). Active* members will be invited to vote. The winning design will receive a prize. The submitted designs may also be used for new UPAAS t-shirt prints. (A member is allowed to vote if he’s paid his dues by July 19, 2009, the last date for voting).