- The Philippine Consulate General in New York in cooperation, with alumni associations of Philippine schools, colleges, and universities, held the first-ever “Homecoming sa Konsulado: Sama-Sama para sa Kaunlaran ng Pilipino” at the Kalayaan Hall and Annex of the Philippine Center in New York on October 13.
The event was part of an effort to bring together in one activity alumni associations of different Philippine-based schools, colleges, and universities and to provide an opportunity where alumni from the Philippines could meet, establish networks and contacts, reinvigorate ties among their members, recruit new members, and pave the way for collaborative future projects.
Nearly 150 alumni of Philippine educational institutions attended the event which included the participation of a core group of 12 alumni associations which grew to 20 schools represented during the activity.
Aside from the core group of associations from Assumption College, Ateneo de Manila, College of the Holy Spirit, De La Salle, Maryknoll/Miriam College, Philippine Women’s University, St. Augustine’s School, St. Bridget’s School, University of the Philippines (UP) Medical Alumni Society of America, UP Alumni Association of New Jersey, UP Alumni Association of New York, and the UP Nurses of the East Coast, other schools such as Colegio de San Juan de Letran, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, St. Scholastica’s College, Mapua Institute of Technology, St. Louis University, St. Theresa’s College, San Beda College, and University of Manila, were also represented at the event.
Some participants came in their school shirts, uniforms, and their respective school colors.
In welcoming the guests to the first Homecoming event, Consul General Mario de Leon, Jr. noted that the Consulate had long wanted to bring the different alumni associations together in the hopes of fostering closer relations among graduates of Philippine schools and also to provide a platform for possible collaborative projects to benefit educational projects in the Philippines.
He stated that the same active school spirit which inspires many alumni associations could likewise be channeled for joint projects within the community as well as to encourage all the alumni to support programs of other alumni associations.
Among the activities held during the 5-hour event were special performances from the San Lorenzo Choir of New York, special numbers from different schools, line dancing by the UP Nurses of the East Coast, a brief talk on Nutrition and Health by Dr. Bill Romero of the UP College of Medicine, special numbers by French musician Didier Namane, and an impromptu performance by broadway artist Miguel Ayesa. The program likewise featured a karaoke competition while the UP Medical Alumni Society of America provided a health and wellness station.
The Consulate General also provided ePassport, dual citizenship and overseas absentee voter registration services during the event. The program ended with a Community singing of original Pilipino music led by pianist and La Salle alumnus Ed Tuason.
The program was emceed by Tess Canlas-Mojica, President of the DLSUAA-Metro New York and Robert Borje of the Philippine Mission to the United Nations in New York.
The Consulate will convene the expanded core group to plan for the 2013 homecoming and a possible collaborative project in view of the very positive feedback from the event.