The USTHS AAI Officers’ Report, FY 2009-2010
Three years after being reincorporated on February 2, 2007, the UST High School Alumni Association Inc. continues to grow and, more important, continues to help perpetuate the legacy of the beloved high school that is our Alma Mater.
The road to the 2010 Grand Alumni Homecoming (GAH)—the climax of both this year’s UST High School Week and of our annual efforts as USTHS alumni—has been daunting but nevertheless exhilarating. This especially since we were able to put together, one year ahead, a formidable organizing committee (OrgCom), one that cuts across the different jubilarian batches and features alumni of future jubilarian years—all generous in volunteering their time and talent, wanting nothing more than the high of giving back to UST High. Consequently, the sizeable 2010 OrgCom is fitting for the latest GAH’s venue, the expansive and panoramic Plaza Mayor. The setting alone makes the 2010 Homecoming historic: this marks the first ever USTHS GAH to be held at Plaza Mayor, following the 2009 GAH held at the Benavides Building and not counting the University-wide GAH co-hosted by USTHS in 2008.
Just as the “road to GAH 2010,” with the multifaceted work and preparation involved, was both daunting and exhilarating, so were the recent months in general as well.
Still fresh in our collective memory is the wrath of tropical storm “Ondoy” late September (succeeded immediately by typhoon “Pepeng”), resulting in massive flooding that severely affected numerous residents of Metro Manila and nearby environs. Institutions far and wide, USTHS included, launched donation drives to provide a measure of relief to victims—including the “emergency” modification of the annual Family Day of the USTHS Parents Association Inc. into a relief drive, to which USTHSAAI made a humble contribution in kind.
Closer to home, so to speak, the Association likewise provided support to three USTHS students, by way of replacing their textbooks and uniforms that were ruined by Ondoy. On a separate instance, another USTHS student was given support after his family’s house was gutted by a fire.
But while the recent past may indeed have been daunting at times, it likewise saw moments of exhilaration.
For one thing, the Joint Scholarship Program for Secondary Education of the USTHS and the AAI, which was institutionalized in 2008, remains firmly in place, and how: This year’s Golden Jubilarians, Batch 1960, became outstanding epitomes of generosity by donating a total of P1.0M to the Scholarship Program. This unprecedented donation will further enable us to reach the targeted P5.0M to P6.0M, which will enable us to sponsor a scholar per year level. Moreover, bolstered by this donation, the Association can restudy and review the Scholarship Program’s parameters, for today’s generation of students to better avail of this educational privilege and, in effect, become future USTHS alumni.
Aside from the Scholarship Program, the USTHS AAI’s areas of support are Outreach (via the Community Development Program); Sports (the UAAP Juniors Basketball Team and the Pep Squad; the latter was supplied with jackets and patches for 17 members); Culture (the Glee Club, which we intend to supply with music sheets and instruments to augment their repertoire and library of references); and Property (building, grounds and equipment), where the AAI shall furnish the Satellite Health Clinic with complete facilities as requested by the USTHS Administration, all in line with the coming  accreditation of the USTHS by the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities ( PAASCU). To this day, the Association continues to explore substantial measures to boost its other aforementioned areas of support.
The USTHSAAI Board itself became all the more empowered, the entry of three alumni from various batches—Oyette Morales, Aped Santos and Bert Sulat Jr.—complementing the strengths of the existing Board. We also invited a line-up of esteemed alumni to serve as our Council of Advisers in the persons of immediate-past president Rocky Siasoco, Tony Ereñeta, Bebet Gillera-Gozun and Bal Endriga.
In addition, given that the next GAH will coincide with the quadricentennial celebration of the University itself, the 2011 OrgCom has already been formed and has begun formulating plans on how to make that year’s Homecoming both a meaningful one and a testament to UST’s Unending Grace.
Just as we did back in the day when we donned the USTHS uniform, we find ourselves continually growing as individuals and as a group, despite our diversity of backgrounds, skill and mindsets. While we may be alumni of UST High, we shall forever be her students as well—characterized by the tenacity, perseverance and devotion that our Alma Mater had instilled in all of us and, despite the passage of time, continues to reside in us all.  
Leebai Esquivias-Gamboa, hs ’78
President, USTHS AAI, 2009-2011