Largest University of PH alumni gathering in LA hits fundraising goals, welcomes VP Leni Robredo

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LOS ANGELES, California –  It was an epic night on Saturday, September 7 for the University of the Philippines Alumni Association of Greater Los Angeles (UPAAGLA) as one of U.P.’s most notable alumnae, Vice President Leni Robredo, was the keynote speaker.

Philippine Vice President Leni Robredo was the guest of honor for the UPAAGLA gala.

With over 330 guests in attendance and more than P1.2M ($25,000.00) raised, the recently concluded Installation Ceremony and Endowment Fundraising Gala held at the Los Angeles Grand Hotel was considered the largest, most demographically diverse, and most successful U.P. alumni gathering. 

The induction of the 2019-2021 officers and board of directors by U.P. Vice President for Public Affairs, Dr. Elena Pernia, as well as the presentation of two $5,000 ceremonial checks to U.P. for the library laptop program and the UPERDFI for the College of Engineering Thesis Grants were among the highlights of the dinner-dance event.  Guests were also delighted as the grand prize drawing of PAL roundtrip ticket to Manila was upgraded from economy to business class.

Consul General Adelio Angelito Cruz | AJPress photo by Noel Ty

Other prominent U.P. alums present were Los Angeles Consulate General, Adelio Cruz; Los Angeles Metro Executive Officer, Cris Liban; and new Philippine Airlines President, Gilbert Santa Maria. 

City of Artesia Councilmember Melissa Ramoso and City of Los Angeles Commissioner of Public Works Jessica Caloza were also there to support UPAAGLA.

In a message to her team, new UPAAGLA President Ethel Rubio said, “Beyond words, we exceeded the Gala expectations! But we don’t base our success on how others see us. We base it on setting goals and accomplishing all of them plus more.”

This record-breaking event was made possible with the support of many generous donors and sponsors including: Charles Ligeti; Rose Hills; U.S. Army; UPAAGLA 1st Vice President, Natalia Matitu-Mercado; the Asian Journal; Philippine Post; Pilipino Express; Philippine Airlines; Lay Bare; Dr. Arnel and Agnes Joaquin; TFC; Puente Hills Maserati, Alfa Romeo, and VW.

UPAAGLA’s officers and board of directors for 2019: (Back row from left to right) Maribel Catala, Gary Paglinawan, Annie Nepomuceno, Adrian Licaros, Joji Bautista, Lovee Sarenas, Jackie Rivera, Mary Lyn Sanga, Michael Melendres, Weny Khan; (Front row from left to right) Gil Guinto, Ivy Manalang, Natalia Matitu-Mercado, Ethel Rubio, Hon. Adelio Angelito Cruz, Philippine Vice President Leni Robredo, UP VP for Public Affairs Dr. Pernia, Evelyn Andamo, Relson Banas, Yvee Tadeo-Guevara and Eric Panuncialma | AJPress photo by Noel Ty

UPAAGLA, founded in 1999, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit alumni organization that aims to engage U.P. Alumni in Southern California and to raise funds to support the various academic programs and capital improvement projects in the eight campuses of the University of the Philippines. To donate to the UPAAGLA Endowment Fund or become a member, please visit their website at 

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