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Outgoing President’s Message: Jun Gappe

Aloha and Mabuhay, UP Alum, Fellow Iskos and Iskas! How is everyone doing? I hope and pray that we and our families all are safe and doing fine!

Ka Raymund, Tim and I decided recently to meet virtually to talk about getting in touch with everyone via our Newsletter, that we now call “The UP Ohana”. We felt that this is the best medium by which we can “get together” and “talk stories”. We need this outlet as we go through the toughest challenge we’ve seen in our lifetime!

The last time we had a BOD meeting was on March 6, 2020 when we discussed among others our participation in the Waipahu Census Fair and the Filipino Fiesta 2020; the UPAAH summer picnic; election and installation of the 2020-2022 UPAAH officers, and banquet; and the Maui Adventure/Project. As everyone knows, all of these planned activities were cancelled due to the pandemic. And it seems like our lives were put on hold!

Back in 2019, before the pandemic, we had fun and great times together! We recall the things we did and accomplished such as the successful Filipino Fiesta in May; the fun-filled “Strike a Note… Bowl for Music” bowling fundraising in June; and the very successful summer photography workshop which culminated in photo exhibits in public libraries. As part of our annual tradition, we had our summer picnic and Christmas party. We held our usual “eating bago meeting” and chatted over our favorite potluck dishes. Four UPAAH members – Lindy Aquino, Raymund Liongson, Toy Arre, and Bea Ramos-Razon – were

recognized by the community for their outstanding work and contributions.

The main highlight of the 2019 UPAAH undertakings was the showcasing of the University of the Philippines Rondalla (UPR) in Hawaii. For the very first time, under the collaborative efforts of the UPAAH and the Philippine Consulate General in Honolulu and the support of various agencies in the Philippines, UPR came to Hawaii and staged three successful concerts as well as gave lectures and workshops from October 3 through 8.

We will soon have a virtual meeting of the BOD to discuss the election of the next set of officers. BOD members will be notified accordingly and are requested to respond. We anticipate an online voting of officers and BOD members.

I know this 2020 has been hard for all of us! We are faced with a global crisis and yet in our hearts we have hope! As someone wrote: “If you dive deeper into the recesses of the issue, it is not the virus that people are fearing. It’s their own mental faculties telling them to be afraid of what’s to come. And the funny part is, we don’t even know what’s coming!” Nonetheless, we will go ahead with planning and be optimistic that we can go on again with our “normal” lives. May the Almighty continue to bless us all.

Jun Gappe, 2018-2019

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