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Date: August 7, 2016Posted by: Marionette Martinez

Mrs. Marionette O. Martinez, Institutional Communications and Alumni Relations Officer, and Mrs. Sherry L. Alingod, President of the St. Paul Manila Alumni Foundation, Inc. (SPMAFI) have returned from a two-week mission in the US for the HOPE Ablaze-Senior High School Program.

They went to five key cities—San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington DC, New York, and Baltimore, met with alumni groups, and presented HOPE Ablaze, specifically the Senior High School Program.

The gatherings were attended by good numbers of alumni, with whom the duo reconnected and rekindled the Paulinian spirit.

The lunch in San Francisco, which was held in Fort McKinley on 16 February 2016, was hosted by Maria Cariaga-Banatao (HS 1963, AB 1967). The Board of Directors of the St. Paul Manila Alumni USA, which is based in New York and led by Ms. Marilyn Abalos and Patsy Santiago-Schultz (both HS 1969), came to SF to join the reunion. The SF reunion was coordinated by Sylvia Salvador (HS 1963) and Mary Anne Cura-Egan (BSC 1968).

At the reunion, Mrs. Banatao reiterated her consent to channel the scholarship fund she had donated, along with other US based alumni in 2012, to the Senior High School Program. Sr. Evangeline has estimated that the fund balance can subsidize 35 SHS students.

Ms. Abalos and Mrs. Banatao also agreed to organize a special event to raise funds for the SHS.

After the reunion, the hosts treated the visitors to a show, Beach Blanket Babylon, a spoof on current trending personalities.

The dinner reunion in LA was held on 17 July 2016 in the Vegas Seafood Buffet in Glendale.

Additional media mileage was achieved by the coverage of the event by the Asian Journal, which incidentally is co-owned with her husband by an alumna, Cora Oriel.

In Washington DC, the Paulinian get-together was held on 23 July 2016 in the house of BSC alumna, Joy Masakayan-Karaan. It was attended by alumnae from DC, Virginia, and Maryland, and Sr. Stella, who had to leave before the photo-op.

The attendees agreed to organize a fund-raising event for alumnae in the East Coast. A nursing alumna, Techie Ignacio-Gonzalvo, expressed her willingness to help St. Paul Manila nursing graduates get jobs in the Virginia Beach area, where she is based.

A follow-up dinner was held in the house of Araceli Garalde-Carrigan (HS 1966) in Baltimore on 26 July 2016.

The group continued the discussion on the proposed fund-raising for alumnae in the East Coast.

In New York there were two dinner-meetings to accommodate the different schedules of the alumnae in the city.

The first meeting was held on 24 July 2016 in the Holiday Inn Express, followed by dinner in a favorite NY Jewish resto, Katz.

The next evening, the second group met at dinner in Connolly’s Irish Pub. The oldest attendee was Cora Yabut-Custodio (HS 1958).

An added treat for the visitors was the Rockettes Show in Radio City Music Hall. The NY group chose the show as it is a virtual tour of the City That Never Sleeps.

The alumnae that the visitors met were all in agreement that the success they have achieved in the US was due to their Paulinian education and have promised to give back to the school.