Written by Jo. Florendo B. Lontoc
National Artist for Music Raymundo Cipriano “Ryan” Cayabyab was named 2021 Most Distinguished Alumnus by the University of the Philippines Alumni Association (UPAA). Thirty-three other alumni, one organization, and five families received recognition for lifetime achievement, contribution to their fields, and service and loyalty to the University at a dinner ceremony on May 19, 2022, at the UP Ang Bahay ng Alumni in UP Diliman.
Recognized for their lifetime achievements were nurse-educator Phoebe Cabotaje-Andes, Justice Francis Jardeleza, Architect Antonio Turalba, and an agriculturist-academician, Dr. Reynaldo Villareal.
Named distinguished alumni were: Henry Rhoel Aguda for banking innovation; Dr. Julie Caguiat for community development; Dr. Leonora Angeles for community planning; Cecilia Cayosa-Borromeo for corporate governance in banking and finance; Engr. Jose Maria Ochave for corporate governance in the pharmaceutical industry; Dr. Edgardo Manguiat for music; and Florencio Louis Antonio Quintos for theater.
The next batch of distinguished alumni awardees includes Dr. Eligia Clemente for educational innovation; Engr. Ramon Allado for engineering and construction management; Engr. Raymund Arnold Albert for entrepreneurship and employment creation; Prof. Herman Mendoza for environmental conservation and sustainable development; Atty. Generoso Calonge and Atty. Jaime Victor Ledda for foreign service; Ramon Eleuterio Alikpala for water governance; and Santa Rosa, Laguna Mayor Arlene Arcillas and Andrea Domingo for good governance.
The third batch consisted of Dr. Rodrigo Angelo Ong and Evelyn Calica-Mayuga for humanitarian services; Dr. Herbert Gaisano for medical health research; Dr. Abraham Rasul, Jr. for overseas health professional empowerment; Dr. Manuel Vallesteros for public health promotion; Sen. Pilar Juliana Cayetano for public service; Atty. Roberto Rafael Lucila for legal empowerment and development; and Eleanor Guerrero-Campbell for public service for the welfare of Filipino migrants and urban planning and innovation.
Mia Joy Oallares-Cawed is the awardee for legal development and empowerment in protecting women and children; Prof. Reynaldo Libunao Garcia for molecular biology; Dr. Armand Salvador Mijares for archaeology Engr. Francisco Arellano, for water conservation and sustainable development.
Ethel Rubio of UPAA-Greater Los Angeles and the UPAA in America Inc. are UPAA awardees for Distinguished Service. The Uson-Noel family is the four-generation UPAA awardee. The Cariño, Papasin-Tapang, Pineda-Romero, and Turalba families are recognized for producing three unbroken generations of UP alumni.
The UPAA awards are traditionally held in conjunction with the organization’s annual general alumni homecoming. This year’s jubilarians were Batches ’96, ’81, ’71, and ’61. Because of the pandemic, their presentations were videotaped.
The first face-to-face awarding ceremony during the COVID-19 pandemic was also an opportunity to hand over the trophies and plaques to the 2020 UPAA awardees, the UP health front-liners represented by the UP constituent university chancellors. The UPAA decided to give an unprecedented collective award, the UPAA Most Distinguished Alumni Award, for their service in the face of the global pandemic.
UP President Danilo Concepcion, who hosted the event, sent a video message to the awardees. “This recognition from the UP Alumni Association is distinct. Your Alma Mater and your fellow alumni honor you for bringing pride and glory to UP and embodying the Tatak UP to the fullest,” he said.
Concepcion described the awardees as “heroes” and “exemplars.” “Our people, especially our UP students, need to see more demonstrations of the values to help them navigate this ‘new normal,” he pointed out.
Cayabyab described the award as “very special,” coming from the University where he lived since birth, the son of a College of Music faculty member and opera singer, studied from elementary to college, and taught for two decades.
“Malaki ang responsibilidad ng isang alumnus ng UP. . . . Hindi po natatapos ang paglilingkod nating mga isko at iska sa bayan. Ang alam ko, titigil lamang ang paglikha ko ng musika kapag ako’y patay na,” Cayabyab stressed. He made a point about UP alumni knowing how to sort through the mass information, lies, and errors online.