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Upsilon Sigma Phi holds 18th Global Congress, ushers in new Board

Martin Romualdez & Ed Sunico
Representative and Majority Floor Leader Martin Romualdez (left) and Unilever Executive Ed Sunico (right) are new Chairman and President respectively of the Upsilon Sigma Phi Alumni Association (USPAA)

UPSILON Sigma Phi, the oldest Greek letter fraternity in Asia recently held its Congress dubbed Upsilon 101 last February 2021. The gathering, which happens every two years since its inception in 1985, saw the attendance of almost a thousand Upsilonians from all over the world. And in keeping with the times the event was held on a digital platform for the first time.

Incoming Upsilon Sigma Phi Alumni Association (USPAA) Chairman Martin Romualdez ‘85 congratulated the speakers who included Senator Richard Gordon ‘68, Pasig Representative Roman Romulo ‘86, Anthony Pangilinan ‘83, General (Ret.) Peter Suchianco ‘83, Undersecretary Kris Ablan 2000, Life Coach Bobby Quitain ‘91 and Dr. Raph Rodolfo 2014, Physician Licensure Examination topnotcher. “The mix of senior and junior members speaking and sharing their experiences shows the resiliency of the organization and inspires all the other members to excel in their industries in the service of the nation,” said Romualdez.

During each Congress, the Upsilon Sigma Phi also holds the UNO(Upsilonian, Noble, & Outstanding) Awards, where select Upsilonians are recognized for their excellence in their respective fields according to UNO Selection Committee Awards Chair Danilo Gozo ’67. To underscore the diversity of the oldest fraternity in the University of the Philippines, eleven alumni of the Upsilon Sigma Phi were recognized for their outstanding achievements.

Among this year’s UNO Awardees are Community Development Guru Nestor M. Pestelos, an ex-detainee during the Martial Law period; and retired Four Star General Gregorio Pio Catapang, former AFP Chief of Staff. Other 2021 UNO Awardees were: Col. Nereo C. Andolong, past Philippine Olympic Committee Chairman and PCSO General Manager; Two US based physicians, Dr. Emmanuel A. Lat and Dr. William E. Romero, both past Presidents of the UP Medical Alumni Society of America; Business Executive and past DBP Chairman Ramoncito Z. Abad; Broadcast Journalist Angelo Y. Castro Jr.; and Congressman Gerardo A. Roxas Jr. Rounding up the eleven UNO awardees for 2021 are Business Entrepreneur Ray A. Orozco, former Unilever executive Jose “Pong” Ejercito and More Power President Roel Castro.

Gozo added that this year’s awards was unique! “This is also the first time in the 36 years (since 1985) of UNO awards that a father and son tandem of the 103-year-old fraternity had received the UNO, Sen. Gerry Roxas, a previous awardee, and now his son Dinggoy. Only 75 of 3,000 Upsilonians have ever received the coveted UNO Award!

For his part, Romualdez expressed hope that standards set by UNO will inspire younger Upsilonians to excel in their chosen fields. The honoris bestowed on Upsilonians who exemplify the qualities expressed in the Fraternity’s Credo and adhere to its five imperatives: Brotherhood, Integrity, Excellence, Leadership and Service.

Incoming USPAA President Ed Sunico ‘86 for his part congratulated the outgoing board for their sound leadership and astute planning despite the challenges of the pandemic.

The Upsilon Congress ushered in the new leadership tandem of Romualdez as Chairman and Sunico as President of the prominent fraternity. They are joined by Myki Cantero ’88 as Vice President, Bong Uichangco ’81 as Treasurer and Atty. Eric Casal Pilapil ‘86 as Corporate Secretary. Other members of the new Board of Directors and Trustees include Dr. Bill Romero ‘76, Ricky Marcelo ‘78, Roel Castro ‘84, Bong Manlulu ‘85, Lewis Yu ‘86, Dr. Alan Austriaco ‘86, Gari Tiongco ‘91, Dennis Gelacio ‘92, Atty. Jorenz Tañada ‘92, Jon Javier ‘96, Atty. Poli Policarpio 2000, Atty. Jeff Coronel 2001 and Alaine Gonzales 2015.

The Upsilon Sigma Phi is recognized as the oldest Greek-letter society in Asia and is based solely in the State University’s primary campuses, UP Diliman/UP Manila and UP Los Banos. It celebrated its 100th Anniversary in 2018, having been founded by 14 idealistic students of UP in 1918.