Taking Care of the Elderly: Information Session and Workshop

Some 80+ participants, mostly from western Sydney, attended a free information session and interactive workshop focusing on aged care services for the elderly at Max Webber Function Centre, Blacktown on 24 May 2016. The event was skillfully organized by the Philippine-Australian Community Services Inc. (PACSI) in partnership with the University of the Philippines Alumni Association- NSW Chapter and with funding support from Western Union.

The information session was chaired by Lina Cabaero with assistance from volunteers – Evelyn Alejandro, Justina Aquino, Natividad Millarelz, Pids, Rey  and from the PACSI Management Committee members – Boyan Mallory, Edwin Subijano, and Brigida Sumaya. The UPAAA-NSW representatives who facilitated the workshop discussions were Mica Arellano, Alice Bergonia, Lourdes Katague, Cora Sinha, and Christy Paul.

The participants were given relevant and timely information about government-subsidized care service.  Ms.  Felicity Vano, the resource person from Western Sydney Local Health Service, Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT), says that ACAT is happy to talk to those who are considering moving into aged care home and will assess, based on their current situation, if they are eligible to receive subsidized care service.  Useful website :; phone: 1-800-200-422.

The second resource person, Ms. Raji Selvakumar from Financial Information Service Office, Department of Social Services, informs the group that their office provides free financial advice to age pensioners, those planning for retirement, and those continuing to work past age pension age. Their office can provide information about available government payments and services to help with living costs, such as availing of pensioner concession card and bonus scheme. Useful website:

Ms. Benjie de Ubago, representing the Western Union, provides a quick rundown on how to properly remit funds overseas.

Given the success of the ‘Taking Care of the Elderly’  information session-workshop, both Lina Cabaero of PACSI (concurrent Chair – Community Engagement Committee of UPAAA-NSW) and Cora Sinha (President of UPAAA-NSW) agree to hold  future collaborative fora addressing the other  issues raised during the workshop, especially those pertaining to public housing, superannuation, Medicare and transportation.

New UP Alumni Association Officers Inducted

Published  at Philippine Sentinel, February 2016 and Kalatas, March 2016 –  by Pam Ventura

The new officers of the University of the Philippines Alumni Association of Australia – New South Wales Chapter were sworn into office by Cr. Edmond Atalla MP last 6th of February at the Max Webber Function Centre in Blacktown.

Serving for the term 2016-2018 are Dr. Corazon Catibog-Sinha (President), Alice Bergonia (Internal Vice President), Tiffi Ramos (External Vice President), Cresmar Yparraguirre (Secretary), Mica Arellano (Treasurer) and Christine Paul (Internal Auditor).  They were unanimously elected during the Association’s Christmas party on the 28th of November 2015.

In her acceptance speech, Dr. Sinha said that she hopes to continue UPAAA-NSW’s efforts including its Scholarship Grant for poor but academically-deserving UP students, its annual tree-planting during Planet Ark’s National Tree Day and its communications (website, Facebook and newsletter), among others.  She also pointed out that the main challenges for this term are to undertake community engagement activities (for which a committee has been established), review the Association’s Constitution and continue promoting its objectives while always linking it to the motto “Unity, Community and Loyalty”.  Special guest Cr. Atalla, representative of Blacktown Mayor Stephen Bali, also cited the scholarship project, saying that “the best gift to give anyone is education”.  In sharing his story of how he got into public service, he also encouraged the association to “continue on your path, your objectives”.

Now on its 36th year, UPAAA-NSW is one of the pioneer Filipino organisations in the state. It aims to (1) assist UP in the fulfilment of its mission as an academic institution, (2) assist in the development and welfare of alumni in Australia and in the Philippines, (3) and foster socio-cultural development and interaction between the Association and the Australian community. For more information, visit the websites and

7th Oblation Cup, a Success

UPAAA-NSW hosted its 7th Oblation Cup Golf Tournament for the benefit of its Scholarship Grant on Easter Monday, 6th of April at the Rosnay Golf Course in Auburn.

Danny Martinez of Marayong won the coveted Cup. Under the system 36 format, his net score was 65 for which he received the prize of $200, the overall champion trophy and elevated his name to a space on the perpetual trophy.  Other winners were: Grade A- Kit Sta. Barbara, Grade B- James Frazer and Grade C- Ric de Vera. The runners-up were: Grade A- Bernie Balagtas, Grade B- Alvin Rebulado and Grade C- Ramon Estoque.  Winners of the “nearest to the pin” on par 3s were: Arnie Santos, James Frazer, Romy Aquino, Joe Baduria, Joe Cura, Tony Vivero, Max Borromeo and Kit Sta. Barbara.  Max Borromeo and Joe Cura each donated their $25 prize to the Grant.  A total of 75 golfers participated in the fundraising event co-chaired by Engr. Ferdi and Dr. Cora Francisco.

So far, five UP scholars were successfully supported and graduated by the program since 2008. All of them are now well-employed in their own fields:  two in information technology (IT), and one each in teaching, agriculture and science research. Currently, two scholars are being supported at the UP Visayas in Tacloban, Leyte, the area most devastated by the typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) in 2013.

The golf event was blessed with a perfect weather and a sumptuous BBQ buffet lunch prepared by the UP alumni.  It was supported by the following major sponsors: Ayala Land International Sales Inc, headed by Zara Apolinario, Reming Biala, Zignal Travels, Australian Institute of Commerce and Language (AICL), Jess Arranz and Jet Aserios.

7th Oblation Cup Winners

Photo: (L-R) Dr. Cora Francisco (Co-Chairperson), Ric de Vera (winner Grade C), James Frazer (winner Grade B), Keith Sta. Barbara (winner Grade A), Danny Martinez (overall champion), Alvin Rebulado (runner-up Grade B), Ferdi Francisco (Co-Chairperson) and Jet Aserios (UPAAA-NSW Chapter President). Not in photo; Bernie Balagtas (runner-up Grade A) and Ramon Estoque (runner-up Grade C). See our gallery for more photos.


Media Release

20 February 2015

Bamboo to rock Sydney this March!

Bamboo Live in Sydney

SYDNEY –   Fresh from his sold out concerts in Canada, Japan and Dubai, Pinoy rock icon and award-winning artist Bamboo will perform live in Sydney this coming March 27 at the Whitlam Centre, Liverpool.

The former Rivermaya frontman and now “Coach Bamboo” of The Voice Philippines will perform his hit songs including Noypi, 214, Hallelujah, Awit ng Kabataan and Ulan. Supporting Bamboo’s Sydney concert are some of the hottest local talents in the industry—  starting with Blacktown’s Kakulay band, Northern Beaches’ Negative Saints and Melbourne’s Our Tribe band.  Hosting the event is the “April Boy Regino” of Sydney, Marvin Ramos.

The University of the Philippines Alumni Association of Australia (UPAAA)–New South Wales Chapter, in celebration of its 35th anniversary, is proud to support Bamboo’s Sydney concert. Producer CHERRYBOMBA said “We’re very pleased that a reputable organisation like the UPAAA-NSW Chapter is backing up this community event”.  It is expected that some Filipinos from Canberra, Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane will be making the trip to Sydney to experience Bamboo’s electrifying performance at his only concert in the east coast (the other concert is in Perth).

Get your tickets now from UPAAA-NSW (authorised ticket agent). Ticket prices: VIP $119 (includes a “meet and greet” with Bamboo on March 26 and priority seating during the concert), Gold $89 and General Admission $59.  Contact mobile numbers 0413-372-679, 041-194-083 or send an email to  For more information, please visit or

Tags:  #UPAAANSW  #bamboosyd15

Bamboo Concert Indicative Seating Sections

21 April 2014

UPAAA-NSW Oblation Cup Raises Funds for Typhoon Yolanda-stricken Scholars

UPAAANSW Ob Cup2014_champ

(left to right) Oblation Cup co-chairperson Dr. Cora Francisco (at the back) looks on as Atoy & Tess Sayas of Zignal Travel (major co-sponsor), 2014 overall champion Bernie Balagtas and co-chairperson Engr. Ferdi Francisco strike a pose.

Auburn, NSW — The University of the Philippines Alumni Association of Australia – New South Wales Chapter held its 6th Oblation Cup Golf Tournament last 21st of April for the benefit of its Scholarship Grant.

A sunny Easter Monday morning at the Auburn Golf Course set the stage for 80 golfers as they played to raise money for poor but academically deserving students, with this year’s event targeting scholars from UP Visayas’ Tacloban College and/or the UP School of Health Sciences in Palo, Leyte – the two UP campuses badly damaged by Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) last year.   Best on the green was Bernie Balagtas (overall champion) followed by winners Kit Sta. Barbara (Grade A), Jack Lee (Grade B), Maynard Tabungar (Grade C) and Prescila Keogh (ladies group). Also on top form were runners-up Romy Aquino (Grade A), Philip Ranoso (Grade B) and Emelyn Mangulabnan (Grade C).  Lee, Tabungar and Ranoso also hit “nearest to the pin”, along with Obet Bolina, Albert Tirona and Rene Uy.

This year’s tournament raised $4,480 net.  The following major sponsors helped make this event possible:  Reming Biala, Keith Saunders, Zignal Travels, the Australian Institute of Commerce and Language (AICL), Toti Umali, Dr. Ophee & Mao de Vera, Jess Arranz and Efi Skinner.  Many thanks also to donors Atty. Kate & Dr. Anton Andres, Wayne Houston, Dr. Armando Alcantara, Lolita & Geoffrey Lewis, Myra Hechanova and Bert Bugayong as well as the UPAAA-NSW members who worked hard in the event.

Since its launch in 2008 under the chairmanship of Engr. Ferdi and Dr. Cora Francisco, the UPAAA-NSW Oblation Cup has assisted five scholars from various UP campuses.  Its current scholar is Manuel Chase Castaño III, a B.S. Community Development major who graduated as cum laude from UP Diliman this April.   The event is the major fundraiser of UPAAA-NSW, now 34 years in existence.  For more information, visit the websites and or email to

– by Pam Ventura

Media Release

12 March 2014

New UP Alumni Association Officers Inducted

BLACKTOWN, N.S.W. –- The University of the Philippines Alumni Association of Australia – New South Wales Chapter, Inc. officially welcomed its new set of officers for the term 2014-2016 during an induction held on the 8th of March 2014 at the Max Webber Function Centre.

Sworn into office were Jet Aserios (President), Alice Bergonia (External Vice President), Alan Suyko (Internal Vice President), Cresmar Yparraguirre (Secretary), Mica Arellano (Treasurer) and Christine Paul (Internal Auditor).  Their oath of office was administered by special guest, Consul Marford Angeles who represented Consul General Anne Louis.

The officers, except for the secretary, were elected during the association’s Christmas party last 7th of December 2013.  There were no nominations for secretary then.  Following Yparraguirre’s nomination this year, a special election was held during the annual general meeting (preceding the induction) where he was unanimously voted into office.  He held the same position back in 2010.

Aserios, who was the incumbent EVP, noted significant issues for the association such as the current state of membership or interest of fellow UP alumni, the range and nature of activities, the effectiveness and impact of projects, and presence in the community.  In accepting the stewardship of UPAAA-NSW, he echoed UP’s exhortation to its “Iskolar ng Bayan” to render service to the Filipino community, saying that “the task of charting out pathways for the association in the next two years is neither mine nor the other officers’ responsibility entirely.”

Outgoing president Pamela Ventura expressed her gratitude to the executive committee,  past presidents and the association in general for placing their trust in her as she served in various capacities for the past nine years.  She also pledged her support to the new officers in helping strengthen the association which will celebrate its landmark 35th anniversary next year.  In his message, Consul Angeles, himself a UP alumnus and UPAAA-NSW member, highlighted service to the Filipino people as the main thrust of UP education, saying that this is as what drives UPAAA-NSW as it works for its various projects including its Scholarship Grant.  He called on each member to “rekindle the fire stoked when we first received our diplomas, that burning desire to serve and give back to the country that nurtured us and made us what we are today.”

Established in 1980, UPAAA-NSW is one of the pioneer Filipino organisations in the state and was the recipient of the main UPAA’s Distinguished Service Award for an Alumni Chapterin 2011.  Its next major event is the 6th Oblation Cup Golf Tournament on the 21st of April, Easter Monday – the main fundraiser its Scholarship Grant which assists poor but deserving UP students. For more information, visit the websites and or send an email to