October 19 - 22, 2023



Hyatt Regency Hotel,
New Brunswick, New Jersey

Attend the In-person Event

* * * * *

About the UPAAA Grand Reunion and Convention

The UPAAA Grand Reunion & Convention (GRC) is a biennial gathering of UP alumni and non- alumni for the purposes of fellowship, knowledge exchange and fundraising for UPAAA's flagship initiative, the Scholarship Program.

On its 22nd year, GRC 2023 returns to an in-person format from October 19-22, 2023 in New Brunswick, New Jersey. UPAAA expects to host between 200-300 attendees from the US, Canada and beyond.

GRC 2021, held virtually, with VFairs as the digital platform, won the following awards: *vFairs "Best Use of Gamification" (winner) and "Best Virtual Conference" (runner up).

For more information and to access links to GRC events and forms: 

New Brunswick, New Jersey

Downtown New Brunswick is along the banks of the Raritan River.  It is best known as the home of Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.  

Plan on a walking tour of New Brunswick on Pre-Convention day, Thursday, October 19.  CLICK this link.

The GRC 2023 Invitation Brochure

 If you wish to register for the GRC using the Registration Form in the brochure, download then print the brochure and mail the completed form, or email a screenshot to grc@upaainamerica.org .

Mail to:   M.C. Colmenar, 2825 Oro Blanco Circle, Escondido, CA 92027

Click here  UPAAA GRC Linktree for all the links you see on the brochure above.



For a limited time until September 30, 2023,

UPAAA is offering free membership for one year (through 2024) to UP alumni who register for full access at GRC 2023 ($450 - $500 registration plus Eventbrite fees).  When you register, please check "Complimentary 1-year UPAAA membership thru 2024" if you wish to join. Those who have already registered for full-access and paid their membership fee will be credited for an additional year of membership, through 2025.

We are encouraging ALL UP Alumni to join UPAAA.  

"There is strength in numbers, and if we all work together as a team, we can be unstoppable."

-Craig Kielburger

Why Attend?

Meet UP alumni and non-alumni friends and supporters of UPAAA from the U.S., Canada and beyond.

With 20+ opportunities for fellowship, networking and knowledge exchange, there’s something for everyone:

  • Awards

  • Dancing

  • Dinner

  • Group mixers

  • ISKOlympics

  • Karaoke night

  • Parade of Jubilarians

  • Photo opportunities

  • Sponsor exhibits

  • Sunday Mass

  • State of the University address by the 22nd University of the Philippines President, lawyer Angelo Azura Jimenez

  • Keynote presentation by UP alumna and the 14th Vice President of the Philippines Leni Robredo

  • 7 panel discussions featuring UP alums changing the world, including UP Manila Chancellor Carmencita David Padilla, MD; Clarina R. dela Cruz, Ph.D., Physicist and Neutron Scientist at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Benildo de los Reyes, Ph.D., plant geneticist working on the Moonshot Project aimed at food security, among others; and UPAAA Scholarships grantees and donors.

  • We are also honored to have the 22nd President of the University of the Philippines, Angelo A. Jimenez, as guest speaker, to share with us updates on the State of the University.

The UPAAA Network includes our chapter members, UPAAA CPH (College of Public Health) Global and UPAAA Upstate NY-New England. We also partner on events and programs with UPAA Arizona, UPAA Houston, UPAA Nevada, UPAA New Jersey, UPAA San Diego and UPAA San Francisco.


Atty. Ma. Leonor (Leni) G. Robredo, most Distinguished Alumna for 2023 awarded by the University of the Philippines Alumni Association (UPAA) for her work to uplift Filipinos as a lawyer, development worker and government official

Hear her Keynote Address on Friday, October 20, at 1 to 2 pm during GRC 2023.  Register for Day 2 ($50, which includes an afternoon coffee break. 

She is Founder of Angat Buhay, now Angat Pinas, the largest volunteer network in the Philippines Maging Isang Daan

Atty. Angelo A. Jimenez taking the helm as the President of the University of the Philippines (UP) after former UP President Danilo L. Concepcion turned over the leadership during a ceremony held at the Quezon Hall Lobby in UP Diliman on February 10, 2023

Hear his "State of the University" address on Saturday, October 21, at 10:30-11:30 am during GRC 2023.  Register for Day 3 ($200, which includes buffet breakfast and lunch and two coffee breaks).

Carmencita David Padilla, MD,

Chancellor of UP Manila,

was conferred the Order of National Scientist (Orden ng Gawad ng Pambansang Alagad ng Agham) during a ceremony held on August 31, 2023.  This is the highest national recognition given to a man or woman of science in the Philippines, administered by the Philippine National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST).

Dr. Padilla is recognized for her significant contribution to the field of clinical genetics in the Philippines.  She set up the Philippine Genome Center (PGC), located in the National Science Complex of the UP Diliman Campus, a multidisciplinary institution that will combine basic and applied research for the development of health diagnostics, therapeutics, DNA forensics, preventive products, and the improvement of crop varieties in the country.

Hear her speak at GRC 2023 during the session "Filipinos Changing the World" at 2 to 3 o'clock pm on Friday, October 20.


Why Sponsor?

GRC 2023 sponsorships will help UPAAA continue to grant scholarships to UP students in the Philippines and UP alumni pursuing post-graduate studies in the U.S., so they can stay on their academic path, and succeed.

Our Growing Reach

  • 475+ UPAAA members

  • 1,100+ UPAAA ePublications subscribers

  • 1,500+ Followers on Facebook and Linked In combined

Our Service Areas

  • 8 UP Constituent Universities in the Philippines

  • 17 UP Campuses in the Philippines

  • 50 U.S. States

Our Impact: 25 scholars and grantees in the Philippines and in the U.S.

2023 Sponsorship levels include: $1,000 (Bronze), $5,000 (Gold), $7,500 (Platinum) and $10,000 (Diamond). Customized sponsorships are also available. Sponsorships will go toward the fundraising goal of $75,000.

Sponsors will be recognized in event marketing (ePublications, social media posts, press releases, onsite signage and GRC Souvenir Journal). Confirm your sponsorship today to maximize your marketing benefits.  Read on the benefits of each sponsorship level here.

You may also help us reach the fundraising goal by advertising in the GRC 2023 Souvenir Journal here, by sponsoring one of the GRC events and by being an Exhibitor during the event.

Contact either Nelsie T. Parrado, GRC Sponsorship Committee chair, or Manuela C. Castillo, UPAAA Ways & Means Committee chair at grc@upaainamerica.

 Click here for more information on Sponsorships 


and help us reach our fundraising goal to benefit scholarships in U.P.  We thank those who have submitted ads already and encourage more to do so.


Deadline for submission of ads is September 15.  You may email the print-ready ad to grc@upaainamerica.org.

The 2023 UPAAA Distinguished UP Alumni Awardees


these Distinguished UP Alumni Awardees in a series of free online events, "In Conversation". 

Our 4th event is on

Friday, September 29 at 9 pm Eastern.  

Simply click this Zoom link about ten minutes before the event to enter the Waiting Room. 


Awardees featured in "In Conversation" part 3

ANNIE NEPOMUCENO (Roxanne Norma Roque Nepomuceno)

Obtained her Bachelor of Music in Musicology from U.P., and is a graduate of the UP Integrated School in Diliman.  She holds a Certificate in Music Business, with distinction, from UCLA.  Multi-awarded, a community leader, a performing artist, a vocal and choral arranger, she is dedicated to the performing arts as an event producer, specializing in presenting Filipino American Artists.  She emphasizes creative and innovative marketing, motivating artists, volunteers and staff to be creative and adhere to a high standard.  She was one of the youngest instructors in The Music School of Ryan Cayabyab, Philippine National Artist for Music.

Ryan Cayabyab and Annie


Graduated from UP Los Banos with the degrees of BS in Agricultural Chemistry and MS in Agricultural Chemistry (Minor in Food Science).  He obtained a PhD in Chemistry (Analytical and Environmental Chemistry) from the University of Buffalo, the State University of New York, Buffalo.  Multi-awarded in education and research, and a well-loved educator at Pace University, New York, Department of Chemistry and Physical Sciences in Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, he continues to pay it forward to UP by holding online courses at UPLB.


Is a non-profit, formed in 1982, committed to reaching out to UP alumni in Texas to help preserve UP’s reputation as a center of academic excellence. The organization has a permanent endowment fund for an undergraduate scholarship administered by the UP Foundation Inc., and established an endowment invested in the US in 2018 to support two undergraduate UP students.  It assisted students from the war-torn city of Marawi and UP students who needed laptops and internet connectivity during the height of the COVID pandemic.  They have been active in responding to community needs following natural disasters and the COVID pandemic, both locally and in the Philippines.  They continue to reach out to their Texas communities, both Filipino and non-Filipino.

Awardees featured in "In Conversation", part 2

DINA BARROS ELLORIN     Graduated from UP with the degree of Bachelor of Science in Food Technology, and from the UP High School in Diliman.  She has been an active member of UPAAA, serving in various capacities - Secretary, PRO, Assistant Treasurer.  She set-up and managed the UPAAA’s first website, UPAAinAmerica.org, and was Editor of the Souvenir Journals of four GRCs. Retired from her work as a Registered Environmental Health Specialist, she is the Executive Director, probono, of the SAMAHAN Filipino American Performing Arts and Education Center, Inc, since 2016.

About SAMAHAN: This is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit which, for more than four decades, has advanced Filipino culture, reaching out to the youth and the rest of the San Diego, CA community through dance, music and living traditions.

BENILDO DELOS REYES, PhD graduated from UP Los Banos with the degree of BS in Biology/Genetics, and MS in Genetics and Biochemistry from UP and the International Rice Research Institute. He holds a postdoctoral degree in Plant Genomics from Michigan State University. a PhD (Plant Science, Cell and Molecular Biology) from Oklahoma State University, and a Certificate on Leadership in Science and Academia from Cornell University.

He is Professor of Genetics and holds the Bayer CropScience Professorial Chair in Plant Genomics at Texas Tech University, in addition to myriads of professional leadership positions.  He is well known in the USA as well as internationally,  a prolific researcher and writer, with extensive contributions to plant science. 

Most recently, he has been involved with the Moonshot Project of Japan for Food Security, and is trying to establish a big and ambitious project with the Philippine Department of Science and Technology, incorporating genetics and genomics with anthropological history.

MARLENE CATAYLO CHANCE, PhD graduated from UP with the degree of Graduate in Nursing, she then went on to gather multiple degrees from various universities in the US:  BS in Nursing, summa cum laude; MS in Nursing, Primary Care Nurse Practitioner; Doctor of Philosophy, Health Administration; Executive Juris Doctor.  She is a Fellow of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners and has a long string of awards for her outstanding service to her patients and their communities, her leadership, and her contributions to the nursing profession.

She is involved in many charitable endeavors and has served as board member in several UP alumni organizations and non-alumni organizations, including being a Founding Member of the International Nurses Association of America, its mission to unite nurses of multiple ethnic backgrounds..  She is a devoted advocate of the UP College of Nursing’s Balik Turo program.

Awardees featured in "In Conversation" part 1

JOEL GAMO, MD is an alumnus of UP with degrees in BS Zoology, cum laude, and Doctor of Medicine. He is the recipient of the 2023 UPAAA Distinguished UP Alumnus in Medical Education and Community Service Award. His main advocacy is the promotion of mental health after his son Miguel's suicide. In 2021, he established the Miguel Antonio Gamo Mental Health Advocacy, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity organization whose main objective is to educate people on depression and suicide prevention, offering BLUE THERAPY (blue sky, ocean and sea creatures provide happiness) in the form of free sailing experiences on a sailboat moored at Marina Del Rey. He remains active in feeding the homeless, in partnership with the Siliman University Alumni Association of Southern California.

He opens up about his son's suicide in this interview posted on YouTubehttps://youtu.be/lm9wioXQVuk

DR. ERWIN VALENCIA graduated from UP with the degree of BS Physical Therapy, then earned a string of degrees from various educational institutions. He is the recipient of the 2023 UPAAA Distinguished UP Alumnus in Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine Award. The Team Physical Therapist and Wellness Lead for the New York Knicks till mid-2023, he is "the embodiment of a UP Alumnus - global ambition but with the heart of giving back to the Philippines and UP in particular". He is working with UP Manila to help the College of Allied Medical Professions (CAMP) expand its course offerings, involving professionals from different countries. He is likewise assisting CAMP's involvement in the College of Human Kinetics in UP Diliman.

Watch this interview on YouTube and appreciate his generous personality.  https://youtu.be/RC9tQWAhPfc

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