28th USTMAAA Convention & Grand Reunion (Part 1)

The 28th USTMAAA Convention & Grand Reunion in San Francisco, California from September 3-5, 2021, was a successful event despite the uncertainties, restrictions & challenges due to the COVID-19 Delta variant surge just weeks prior to the convention. 

The Jubilarians attending this year's grand reunion were those with graduations ending in 0 & 5 and those ending in 1 & 6, requiring 2 separate Gala night celebrations.

Class of 1980 Mag

Dr. Malou Tiamson Kassab, a class 1980 Psychiatrist, gave the Welcome Address speaking on “How to Cope with the COVID Pandemic in our medical practice and daily lives”. The welcome reception followed for colleagues, guests, and benefactors with Asian, American & Italian appetizers as classmates were eager to talk about each other’s experiences over the last 18 months coping with the Pandemic, life changes, and adjustments made to accommodate the current health landscape.

Dr. Onie Yorro & Dr. Greg Tan, Chairman & Co-Chairman of CME, prepared a 13- hour, credit 1 CME that included updates in both medicine and surgery, including a lecture on Nanotechnology, COVID related lectures on its current managements in the various fields of medicine including the latest innovations on vaccines, as well as, a testimony of a Thomasian Physician COVID Survivor, Dr. Alvin Cadalin, class 1979. The attendees gave excellent evaluations to all the CME Lecturers.

The Talent Night was full of discovery and revelation of great Thomasian talents. Dr. Maria Luisa Corpuz, class 2011, and Dr. Robert Ang, class 1981, sang with operatic voices to the enjoyment of the audience. Dr. Doreen Tan Abadco, class 1980, played piano pieces that were delivered a la Van Clyburn style and the tango - salsa dance number of Dr. Leo Yason and his wife Susan were superb with gracefulness & elegance. The most surprising revelation of hidden talents were the two Boys to Men bands of class 1976 and 1979. Class 1979 band members were USTMAAA President Jess Chua, Past President Ed Cabigao and CME Co-chair Greg Tan while the Class ‘76 band members were USTMAAA Past President Al Estrada, Manny Sevilla & Emmanuel Fabella. They call their band “The Litter Boys” singing love songs of the famous 1960-1970 band - “The Lettermen”.

The first gala night was themed “The Roaring Twenties” with formal attire, ladies in sparkling, long gowns with colors corresponding to their Jubilarian years and men in black Tuxedos or suits. The night was highlighted with the induction of the new USTMAAA officers with Dr. Ferdinand M. Ramos delivering his inaugural presidential address and the presentation of the Jubilarian Awards. Martin Nievera, the Philippine’s Concert King, surprised the audience with almost an hour of love songs both old and new in English & Tagalog to the delight of the Lady Jubilarians who rushed to the stage to have pictures with him as he sang. The younger artist Jay-R, also a Filipino actor and entertainer, serenaded the younger Jubilarians with hip hop hits.

The second Gala Night was themed “Ebony & Ivory”. It was highlighted with the Induction of the new USTMAAA Foundation Officers with the Valedictory address of outgoing USTMAAA President Jesus Chua & presentation of the Jubilarian Awards. Miriam Pantig, the beautiful & alluring Fil-Am Concert Queen of San Francisco, wowed the male Jubilarians. Similarly, Martin Nievera, the Philippines Concert King made the lady Jubilarians’ night complete, serenading them with his Tagalog love songs.

USTMAAA President Jess Chua & Wife

Dances all around the world were presented by Medicine Class 1980, including Havah Nageela, Lagi Syantik, Tum Hi Ho, Tico Tico, Hungarian Dance, Tranquillo, Cotton Eye Joe square dance & Sitsiritsit Alibangbang. The split-second costume changes received good raves from everyone. Dr. Max Basco’s band provided old favorites and new dance music that the Jubilarians enjoyed and danced to until the end of the celebrations at midnight.

Harborview Chinese Restaurant

Each medicine class had their own class reunions. They toured the city and had pictures at Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf, Pier 39, Twin Peaks, Lombard Crooked Street, saw the Pink Ladies’ colorful painted houses made famous by the sitcom “Full House”, Chinatown, North Beach, Italian Village, Ghirardelli Square, Alcatraz & Presidio, to name a few. Some went to Napa Valley & Tracy for winery tours, Muir woods, Yosemite, Beaches of Monterey & Carmel including Peeble Beach, and others went for the SFCO Bay Boat cruise. The most enjoyable were the gastronomical experiences that SFCO offers with the various restaurants including those with ratings of 3  Michelin stars.

To be continued….