We del Pilarians are only too happy to give back to our Alma Mater. We all do, whatever we do, wherever we are.
But how do we pitch in? Let me cite some ways.
The Marcelo Alumni Association, our mother ship, is doing its share. Our president Raffy Dela Rosa is leading a determined effort to get back our access to the Bahay Alumni, our “home” on campus and our “umbilical cord” to Alma Mater. Our intrepid historian Perfecto “Boy” Martin is launching the Sinupan, our online archive (Save the Republic Program) which has been work in progress for years. These are just some of our sustained efforts to keep our alumni’s affinity with Marcelo H. del Pilar National High School. Join us in words and in deeds.
We are also reaching out to younger alumni to share their impressions and experience. They bring fresh ideas and energy into our association.
We wish to harness our alumni’s talents overseas. That’s why we convened a meeting of alumni in Los Angeles last July, when MAA board member Perfecto Martin visited LA. We call on alumni overseas to actively link up with fellow del Pilarians in their communities and link up with our mother association here so we can best pool our resources.
Some alumni may complain of “donor fatigue”, but I hope you avoid it by taking a broader view of “donation”. In fact there are various ways to contribute and give back. Cash is good for specific projects and initiatives. In crowd-sourcing, however, giving one peso is just as valuable, and appreciated, as giving 100,000 pesos. It’s the spirit that counts.
Alumni can also help by pitching in kind. You may, for instance, offer time and expertise. Good at digital design? Help improve our website. Good at organizing events? Volunteer to help put together a reunion. Likewise, you may simply share archival materials. You’ve kept some good pictures or mementos? Share them with us for archiving and dissemination. You have poignant or funny memories of times in school? Write them down and share with us.
I too hope to give back by initiating worthy projects. I recently drove by the neighborhood of our old campus, near the Hiyas and Lex buildings. Shockingly I found the old facade in decrepit state and in grave danger of getting “disappeared”. Alas, it’s one of the very few legacies left of our old campus, a poignant reminder of our school’s storied past. “It’s not just a chunk of an edifice,” Nestor Tinio, a fellow Bulakeño and steadfast heritage advocate, tells me when I brought up the idea of restoring and moving it to the current campus for posterity. He agrees to help. “It’s about all the people who walked daily under that gate,” he intones. “It evokes nostalgia, identity and association.”
Together, let’s save it!
Jaime A. FlorCruz (Class 1967)