HISTORY (Page 4)

In 2012, the PHS ranked a mere 30th among all campus organisations. This development became a wake-up call. With a new breed of members and facing trans-generational issues and distractions brought about by social media and technology, alumnus Joanne Asunto-Gomez felt the call to lead the younger generation and to involve the alumni in bringing back the glorious past. With alumni-initiated community projects, PHS has bounced back. It was able to respond to the different crises that beset the country 2013. In the spirit of service to the less fortunate, PHS helped victims and survivors of the Bohol earthquake, Zamboanga City rebel hostage crisis, flash flood in Bayawan and Typhoon Yolanda disaster. Fund-raising activities included charity dinners and "Plate Movement" artwork auctions that benefitted Silliman students who were typhoon survivors as well as paediatric cancer patients at the SU Medical Center. PHS cared for the children at the Mt. Moriah Camp in Malaybalay, Bukidnon as well as the children from the boondocks who were introduced to the Lakbay-Aral programs. PHS co-sponsored skills training and woman empowerment programs. School-to-school promotion of Silliman was done over the semester break at various high schools in Mindanao. Paintings of mural walls were sponsored. Participation in province-wide endeavors included sponsoring indigenous games; donation of books, school and hospital supplies; and coordinating fun-runs and an ultra-marathon event. With the use of social media and printed newsletters, alumni members from all over the globe willingly extended financial assistance in the various community projects. PHS has once again become a by-word not only on campus but also in the community and beyond. This can be attributed to the tireless efforts of a group of dedicated alumni led by Joanne and Gamman husband Abel Gomez.

The legacy of the PHS with its tenets of brotherhood/sisterhood, academic excellence and service has no doubt inspired the PHS membership to be the best and the brightest on campus. The seeds sown by the founders laid the foundation for PHS to be the "cream of the crop." A cursory survey of Pan Hellenic Society's roster (thanks to compilation efforts led by Margie Udarbe-Alvarez, Elyn Bernardino-Taningco, Gauttier Bisnar and Oswald Esperat) reveals a list of at least 35 doctors, numerous nurses and healthcare professionals, and a host of writers, educators, pastors, scientists, engineers, lawyers, military and government leaders, entrepreneurs, politicians, and other professionals. PHS accolades include: Rowena Tiempo-Torrevillas - beauty queen, Outstanding Sillimanian Award recipient and a noted writer and poet with Palanca awards; and Elsa Martinez - a Miss Silliman and name to the Palanca Hall of Fame as poet, storywriter and playwright.

ROTC provided a setting for showcasing Gamman leadership skills - Oswald Esperat, Eugene Malahay, Florente "KJ" Quijano and Tim Adanza held the highest rank of Corps Commander. Oswald Esperat was named one of the Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines in 1965, and he would crack the Top Ten in the 1969 bar examinations. The same year, Evelyn Caballero became the Most Oustanding Student on Campus. Through the years, PHS alumni have excelled in government board examinations: Siegfried Sia (4th, mechanical engineering), Susan Ferolino-Calumpang (6th, chemistry), Moses Alcala (7th, geology), Jocelyn Arevalo-McGrath (9th, medicine), Ella Cristina Delfin (10th, nursing), Sundy Lorence Lachica (10th, civil engineering) and John Philip Uy (19th, architecture).

PHS first stamped its indelible mark on campus in 1964 and today it maintains its influence on student life as it did the past 50 years. The organization aims to pass on its legacy amongst younger hearts and minds whose future goals would imbued, in good times or bad, with the ideals of excellence, fellowship and service. Memories have been built around these values by those who have gone past their campus PHS years. The same campus and surroundings no doubt with elicit, even for the most misty, new delightful memories for those PHS alumni returning for this reunion. On the 50th anniversary, Gammans and Gammanettes will come home to share, recall and relive the Penny Lanes of their lives. On the occasion of its 50th anniversary, alumni members will be entertained in their very own sponsored a cappella singing competition at Luce Auditorium with a medley of memorable songs spanning the past 50 years. It's grand home-coming at dear old Silliman where PHS will be basking in the glory that was once ours and is ours again.

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