by Sabrina Nicole Blanco
Last August 23 to 26, 2017, UP KEM celebrated the organization’s 63rd anniversary with week-long festivities. With the theme Dalayday, which means “the flow of blood through one’s veins,” the Anniversary Week aimed to return to KEM’s roots and look back on 63 years of academic excellence, holistic development, and prime professionalism.
Prior to the Anniversary Week itself, KEMers built up the hype online. Vibrant hues and nostalgic photos decorated Facebook news feeds as KEMers changed their display pictures and shared publicity materials with a myriad of KEM facts regarding its history, events, awards, and much more.
Going strong at 63. Members celebrate the 63 years of academic excellence, holistic development and prime professionalism of UP KEM.
The Anniversary Week proper started off with the exhibit launch, entitled Pasinaya, held in the 3rd floor lobby of Melchor Hall. Though the event was postponed for a day due to the suspension of classes because of heavy rains, the stormy weather did not dampen the spirits of the KEMers who came to the launch on August 23, Wednesday. After a few short words from KEM’s President, Alexander Roxas, and this year’s Anniversary Week Overall Head, Ysabela Angela Flores, the Exhibit and Launch team cut the ribbon and opened up the explosion box. Inside, a golden 63 sat atop a three-tiered “cake” with the organization’s core values written on it. The box’s sides were covered with pictures of KEMers from previous events, as well as their recent profile pictures. All of this was set against a backdrop of tarpaulins bearing information about UP KEM’s vision, mission, 5 P’s, and major events.
After a few photos, some members of the Executive Council and the Anniversary Week team went around Melchor Hall, visiting the domiciles of different organizations and some offices to deliver pichi-pichi as a way to let everyone in the College of Engineering partake in the anniversary celebrations. The same was done in the Department of Chemical Engineering building so that the faculty and staff of DChE would not be left out as well.
Throughout the week, the exhibit remained in Melchor Hall, catching the eyes of passers-by and drawing in people who were curious about UP KEM. Meanwhile, the KEMers remained in high spirits until the much-awaited Culminating Night, which was held on August 25, Friday.
Culmi Night. KEMers ended the 63rd anniversary celebration with Salu-Salo in Xavierville 3 Clubhouse
The Culminating Night which is entitled Salu-Salo, gathered KEMers in the Xavierville 3 Clubhouse to bring the Anniversary Week to a close and to ring in UP KEM’s 63rd anniversary together. The program started with a few words from Engr. Von Dela Cruz, who spoke on behalf of the organization’s advisers, and opening remarks from President Alexander Roxas. In their respective speeches, both emphasized how it was the members who made KEM’s 63 years possible—a reminder for all the attendees about the reason behind the celebration.
As the KEMers feasted on a selection of Filipino dishes for dinner, the awarding ceremony for this year’s Culmi Awards began where a few lucky KEMers were given certificates for unique and fun awards. Afterwards, members of the KEM Band serenaded the attendees with a couple of soulful acoustic songs as the dinner finished up. The Troupers also danced to the songs “River” and “Into You”, full of life in every step and motion. Not to be outdone, the Executive Council prepared their very own dance number as well.
Anniversary Week Head Ysab Flores delivered the closing remarks, expressing her deepest gratitude for the Anniversary Week heads, staff, and guiding lights, as well as to the resident KEMers and alumni for all their support. With a group photo and an enthusiastic chant of “KEM go fight!” the program drew to a close. However, the fun was far from over, as the night continued with music, dancing, and good company. The festivities lasted well into the night, until August 26 finally rolled around, marking UP KEM’s true anniversary.
All in all, the Anniversary Week stayed true to its goal of sharing the fruits of 63 years to all. Even though the week itself is over, the endeavor has not ended yet, as Sibol, the Service Project is still being discussed with DChE in order for the team to come up with a meaningful and feasible way for KEM to give back to the department. This only goes to show that gratitude remains at the center of the Anniversary Week celebration, as well as an important virtue instilled in KEMers.
“I think [the Anniversary Week] is a great avenue to remind everyone of KEM’s successes throughout the years,” remarked Ysab Flores, noting that this can serve as a source of inspiration for resident members to do well as KEMers. Moreover, it is also a way to establish stronger resident-alumni relations, as the Anniversary Week always returns to everything that unites the members of UP KEM, old and new: the history, achievements, dreams, fellowship, and much more.
In a sense, the same blood flows in every KEMer’s veins because of the unshakeable bond that ties everyone together. The love from each and every KEMer has kept UP KEM’s heart beating for 63 years, and it is sure to keep it beating for many more years to come.