Wednesday, 11 March 2009

The DesertBedans debut

(Welcome remarks I delivered during the general induction of members and oath-taking of officers of the San Beda Alumni Association of the United Arab Emirates last 06 March 2009...hinintay ko lang yung picture bago ko 'to pinost)

Vice Consul Edwin Mendoza
Ourgood friend, Mr Art Los Banos, leader of the Filipino Community in Dubai
The Amparado family. Thank you for allowing us into your home.
Members of the San Beda Alumni Association of the UAE
Distinguished guests

On behalf of the officers of the San Beda Alumni Association of the UAE, I welcome you all to the general induction of members and oath-taking of the first set of officers of the SBAA-UAE, now popularly known as the DesertBedans.

Tonight’s event completes the process of realizing a shared dream among Bedans yearning for the unique brand of brotherhood that can only be found in our alma mater.

The coming into being of the DesertBedan community in the UAE was a work in progress that takes us back to the time when the Red Lions ended a 28-year wait for an NCAA senior basketball crown in 2006.

On the night Bedans in Mendiola busted their lungs out shouting ‘Animo San Beda” and “Go San Beda Fight” with bottles of San Mig Light on hand, my classmate, Jojo Amparado, and I were doing the same at the Airport Millenium Hotel – on the eve of Ramadan!

Elsewhere, in a room in Deira, a group of Bedan accountants were doing the same and so was Barry Canlas, who was celebrating by his lonesome in Karama because he thought he was the only Bedan in Dubai.

I’m sure Abet Alba and Joey Hidalgo waxed nostalgic as they recalled the last time they experienced a victory party at Mendiola when Chito Loyzaga, Frankie Lim and the rest of the Red Lions brought home the bacon in 1978.

It was that collective longing for our home in Mendiola and Alabang that pushed us to form the SBAA-UAE.

Of course, we’d like to give credit and thank the people behind Bedista dotcom.

Mike Ramos, our ever humble executive director, was one of the brains behind

Bedista dotcom was instrumental in putting all these things on fast-track.

A post asking for the whereabouts of Bedans in the UAE in one Bedista dotcom forum led to the discovery that there are Red Lions in this part of the world.

The post ignited the excitement that yeah, it’s high time for us Bedans to come together and watch the Red Lions take the grandslam last season.

And so we had our first-ever powwow between Game 1 and Game 2 of the NCAA Finals last September where we ratified our Constitution and By-laws, followed by the election of our officers last October and subsequent recognition given to us by the Philippine Consulate General.

Let us give Consul Mendoza a big hand to thank them for that.

And now we are gathered here to formally welcome the birth of the SBAA-UAE.

Aside from taking account of each and every Bedan here in the UAE, one of our objectives here is to put up a solid support network especially during these trying times.

It is time for us global Bedans to come together and rise up to the challenge.

Bedans know how to have fun. And we were also raised to help those in need especially if he is a kapamilya or a kapuso.

In closing, allow me to borrow a few lines from the Bedan Hymn, composed by the great Raul Roco.

When we encounter trials and hardships
We shall give you honor and fame
For nothing but these show our loyalty clear
To our Alma Mater’s

Go San Beda Fight!

For more pictures go to

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