by zenaida herrera-santos, che70
The National Association of Mapua Alumni (NAMA), Guam Chapter established in 1986 is the first international chapter of NAMA, Inc. our umbrella organization.
How We Got Started
Thirty one years ago when he first set foot on Guam, an electrical engineer named MARIO TANTAY had a vision of forming a Mapua alumni association. He did not waste any time, he immediately got together with five other electrical engineers VIRGILIO IGNACIO, FREDERICK EUGENE OAKES, ROMEO PONTEMAYOR, JOSE VILLAR and RAMON AMADO. He invited them and their spouses to his home and brought the idea over lunch. Needless to say the idea was well accepted. Through MARIO’s leadership, the group set to tasks, called upon Mapuans on Guam, held meetings and through perseverance, the vision became a reality, the National Association of Mapua Alumni (NAMA) Guam Chapter was formed and the first induction of officers was held on June 21, 1986. The rest is history and NAMA Guam evolved into one big family and became the strong, cohesive and fun group it is today! To the “Magnificent Six” who started it all, we are truly grateful!
We are Proud Mapuans
Our members take pride in being able to be significant contributors to Guam’s progress especially through sharing our engineering, architectural and technological background and experiences. As we look back with humility, we can not help but be proud to think that in our own way, we helped change the island’s skyline. One may say that for almost every building structure on the island, there is a Mapuan behind it.
NAMA Guam is more than an alumni association. Our goal in addition to the enhancement of our profession is to give back to the island community. We are thankful that we have been able to achieve and accomplish several worthy projects.
We are proud to have been able to build and donate the NAMA Picnic Shelter at the Paseo de Susana, Hagatna. It has enhanced the functionality of the park and is serving the public well.
Through the years we have been supporting non-profit service organizations in Guam such as Alee Shelter, Erica’s House, Habitat for Humanity of Guam, Rainbows for Children, Sanctuary, Victims Advocate Reaching Out (VARO), Guam Animals In Need (GAIN), “Eskuelahang Munti”, and a few more. Not to forget in the Philippines, “Bahay Kalinga” and “Lingap Bata” through financial contributions. On an individual basis, several of our members unselfishly donate their time serving in different capacities in the civic or service organizations that are close to their hearts.
We have also helped out some financially challenged students and made donations to scholarship funds of the University of Guam Endowment Foundation, Guam Community College Scholarship Foundation and our Alma Mater, Mapua Institute of Technology.
For a few years, NAMA Guam sponsored Engineer-In-Training (EIT) review classes and was given recognition by the Professional Engineers, Architects & Land Surveyors (PEALS) Board for being instrumental in bringing up the passing percentage of candidates.
Twelve years ago, we started the “My School Program”. It is an incentive program for members wherein a lucky qualifying active NAMA member gets an opportunity to donate to his or her school of choice in the Philippines.
The original “Sunshine Committee” is ever active! In good times and in bad times they are there caring about members. Together we share celebrations for our family’s milestones such as children’s graduation, work promotion, anniversaries, etc. More important is in time of need, we are there for each other; even with just our presence or a simple good cheer flower arrangement.
We are Partners with FOMI & NAMA
NAMA Guam is sensitive to disaster assistance needs outside of Guam, especially to our dear Kababayans in the typhoon-ravaged communities in the Philippines. NAMA Guam partnered with the Foundation of Outstanding Mapuans, Inc. (FOMI) and NAMA Inc. by donating some seed money that led to the construction of school buildings in Iligan City (Northern Mindanao), Compostela Valley (South Eastern Mindanao) & San Roque (Tanauan, Leyte) and to the latest project, the Casili Footbridge, Montalban.
The Unforgettable Mr. Oscar B. Mapua
There are just too many joyful and special moments to remember but the one we will always treasure are the annual visits of the late President Oscar B. Mapua. From 1989 to the year before he passed away, he made sure he was present at our every anniversary and induction celebration. We sure are lucky as no other alumni association could claim that the MIT president dedicated a week each year in the last 10 years of his life to their celebration. Even when he had a minor mishap at home, he still came to Guam with bandage on the face. The following sentiment best describe our feelings: My fond memories of the visit of our dear and beloved President Oscar Mapua Sr. in our every induction of Officers of the NAMA Guam Chapter is something that will forever stay in my memories. He is like a father to all of us. I am always looking forward then to his annual visit with us in Guam. He always has a kind word for everyone. Although he has long been in his place in Heaven, I know he is always watching us from above looking after us. Right now, remembering him, I felt like I had a lump in my throat and about to tear. Nars Fuertes.
The Outstanding Mapuan (TOM) Award
We’ll be amiss if we do not make a special mention of NAMA Guam’s own TOM Awardees They are the late ALFREDO ARIZALA, BENILDO REYES, ZENAIDA HERRERA-SANTOS, JOSE GUTIERREZ, NARCISO FUERTES, NEMENCIO MACARIO, RAMON AMADO, HERMINIGILDO MOGUEL, FAUSTINO DIAZ, MAXIMINO MERCADO, REYNALDO BRIGINO, ARMAND CAYAN. We are so proud of them!
NAMA Guam, Here to Stay!
Through the years, NAMA Guam withstood the many challenges and now enjoys the fruition of the hard work and dedication of our members who are all determined to achieve the NAMA Guam’s mission and goals. We are thankful for the opportunity to be able to contribute in many different ways to the beautiful Island of Guam along with giving pride to our Alma Mater, the Mapua Institute of Technology. We look forward to many more years of productive existence.
MAPUA WORLD 2019 – Guam
We are excited, NAMA Guam will be hosting the MAPUA WORLD 2019!! We invite you all fellow Mapuans and your families to EXPERIENCE PARADISE WHERE AMERICA’S DAY BEGIN. Save the date: April 4-7, 2019.