How did the Upsilon Net start?

In his own words “Upsilon Online is …not about history …but about opportunity” – Butch Bandong ’73

Date: Thu, 17 Dec 1998 18:01:03 -0800 (PST)
Subject: [UPSILON] Upsilon Online – Genesis

This week marks the fourth year of Upsilon’s Internet presence, so it might be as good a time as any to look back and reflect on how it all came about.

Action was fast and furious in the soc.culture.filipino (scf) newsgroup during the Fall of ’94 when a lone mysterious post jumped up from my screen and froze me. The title was UPSILON, the body was empty, and it came from a university in Portland, Oregon. It was to be my first introduction with another Upsilonian on the Internet – Peter Villanueva ’90 and I exchanged an electronic handshake across the wires.

That rainy Sunday, Timmy Gil ’64 having just returned from the RP, brought a copy of the Traditions book to  the 49’er game at Candlestick Park. Seniority ruled as no one would let go of the book. Naturally, Toti Fabella ’56, the most senior and the son of a Founder to boot, was first, while the rest of us looked over his shoulder. By the time my turn came, it was about 10 seconds to kickoff.

So the following week, when Joey Bibal ’70 called to say he had some of the books available, I treated him to spaghetti at the Good Earth restaurant in San Mateo, CA in exchange for the privilege of buying one of his priceless books. I scanned some of the images and began typing excerpts straight into an html file on the host at a2i communications in San Jose, CA where it still resides. The book excerpts and images formed the corpus of the first Upsilon web site.

I wrote a letter to Tristan Catindig, then President of the Upsilon Alumni requesting permission to publicize the web site and use the book of which he was co-author, as its centerpiece.

A week later the San Francisco Bay Area scf group held a Christmas Party on Dec 15, 1994 at Tito Rey’s where I took some photos. I put up a web page to hold these pictures and – the Upsilon had its first external link to the World Wide Web.

The Philippines by then had barely been wired to the Internet, having done so about 6 months earlier, so it was fairly slow going in the early days. But the web site was doing its job. On June 17, 1995 Pietro Reyes III ’69 stumbled on the page and informed Hans Groot ’63. Our mailing list then consisted of SF Bay Area Brods Joey Bibal ’70 and Jake Taylor ’73, LA Brods Louie Taylor, and Raul Vergel DeDios both ’75, New York Brods Hans Groot ’63 and Pietro Reyes III ’69, Roderick ReJesus ’88 from Clemson, and Sigma Deltan Desiree Gallardo Latimer ’78 out of London.

Jing Yuvienco ’62 and Omar Molina ’85 followed and Larry dela Cruz ’81 who was the first from Manila on Aug 16, 1995, then Rody Santiago ’65, Sonny ’58 and Cora Ago, Rocky Acot ’85, Joji Collas ’75, and Doy Santos ’75, the second brod from Manila.

On the evening of October 30, 1995, in a hotel room at the Doubletree near the LA Airport, and using a Toshiba laptop, the automated list was created, employing the majordomo list software.

Now, here we are, 400-strong, and counting, gathered around the upsilon-list campfire.

Voltaire said: History is a bag of tricks played by the dead upon the living  …

So this is not about history. But about opportunity. We are still at the threshold of a phenomenon that holds promise for creative thinking and bold action. Let’s live the Credo. Let’s keep the dream alive.

Butch C. Bandong ’73