HONG KONG, ONCE AGAIN!!!
My name is Lou Pulgencio, and I am the Director of International Studies at Southwestern Academy. Since 1992, I have made annual trips to Asia to visit alumni and follow up on what they are doing or have done since leaving Southwestern.
This is what I did during winter vacation 2016.
On December 27, 2016, I went on a trip to one of my favorite places, Hong Kong. I feel at home when I’m there- the sights and sounds, the food, and the people. This is my fourth year straight spending New Year’s in Hong Kong.
I am so lucky to have many former students who I have stayed in contact over my nearly 30 years at Southwestern. I would like to share some information on these wonderful Hong Kong alumni who I have met.
I was able to meet up with a group of alumni for dinner with the help of Millie Kwan- thanks, girl! Some wonderful news- Brian Chung is a recent newlywed! Many years of happiness, Brian!
I have been able to stay in contact with alumni from my first few years. I was able to meet up with Pilar Chang, Millie, Brian- Classes of 1990-92, and Elaine Chong- Class of 1999. It’s so wonderful to see how successful they have been. Pilar is married and has two beautiful daughters. She works at her sister’ bakery- the food is fabulous! Millie and Brian are both business people- and very successful. Elaine has been working in the management area, but is pursuing a master’s degree in social science.
I then met with two of my favorite “food specialists”, Linda Yeung and Joyce Lau (Classes from the mid- 1990s). Each helped me experience the many Hong Kong cuisines. Fresh fish, fresh meat, fresh vegetables, and food I have never heard of were delightful! Both have been working in the sales and accounting business areas. They know Hong Kong well- especially extraordinary places to eat all over Hong Kong. Thanks, girls!
Lucky me!!! I was able to have dim sum with Linda and Jacqueline Wong (graduate from the mid-90s) and her young son. Jacqueline is happily married with two children. She works as an administrative assistant in the Central district. She’s a wonderful mom!
I found out that two alumni from the mid-1990s were close to my hotel. Sung Jin Park (Class of 1997) works about a five minute walk to my hotel. We met for coffee. Sung Jin is currently the chief administrator with an import business in South Korea. He is in his third year of a four year assignment at their Hong Kong. With him are his wife and eight year old son.
I also found out that Steven Lee, another mid-1990s graduate, lives two minutes from my hotel. I had lunch with him and his wife and one-year-old son. Steven works for Adidas as a window designer. He enjoys being a father.
The evening of the dinner, we were joined by Daisy Lee and Alex Wong (Class of 1999). We met at Alex Wong’s wine bar on Hong Kong Island in Kennedy Town. The others came later. We had a wonderful time recounting the “old days and the new ones.” Alex in also sells wine and Daisy works an events promoter. Both are very busy people and have demanding jobs.
I was lucky enough to meet William Yip (Class of 2007), his wife, Sabrina, his in-laws and his mother for an afternoon of dim sum. It was great to find out that William and Sabrina were expecting their first child. In fact, due to a lengthy pregnancy, Sabrina was scheduled to go to the hospital that evening to delivery her baby boy! She was to have induced labor. Congratulations to you both. In addition, William is working with his father in the family business and is exploring of creating a company of his own.
Then, I was so fortunate to see a group of “younger alumni” from 2009- Margaret Lam, Nancy Lam, and Tom Zhou. Margaret is also an alum of USC and works for the family business. Tom, who is a graduate of Gettysburg College, works in finance, and Nancy. A graduate of Syracuse University, works in business, but has recently married. Congratulations, Nancy!!! Tom works in the financial field in Hong Kong, but has business also in mainland China.
When I travel to Asia, I am awed by the number of international students who I have had either as students or as players. It is my goal to help each student who attends Southwestern to be successful. My reward is to follow them in their lives after Southwestern to see where success takes them.
I am indebted to Southwestern for giving me the opportunity to experience international education and new cultures. And I would also like to thank the students who have given me the incentive to continue my work knowing that I had a small part in shaping their todays, yesterdays and the future.
Below are some pictures that were taken:
A view of Kowloon Island:
(Left to Right) Alex Wong, Mr. Pulgencio, Daisy Lee:
(Left to Right) Brian, Pilar, Millies:
Jacqueline Wong and son:
Linda Yeung and Elaine Chong:
Linda, Elaine, Millie, Brian, Pilar Tom, Nancy, Sister, Margaret:
Margaret Lam, Sister Lam, Nancy Lam, Tom Zhou:
Millies Kwan, Brian Chung, Pilar Chang:
Steven Lee and son:
Sung Jin Park: