Editha “Edith” Collado-Galvan



1989-1990 President, UPAA-SD

I was born on August 30, 1943 in Janiuay, Iloilo. My parents were both hard-working and very dedicated school teachers who believed that children should always surpass their parents in education and their accomplishments in life.

After a series of family relocations, hence school changes for me, I graduated from Duenas High School in Iloilo in 1959. I was admitted as an entrance scholar to the University of the Philippines (Iloilo). During that time UP Iloilo was offering only general education classes and I had to transfer to UP Diliman after two years.

I graduated with a degree in Bachelor of Science in Education majoring in Physical Sciences (Math/Physics Emphasis) in 1964. After my graduation, I was selected as one of the first ten awardees of a scholarship at UP and co-sponsored by the US AID (US Agency for International Development).

The purpose of the program was to train physics teachers in a teaching method geared to the top 10% of United States high school seniors. All the courses we took were credited toward a degree in Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT-Physics). I taught in Novaliches High School, Quezon City as a requirement of the scholarship. Later on, I accepted a position as Instructor in Math & Physics at UP Iloilo.

In 1967, I married my husband, Magdaleno “Ditoy” D. Galvan, Jr., a fellow Ilonggo and a mechanical engineering graduate who enlisted in the U.S. Navy. I joined him in San Diego in 1968. His military assignments took us to San Diego, San Francisco, Illinois, Mississippi and Hawaii (six years) where our two sons were born. Darryl, who graduated from San Diego State University, now works as a mechanical engineer. Lydell, a graduate of the University of California San Diego (Revelle College), is an underwriter for a mortgage company..

As soon as I arrived in the U.S., I was issued a clear California teaching credential to teach math and physics. However, because of Ditoy’s job movements, I decided to put my professional career on hold as I moved with him wherever he was assigned. I was pretty contented with my role as a wife and a mother until when one day I saw a UP graduate (I cannot remember who she was) on television challenging all UP graduates who were watching to step up to the plate and ‘to lead just as what UP alumni were trained to do’.

Ditoy felt guilty that he was holding me back professionally and encouraged me to pursue graduate courses, Master in Computer Science, maybe. I gave it a try but it took so much of my time from my children. I decided to settle for something quick and easy and not too time-consuming as I had to juggle my schedule with my County job, school and family. In 1984, after a year or so of evening classes, I graduated with a degree in Masters in Business Administration from National University, San Diego.

My new degree opened a lot of doors for me at the San Diego County government. Promotions came easily and I became the first Filipino administrative analyst in the San Diego District Attorney’s Office and one of the very few in the county. I handled budget and monitored all revenues of the office including grants in Auto Insurance Fraud, Gang Prosecution, Narcotics Prosecution, Workers’ Compensation Fraud, Victim/Witness, Family Support, etc.

I had established excellent working relationships with DA staff, other County departments, Federal and State agencies. I felt very proud and privileged to be the only Filipino at statewide DA administration conferences. To top it all, I always had a window office on the same floor as the DA himself.

I became active in the County of San Diego Filipino Employees Association (CSDFEA) serving as a member of the Board of Directors for four years. Since one of the goals of the association was to put a Filipino in top county position, we, the officers, met with department heads and high level officials to make them aware that there are Filipinos who are capable and more than qualified to take on the task. We also held after- work review sessions to prepare our members for qualifying exams so they can move up the ranks. We made ourselves available for them to call when they needed assistance.

It was in the mid-80’s when I first became involved with the UP Alumni Association in San Diego. I voluntarily offered my services as secretary-treasurer assisting Dr. Juanita Caccam for several years until I became UPAASD’s first elected president and served in 1989 to 1990. We had a very memorable and well-attended installation of officers at Tom Ham’s Lighthouse. I was much honored that Judge Lillian Lim accepted my invitation to be our installing officer.

During my term, UPAASD sponsored for the first time a UP Diliman Concert Chorus presentation in San Diego held at UCSD Mandeville auditorium. It was a tremendous success and tickets were sold out way before the event. I negotiated for the group to perform at Sea World and they in turn were allowed free entrance to the park for the whole day.

UPAA San Diego also raised funds to sponsor scholarships to financially-deficient students in UP campuses in the Philippines and participated in community events such as having floats and booths for the Philippine Independence Day celebration. Though few in number then, every member in our group was enthusiastically involved and up to this day I can not thank them enough for their support when I was president.

Ditoy and I love orchids and we maintain a sizable nursery. We exhibit and sell plants during the orchid show held at the Mission Valley Scottish Rite Center in spring of every year. We have been very active members of the San Diego County Orchid Society (SDCOS) since 1991. He had served for three years as Board of Director and I was elected as treasurer for five years (1996-2000), becoming the first Filipino to be entrusted the coffers of one of the biggest orchid societies in the U.S. We also attended the World Orchid Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2002.

I retired from the San Diego County District Attorney in 1998 at age 55 and Ditoy retired from active military service in 1984 and Federal civil service in 1999. We live a quiet, country life in Crest (El Cajon) and babysit our only grandson, Romeo, whenever we can.