At one time it created the Orthodontic Teachers Organization (ORTO) whose members included faculty members from the different Colleges of Dentistry that strove to upgrade undergraduate orthodontic curriculum nationwide and develop orthodontic faculty. APO members made up the faculty for University of the Philippines Graduate Program in Orthodontics that opened in 1989 and subsequently contributed graduate orthodontic faculty members to the Manila Central University program and before, to the University of Baguio. Some of the first pre and post War Filipino orthodontic practitioners may have included Dr. Francisco Ponce, a 1908 University of Illinois graduate, Dr. Jose Lerma a 1920 Stanford graduate who taught “orthodontia” at the local schools, Dr. Conception D. Gutierrez who learned her ortho from a Dr. Foulk, a German refugee from Hitler’s purge of Jews in 1938, Dr. Nieva Basa Eraña-Velasquez who was the first Filipino woman dentist who actually took a 2-year course in the University of Maryland for orthodontics.
APO’s formation organizationally can be traced to the1970s, when then there were only 8 formally-trained orthodontic practitioners in Metro Manila. Dr. Vicente R. Siojo, a University of Adelaide and Raymond Begg student and Dr. Luz C. Macapanpan, a University of Illinois graduate who both saw the need to gather all the orthodontists to address common concerns.
Thus, on February 1, 1971, Dr. Vicente R. Siojo, Dr. Luz C. Macapanpan, Dr. Hypatia V. Bernardo; Dr. Juan E. Quejada; Dr. Juanito R. Castañeda; Dr. Ermelinda S. Galang; Dr. Gloria E. Punzalan and Dr. Eugenio Villanueva. met at Fort Bonifacio to formally set up the Philippine Orthodontic Study Club (POSC).
The establishment of the Orthodontic Study Club turned out to be an all-important first step in the emergence and continued development of the field of orthodontics in the country. Its members conferred monthly to exchange ideas, discuss and consult cases, standardize fees and consider other matters relevant to orthodontic practice and the consequent increase in number of general dental practitioners performing corrective orthodontics was brought forward and tackled.
On March 14, 1979, at the Marco Polo Restaurant, Makati, Metro Manila, The Philippine Orthodontic Study Club held its last regular meeting and convened into its first organizational meeting of the Philippine Association of Orthodontists (PAO). The members present on this historic meeting were: Dr. Macapanpan, Dr. Hypatia V. Bernardo; Dr. Juan E. Quejada; Dr. Juanito R. Castañeda; Dr. Ermelinda S. Galang; Dr. Gloria E. Punzalan; Dr. Patricia Claparols, and Dr. Renato T. Africa. Dr. Luz C. Macapanpan was elected President and Dr. Juan E. Quejada, Secretary. A resolution was then adopted:
We, the members of the Philippine Orthodontic Study Club, ever aware of our responsibility to the public and the profession, and the need to safeguard the interests of the specialty of orthodontics; to enhance the standard of the specialty, and to promote its advancement decided unanimously to formally organize ourselves into the Association of Philippine Orthodontists.
In addition, an arm of the Association was formed, called the Philippine Board of Orthodontics, which would serve to accredit orthodontic specialists, in order that some measure of control could be self-imposed, that the dignity and prestige of orthodontics be held, and that the well-being of the dental patient be safeguarded.
On September 30, 1980, the first organization with a corresponding board in a specialty of dentistry in the Philippines, the ASSOCIATION OF PHILIPPINE ORTHODONTISTS (APO) and the PHILIPPINE BOARD OF ORTHODONTICS (PBO) were formally inaugurated at ceremonies held at the Manila Hotel. The Charter Officers and members were inducted by Chief Justice Cecilia Muñoz Palma.
Its Charter Officers and Members included:
- Chairman: Dr. Luz C. Macapanpan
- Vice-Chairman: Dr. Hypatia V. Bernardo
- Secretary: Dr. Juan E. Quejada
- Treasurer: Dr. Renato T. Africa
- Directors: Dr. Juanito R. Castañeda, Dr. Ermelinda Sabater-Galang, Dr. Gloria Enrile-Punzalan
- Members: Dr. Angelica Cabral, Dr. Ester Banting, Dr. Patricia Claparols, Dr. Virginia E. Penaloza, Dr. Crisanta Camara-Santayana
From this initial core group, the Association of Philippine Orthodontists to this day, has grown to include close to 160 responsible and dynamic orthodontic pracitioners classified as Fellows, Active, Affiliate, Associate and International Members. Many of the orthodontic lecturers for the Philippine Dental Association (PDA) Annual and Regional Meetings are drawn from the APO roster.