The "ONLY" Orthodontic Specialty Group

The Association of Philippine Orthodontists was officially awarded the Certificate of Accreditation by the Philippine Board of Dentistry and was duly recognized as the official specialty society for Orthodontics in the country on January 26, 2011.


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.


The Objectives of the Association are :

  1. To promote the continuing study of orthodontics by its members for the advancement of this special field and its recognition as a distinct and distinguished branch of dentistry;
  2. To stimulate, promote, and support the spirit of self-improvement and research among the students and practitioners of orthodontics;
  3. To cooperate with the Philippine Dental Association and its chapters and affiliates, with other medical and para-medical organizations, Boards of dental specialties, and civic and governmental associations in the furtherance of the aims of dentistry in general, and orthodontics in particular, for the benefit of our people;
  4. To work with the Board of Dentistry and with the deans of various dental colleges in the country in setting up meaningful courses of study in undergraduate, postgraduate, and graduate orthodontics;
  5. Through its Board of Orthodontics, to manage, control and conduct examinations for testing the qualifications of orthodontists practicing in the Philippines and to confer certificates upon those who meet the requirements of the Boards;
  6. To recognize and laud the contributions of persons; whether in dental field or not, to the advancement of orthodontics in the Philippines; and
  7. To seek, eventually for the recognition of Philippine orthodontics in the councils of international orthodontic organizations.


February 1, 1971

Bright New Beginnings

The first meeting of the Orthodontic Study club was held.
March 14, 1979

Association of Philippine Orthodontists

The Orthodontic Study Club formally organized into the Association of Philippine Orthodontists.
September 3, 1980

The APO was formally inaugurated

October 1, 1980

First workshop

The APO hosted a workshop for orthodontic professors.
June 1, 1981

The first certifying examinations of the Philippine Board of Orthodontics was given.
July 29, 1989

Philippine Board of Orthodontics

The PBO was formally recognized by the Board of Dentistry of the Professional Regulation Commission to certify orthodontic specialists in the Philippines.
May 1995


The APO becomes officially affiliated with the World Federation of Orthodontists during the American Association of Orthodontists' convention at San Francisco.
August 24-26, 1998

1st Congress

The APO holds its 1st National Orthodontic Congress, a 3-day open congress and seminar.
August 2000

2nd Congress and Philippine Journal of Orthodontics

APO comes out with the Maiden issue of the Philippine Journal of Orthodontics. The APO holds its 2nd National Orthodontic Congress, a 3-day congress entitled "Orthodontics in the Global Scene: Focus on Current Treatment Approaches"
July 2002

Philippine Band of MERCY Foundation

The APO ties up with the Philippine Band of MERCY Foundation to provide comprehensive orthodontic care to its cleft lip and palate patients.
August 5-7, 2002

3rd Congress

The APO holds it 3rd National Orthodontic Congress entitled "Interdisciplinary Orthodontics: Ties that Bind".
August 16-17, 2004

4th Congress

APO holds its 4th National Orthodontic Congress entitled "Orthodontics Simplified: Empowering our Basic Biomechanics and 13th Biennial Induction"
August 7-8, 2006

5th Congress

The 5th National Congress of APO takes place at the Mandarin Oriental Manila, Makati City with the theme “Embracing Change…Honing Our Orthodontic Skills”