By Dr. Lallaine Lucas-Gogna
It was almost the break of dawn last Jan.24 and I found myself on unfamiliar territory. It was dark and the buses speeding along Quirino Ave. did not seem welcoming. We were told to make our way to the Manila Hotel side of the Quirino Grandstand. The meeting time was 5.30 am. I looked at my watch – 5.45. “Oh no…What will Jose say?”
The first of the many smiles I received that morning was that of the parking assistant. He was warm and very helpful. I found myself on the other side of the Grandstand and as I rushed to the safe parking space, I saw that the parade had already begun.
I was not prepared for what I was about to see.
Yes I knew that the theme of this year’s Alay Parada was Mardi Gras. I also knew from having attended some years back that there would be some band playing, some costumes and a throng of people. But this year’s Alay Parada was a spectacular surprise.
There were colors everywhere! The outfits were breath taking… The drumbeat was enticing… There was bellydancing, ati-atihan, and marching band all in one parade! Not to mention the over-all spirit of revelry that was so evident. The onlookers along Roxas Boulevard watched excitedly as we walked and waved.
The Association of Philippine Orthodontists came full force complete with Mardi Gras inspired masks in our signature white and royal blue. There were also balloons and shirts given out for free (with yummy McDonald’s breakfast). APO President Dr. Jose Rivera was all smiles with how the Association participated. In the same way, President-Elect Dr. Robert Tan was happy seeing old, familiar faces in the crowd.
Admittedly, more than the “points” I earned that day, what made the opening of the National Dental Health Month 2010 worth waking up for? The glamour and style, the experience, the friendships rekindled…in the way only APO can deliver.
Kudos to the PDA! Congratulations to the Association of Philippine Orthodontists!