By Dr. Maria Emilyn B. de Marcaida
The Alay Parada last January 30, 2011 kicked off the 7th National Dental Health Month, with the theme, “Ngiping kayamanan, pagkasira huwag hayaan, dentistang mapagkalinga, handa kang gabayan”. About sixty-five APO members and families in tow comprised this year’s APO delegation with the youngest participants in strollers, the babies of Dr Monica Sison Quiambao and Dr Irene Palma.
Most attended family went to Dr MarieVic Reyes with all 7 of them present and were even one of the first to arrive. I, too, had my eldest son and only daughter join the festivity. Of course, APO President Dr Roberto Tan was with his wife, Babes and daughter, Kim, complete with his entourage in full force for the event!
This affair was organized by QC cell group 3 headed by our able leader Dr Ellen Bernardo-Estrada. The group met as early as 5 AM in front of the Manila Hotel near the Quirino Grandstand, the usual venue of the Alay Parada. Our colorful blue t-shirts carried APO’s theme Halo-halong Indak ng mga Dentista to herald the PDA’s street dancing competition. The t-shirts were designed with the help of Dr Cathy Veneracion-Juliano and printed through the efforts of Dr. MarieVic Reyes and were distributed with the white APO caps while we had our fill of McDonald’s breakfast all courtesy of the APO.
Past President and Board Director, Dr Cynthia Quismundo with her angels and President-elect, Dr Laarni Serraon were also present. Vice President, Dr. Martin Reyes, and Dr. Ramona Locsin, the current assistant secretary with her husband were notably involved in the gathering too.
There were two main activities scheduled for the day, the street dancing competition of the chapters and affiliates and the hip-hop dancing competition participated by various colleges.
The parade started moving about 6:15 am and the APO was the 32nd delegation in line. Happee toothpaste, the event’s major sponsor provided tarpaulin banners for each group. The Alay Parada was attended by various dental chapters, organizations and dental colleges. Each had their own lavishly prepared costumes and presentations with attractive frontliners dancing as they led their groups while being presented and recognized by hosts Dr. Joji Yulo and Dr. Arleen Reyes at center stage.
The Pasig Pateros Taguig Chapter was eco-friendly using recycled materials as their outfit. While the AFP Dental chapter painted their bodies and attire in silver. Aside from their costumes, the Rizal and Antipolo Chapters even had dancing higantes with them. A water gushing fire truck was the main attraction of the San Juan Dental Chapter true to the festivity the area is known for. The Pampanga Chapter even had hot air balloons as headdress. While an actual hot air balloon courtesy of Happee toothpaste was made air-borne later in the day as one of the highlights of the affair.
The Las Piñas Dental Chapter was spectacular in their colorful fairy-like costumes and lively performance making them the champion in the PDA street dancing competition which won for them 4 special awards: Most Attractive Dental Chapter, Best in Costume, Crowd Drawer, Best in Musical Sound Variation and Original Concept.
The biggest delegations came from the University of the East and the Centro Escolar University. The students later showed their prowess and competed in the hip-hop dance competition with UE emerging the winner and CEU as runner up.
All in all it was a successful Sunday program and a perfect way to start the Dental Health Month.