APO Tagaytay Escape

By Jose Manuel R. Rivera

The crisp morning breeze of Tagaytay Highlands greeted the 51 APO members who were in attendance last February 12 for our first APO general meeting for 2014. Amidst the picturesque backdrop of Taal, we started off the “APO Team Building” activity at around 9:30 am after a light morning snack. The Alabang / Paraňaque cell group was in charge for the day’s activities with Dr. Lally Gogna as host. The invocation was given by Dr. Karen Miranda followed by the singing of the national anthem headed by Dr. Irene Pagaduan.

Our beloved APO President, Dr. Laarni Serraon, started the ball rolling with a video presentation of our previous meetings followed by some important updates and announcements:

Donations for the Bohol earthquake victims coursed through Dr. Gatchalian’s hospital totalled to Php60,000 while that of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Tagbilaran tallied at Php103,000 (APO giving Php13,800 and the Taiwan Association of Orthodontists / TAO Php89,500).

Donations for the victims of typhoon Yolanda coursed through Gawad Kalinga totalled to Php666,896.30 – enough to build 5 houses in Tagbilaran, Leyte. It is truly heart-warming to witness the generosity of our other Asian /APOS colleagues (APO Php88,500; Thailand Association of Orthodontists / ThaAO Php222,094.25; Japan Orthodontic Society / JOS P44,526.25; Korean Association of Orthodontists / KAO and Dr. Kyung Php223,526.25; Japan Association of Orthodontists /JAO Php44,526.25; Dr. Kai Woh Loh of the Association of Orthodontists Singapore / AOS Php43,723.30).

APO Activities for 2014
May 11, 2014 PDA Ortho Symposium

  • Dr. Johnny Liaw “Mission Impossible with TADS and IDT”
  • Dr. Naranjilla “Management of posterior cross-bite from deciduous, mixed and permanent dentition”
  • Dr. Llaovore “Treatment Strategies for a developing class 3 malocclusion”

June 4, 2014 APO Election of officers
August 4 and 5 APO’s 9th BNOC at Crowne Plaza Ortigas (download brochure here
October 1 Gum-metal Seminar Lecture and Hands on Workshop
December 3 Christmas Party and Induction

Our energetic PBO Chair, Dr. Sandra Adriano, was next on the program giving the following updates:

Phase II written examinations given last January 29, 2014. All 13 applicants passed.

Schedule of PBO Exams 2014

Phase I: Application and Dexterity Exam (only limited to graduates of non accredited university based orthodontic programs)

Exam Date: November 26, 2014

Application Deadline: September 24, 2014

Phase II: Written Exam (for graduates of accredited University based orthodontic Programs)

2015 schedule in January to be announced

Phase III and IV: Clinical Presentation of 5/10 cases

Exam Date: June 25,2014

Application Deadline: April 30, 2014

Please note that new applicants from preceptorship programs will no longer be allowed to apply for PBO examinations.

Finally Dr. Janet Pandan introduced our motivational speaker for the day, Mr. Arun Gogna, who is a much sought-after national and international lay preacher. He is a former Theology professor at the De La Salle College of St. Benilde where he taught for ten years. He acquired his Masters in Theology Degree from Don Bosco Center of Studies where he graduated Magna Cum Laude. He is the founder of Creative House Inc., an organization specializing in retreats, recollections and values formation seminars for companies, schools, universities and organizations. Coincidentally he is also married to APO member Dr. Lallaine Lucas who hails from Paranaque City, Philippines.

Arun started off the morning activity with an ice breaker, his own version of the “Simon Says” game which left everyone in stitches trying to follow his commands. He then proceeded with a video cartoon presentation showing the countless differences between men and women in every facet of life. At the end of the day, in spite of their differences, they can’t exist without each other. So moral of the story – there can be unity in diversity!

Arun then showed us four shapes (square, triangle, hexagon and circle) and asked “what shape would you chose to best represent yourself”? He then gave a “scientific” interpretation of the choices we made. Triangle people are high achievers and goal oriented, hexagonal ones are very creative, square are law abiding, while round ones (which were the majority) are apparently over preoccupied with sex!

With such a diverse group of people in the APO, how then can we work as a team? There is a need for unity to be able to work together. As Arun pointed out, an individual can play the game but it takes a team to win the championship. So cliché sounding as it may seem, we all need to work together for our team – TEAM APO! In short, we have to be team players to win. For after all, the strength of the team is impacted by its weakest link. And so the saying goes… one rotten apple can spoil the whole harvest. Attitude is the lifeblood of one’s team. The formula to having a great team is not only to have great talent but to also have a great attitude!

The morning session ended with an open forum to discuss the standardization of our minimum orthodontic fees. As Dr. Laarni Serraon pointed out, the existing orthodontic price list has not been revised since 2005. The new fees based on what was agreed by the majority will be disseminated to its members so they could be guided accordingly.

After the sumptuous buffet lunch, Arun again had some interesting group activities for all of us. We were divided into 4 groups to play charades. This certainly energized the whole group for the more serious finale for the day – the PMI (Plus, Minus, Interesting) activity. Four groups picked one word each (parachute, beer, bed, balloon). From this the groups made a list of positive derivatives from the words assigned to them in relation to APO. An assigned leader from each group then presented this in front of everyone and we all voted for the top 3 answers which were “mentoring, social media and committee involvement”. In other words our members would want our association to have mentoring activities (such as round table clinical discussions), have more interaction via the internet with an APO blog and other related social media such as Facebook plus greater committee involvement in APO activities. And so the members have spoken and it is now up to the current Board to address these reasonable requests.

It was already past 4 pm, the scheduled adjournment, and still majority of the members were still staying on – a sign of a successful meeting! Kudos to APO for hosting this unconventional event in Tagaytay and also a big thank you to our sponsors AVM, Ahescor and Hubit.