By Dr. Marybeth Gabriel
The annual APO (Association of Philippine Orthodontists) Christmas party was celebrated early this year, November 30, 2016 to be exact, in conjunction with the APO and PBO( Philippine Board of Orthodontists) Inductions of Officers, Making it a triple event that everybody in attendance truly enjoyed. This joyous occasion was held at the Joya Lofts and Tower in Rockwell, Makati.
After the sumptuous lunch and riveting song number from newly inducted APO President Dr. Martin Reyes and PDA President Dr. Carlos Buendia, it was time to give back and spend a couple of hours with children of the Noordoff Craniofacial Foundation Philippines Inc. (NCFPI) in Museo Pambata along Roxas Boulevard in Manila. These Children all benefited from Smile Train, Which is the world’s largest cleft charity. They have done 1.5 million surgeries worldwide since 1999. Their global aim is to provide comprehensive cleft care to patients in need, and by partnering with hospitals and organizations of the NCFPI. APO provides free orthodontic services with Ortho volunteers for the children Ortho materials, panoramic and cephalometric radiographs for 30 patient per year with cleft and other craniofacial deformities.
The Christmas and Outreach program started off with the registration of all children and their families, coming in from many different and distant places as Cavite, Bulacan and Paranaque. The total registrants were 116 patients.
The Thanksgiving Prayer was given Mr. Paolo Sison, NCFPI Speech Pathologist, and the welcome remarks by Dr. Bernard Tansipek, NCFPI President. He thanked the sponsors of the Christmas activity, and encouraged the pateints present that having received blessings from the generous sponsors and volunteers, to give back to the others who are in need.
A lovely dance presentation was given by the NCFPI patients, and the patients thanksgiving remarks were expressed by another NCFPI patient Ms. Catrina Cupino. This was followed by delightful musical number, a soothing flute performance, by an NCFPI volunteer Ms. Jessica Gros. She is one of the youngest volunteers and has been actively helping NCFPI for the past 2 years.
Presentation of Certificates to the NCFPI patients who participated in the Art and Photography Exhibit followed. Their Colorful and tasteful artworks were displayed in the exhibit hall of Museo Pambata during the Christmas activity. NCFPI President Dr. Tansipek and Board trustee Mr. Paolo Sison presented the certificates to the well deserving awardees.
The NCFPI patients, together with the speech interns from the University of Santo Tomas (UST), gave a song number for everyone to enjoy. This succeeded by remarks from the newly inducted APO (Association of Philippine Orthodontists)President Dr. Martin Reyes, followed by the much awaited Gift Giving Program with the APO members and UP residents present. APO prepared 123 grocery bags for the patients, with 116 patients receiving them in Museo Pambata, and 7 bags given by the community volunteers of the Tahanan Walang Hagdanan Inc. Dr. Liza Sayoc-Natividad was able to solicit gifts from ACS Manufacturing Corporation. Also through generosity of ACS, the unique mascot was present in the memorable get together to cheer the patients and help everyone spread the Christmas cheer.
The Program was hosted by NCFPI Ortho patients Ms. Ayra Layug and Mr. Mark Marco, both beneficiaries of APO sponsorship.
It was definitely a heart–warming, touching and enjoyable event that made all participants lighthearted and content thru simple acts of kindness. Truly worth doing every year, and definitely makes each other’s Christmas more meaningful. Merry Christmas everyone!
To support Smile Train Programs in the Philippines, you may email firstname.lastname@example.org or APO.com.ph.