By : Maria Teresa Perdon-Garcia, D.M.D.

It was a festive mood! The hall was filled with festal decors, feel-good music, yummy food, refreshing drinks and good people. Everybody was in a jolly mood as this was the very first time PPDSI people met each other in person after three long years.

The ceremony was held in One Shangri-La Place last February 5, 2023 at 4:00 in the afternoon.

It also marked the 30th anniversary of the Philippine Pediatric Dental Society, Inc. Buffet dinner was served before the induction ceremony. The programme, hosted by the dashing and entertaining Drs. Paul A. Abaya and Rafael F. Borromeo started with the opening remarks by the programme chair, Dr. Fina G. Lopez where she welcomed all the members and guests, followed by the valedictory address of the immediate past president, Dr. Maria Teresa P. Garcia. In her speech, the IPP thanked PPDSI for the opportunity, experience and full support despite the limitations due to the pandemic. The theme under her term (2021-2023) Oral Health: Dapat All, proved to be very challenging during those times. Nevertheless, she related that through all of that, PPDSI stood tall and that made her very proud of her working team and officers.

The new President, Dr. Gay R. Raralio was sworn in by the Oral Health Division Chief of the DOH Disease Prevention & Control Bureau, Dr. Manuel V. Vallesteros, who was also a past president of PPDSI. Dr. Raralio then facilitated the induction of the new executive board of directors for 2023 – 2025: Dr. Arlene D. Medina (President-Elect), Dr. Jasper L. Tago (Vice President), Dr. Bernadette F. Borromeo (Secretary), Dr. Rowena C. Castro (Treasurer), Dr. Lavinia H. Lucido (Auditor), Dr. Manuel V. Vallesteros (Trustee), Dr. Bernadette Kamantigue (Trustee), and Dr. Daryl Joy Eustaquio (Trustee). The turnover of gavel and medallion ceremony which would have been filled with mixed emotions turned out to be filled with laughter as the atmosphere had inflicted everyone with joy and excitement. The new PPDSI president delivered her inaugural address where she shared her theme, Rated “R”: Revive, Reset, Reignite Pediatric Oral Care and her 7 C’s – Competence, Confidence, Compassion, Camaraderie, Collaboration, Common goal and Common good – values that she would adhere to and expect from her team as well. She then lauded her team (the new officers), telling them, “I am truly happy for your enthusiasm and dedication. I look forward to working together and bringing PPDSI to new heights. ”

The second part of the programme was giving a special award to the all-time favorite PPDSI speaker, Dr. Manuel V. Vallesteros, nicknamed Dhoc Noel by his colleagues. The citation on the award read “The Father of Philippine Pediatric Dentistry.” A short video clip of short messages of appreciation was shown, which made Dhoc Noel teary-eyed. He gave a short speech where he said he was surprised by the gesture and thanked PPDSI for the award. He again reminded the members that primary oral health care empowers health promotion, oral disease prevention and favors health equity.

After the ceremony, members and guests indulge themselves into more food, more drinks, endless chatter and photo-op! Of course, what event is without pictures? A photo wall was even set up for this. All in all, the event ended on a happy note. Everyone went home sharing the same thought and hope that on the next event they will not be in front of their computer screens.