By: Joji Tan
President, UP Dental Alumni Assn., Inc., CY 2014-2016
General Chair, UP-CD Centennial Committee
UPCD Class ‘84
When past presidents of UP Dental Alumni Association cajoled me sometime in late 2011 to take on the task of chairing the UP College of Dentistry Celebration Committee, I told buy essay soviet afghan war
them, “I’m really sorry but I don’t think that I am the right person to take on the post.” I pointed them to many illustrious alumni of UP College of Dentistry (UPCD) assuring them of my unwavering support provided they do not let me lead the pack! For 20 years, I have been serving as a Rotarian where I am at home in the company of volunteers who have the heart for service but I was insecure about leading a pack of intelligent accomplished UP dentists. It was such a scary thought at the time!
But things changed when Dean Vic Medina approached me about a month later. I don’t know what happened but I found myself saying, “Yes! Ok! I will try my very best.”
Let me tell you what he said to make me to change my mind. Dean Vic simply told me a story. Here goes…
One time, UP Manila Chancellor Manuel Agulto asked him point blank what UPCD, considered the premier dental college in the Philippines today, is doing to address the following facts: 1) The Philippines has a whopping 87.4% caries rate—one of the highest in the world; 2) Toothache and swelling due to dental caries is the 4th leading cause of school absences in kids; 3) Majority of the Filipinos cannot afford the services of private dentists with 40% of the population living below the poverty line; 4) Nearly all Filipinos suffer from dental caries; and 5) 77% of Filipinos have never seen a dentist in their entire life. Dean Vic who was so taken aback by the Chancellor’s inquiry told me how he felt that UPCD must take the lead and do more for the nation along this line in the next century.
Hearing those facts about the state of dental health in the Philippines hit close to home! I felt a calling to serve, to do something. I was going to do my share to help and will invite everyone else from UPCD to close ranks towards this cause. This was the perfect opportunity for us to make a difference.
It was clear that we need to hold a centennial to mark 100 years – but knowing that we have not done much for dental health the past 100 years, our centennial should not be just about us and our accomplishments. It should be used as an occasion to start something wonderful and meaningful, like a legacy campaign, to mark 100 years.
To draw attention to dental health, we have to make our campaign inclusive. It should be interesting – not just for our alumni, or for dentists, but for a larger dissertation writing company
audience. Since people do not want to talk about problems and solutions these days, it is best that we talk about outcomes, consequences, aspirations, and dreams. And so we decided that we would anchor ourselves on the importance of the smile. This gave birth to the Smile Pilipinas Campaign.The thing is – you cannot have a nice smile without being orally healthy. When there’s reason to smile, there’s harmony—things are great and working out. So, through our centennial efforts, we hope to enable 100% healthy smile for every Filipino. It will be about having reasons to smile as a country! But we don’t want it for the centennial only---we want it to last as a gift to our countrymen even after we are gone.
The UCC identified 7 Key Result Areas.Here is where we are in those areas:
Key Result Area 1:
100% ENGAGEMENT. At the heart of it all is the campaign for Smile Pilipinas, our move to bring to the national consciousness the idea that improved dental health needs to be attained. We want to start a public dialogue using the catchphrase “Smile Pilipinas”where awareness will be drawn to smile and healthy teeth. We are working on our media campaign to attain this goal.
Key Result Area 2:
We want to bring about 100% PARTICIPATION of our alumni both here and abroad as we keep them apprised of our initiatives and advocacies. Hence, our effort to reach out to alumni in the US last June to coincide with the California Dental Association Meeting at the residence of Ed Ramos (Class ’85) in the LA area where Dean Vic and I spoke to at least 30 alumni through the efforts of Warren Yow (Class ‘75), Ed Ramos among others. It was such an honor to have in our midst then James Young and Dean AvelinoMacasaet who along with Warren Yow have rallied the UPDAA USA to support UPCD. Thanks to the efficient efforts of Jenny Litton (Class ’84), Dean Vic and I were able to do a centennial pitch in the Bay Area.
Key Result Area 3:
We want to advocate for 100% DENTAL CARE FOR ALL especially for those 0 – 3 years of age. Towards this end, we are set to launch our UnangNgipinPatibayinPilot Program and Research in Pasig and Pateros knowing that this will be the best way to prevent Early Childhood Caries. The program and research will last for 3 years beginning in October 2014. For those above 3 years, we will advocate for less intake of sugary drinks through the “Tubig Para saKalusugan” Program. We should applaud the commitment and dedication of our Advocacy Subcommittee ably led by Chair Carina Mabanta de los Reyes (Class ’82) and Research Chair Susan Yanga-Mabunga(Class ’82) for the outstanding work in the UNP Pilot Program and Research fronts. The collaboration for the research is a beautiful story of dedication, patience and teamwork among our committed alumni, which I must relate to you one day.
Key Result Area 4:
Through Smile Pilipinas, we want to inspire hundreds of dental professionals, not just UP alumni, to render 100 HOURS OF VOLUNTEER DENTAL SERVICE in their communities or, together with us in any of our numerous Smile Pilipinas Public Good Activities, spread throughout the year.
Key Result Area 5:
Financial empowerment from our alumni for UPCD will come in the form of a PHP100 MILLION ENDOWMENT AND DEVELOPMENT FUND to support manpower and faculty training for improved educational programs, institutional modernization, and UPCD’s espoused advocacies. In honor of UPCD’s 100 years, the UPDAA’s long-term goal is to raise a PHP100Million Fund—which will not all be done in just a year —but will certainly be jumpstarted with a targeted PHP10Million Fund this year raised with the help of all alumni class stakeholders and sponsors.
The Fund drive for the Endowment & Development Fund starts with personal donations through Project: I-Carewhere the culture of annual giving to the institution that molded us into excellent dentists is impressed. TheI-Care contributions from our alumni have hit an all-time high of 305 donorsas of August 10. In this issue you will find the master list of those wonderful kind-hearted alumni who openly declare that they indeed care for UPCD!
Thank you to our dear I-Care Donors! The UCC can only offer you as a simple token of appreciation -- placing your name in our Centennial I-Care Wall to be unveiled on February 6, 2015 - -even if the UCC knows that you do not care for recognition. Those voluntary contributions signify that you truly care for UP-CD. Our prayer is that our alumni make it a habit to share their blessings through the Endowment Fund no matter how little and on a regular basis.
Kudos to the Silver Jubilarians Class of 1990 led by MayeeRegudo-Almoro for managing this project professionally and resounding thanks to our hardworking Treasurer Marilyn Alcantara- Leung (Class of ‘75) for ably handling the Finances along with RiaGener (Class of 2005), her deputy.
Key Result Area 6:
We want to be 100% ORGANIZED as we set out to attain our goals. We have some of the most efficient people on board steering this program. Among them I would like to make special mention of our UPDAA Board Secretary and UCC Secretary General RizaGatmaitan-Custodio (Class ‘91) for her sterling work ethic in all of her assigned tasks. Our Member Services Chair Giselle Yumul (Class 2000) is another outstanding committee member who patiently liaises with all class reps, UPDAA members, and ExCom. Without complaining, she always delivers the required output efficiently.
- Our present organizational setup for the centennial entails to date 44 Subcommitteescomprising the entire UCC with at least 80 alumni working to ensure the success of our programs and projects.
- All in all, we will have a total of at least 47 projects and programs to run for the centennial year alone. This does not even include our Pre-centennial and Centennial organizational meetings of which there have been over 50 meetings to date.
- We have mobilized 69 class reps to help cascade the information to our alumni through our Alumni Council.
- All in all, our massive organizational set up is made up of at least 150 UP-CD alumni.
Preparing to receive future contributions --whether from alumni or like-minded private entities -- entails adopting a business organizational structure patterned after legitimate Foundations. We will establish an entity composed of respected alumni and individuals patterned after the UP-Manila Development Foundation, Inc. by the end of the term to ensure proper and professional management of our cherished Fund. This is our promise to all stakeholders of the Fund.
A sound business plan for the centennial and an impressive marketing handle tagged “Smile Pilipinas” was made possible through the guidance of Yeaps Corporation President and CEO, JP dela Vega, who is incidentally also an outstanding Rotarian. Yeaps Corp. is an integrated marketing service agency based in the Philippines whose top clients are Microsoft and HP among others. Mr. Dela Vega and Yeaps believe passionately in the centennial vision so much so that they have been consulting for UCC pro-bono for over a year now.
Key Result Area 7:
Finally, we want to make our centennial a 100% FUN YEAR! Check out our fun-filled calendar of activities in this issue!
With about 6 months to go to our Centennial, the UCC is presently focusing on multi-sectoral collaborations with other private and public entities.
We need your help! The UCC will soon need the help of our alumni to establish tie-ups with Media Outfits for TV, Radio, Social and Print Media for Smile Pilipinas.
For now, we have engaged Corporate Partners like P & G Oral-B, Research Advocates like 3M-Espe and Oral-B, and are on to taking on other partners, major sponsors and minor sponsors with assistance from our classes.
Our goal of raising the P10Milion Endowment Fund for UP-CD will be reached if the classes help us meet the stretched contribution requirement of P350K per class -- an additional P150K from each class—which can be obtained from corporate sponsorships for any of our Sports Events, Social Events, Lectures or Public Good Missions. The Committee is preparing the solicitation letters with the available packages for potential benefactors and sponsors. Standard solicitation letters should be made available to all by second week of September.
Our website will be up and running by October at the latest. The UPDAA website will possess a PayPal Facility capable of accepting donations from everywhere in the world through our UPDAA tie up with UnionBank. The UPDAA, Inc. is officially a legitimate corporation in good standing as of May 2014.