• Wayne Manuel

Papa P Appreciation

10th day of August 2018. 

How about a blog every weekend? Let me try.

Indescribable week it is.

I rigged up more clinical points than what I expected at the beginning of the week. That's a good sign, at least (plus the Saturday clinics and a new weekend photography gig for this month). Deadlines are coming closer for the preboards, that's why working harder is the only option. Patient scheduling was the toughest though, especially because most of them are children (boggling AM/PM classes and some even come from the distant parts of Metro Manila). Well there's nothing I regret about anything that came unexpected - bad or good, I'm just thankful for a great week and I'm actually celebrating it with a Selecta Reese's Ice Cream while writing this blog (not today, San Mig).

Moreover, the week was also tough for the whole UE Dentistry community (when did it not become so?) - some were prepping for the Surgery preboards tomorrow, some were in their usual working routines, some were in their classes, and some were conducting organizational activities in the students' lounge (no offense, but for me this makes it the most annoying time of the school year, honestly). Everybody was doing their own thing, but a news came around at the middle of the week and it seems to have brought us all together - Dr. Carlito D. Paragas got accepted to the PRC Board of Dental Examiners. Congratulations sir!

A mix of emotions rushed in - happy for I knew how deserving he is to be manning a post that's incontestably a hard position one could get into, and sad for I will miss the jokes and confabs spoken straight in deep Ilocano words (He's from Pangasinan and La Union). He was my professor in Removable Partial Denture Prosthodontics. Sure he's strict, but he pushes you to your limits both academically and practically. Here are the actual works I passed to him:

RPD is a complex subject to cover - from impression to preps to waxing up to processing to fitting etc.,

this subject is the real deal in my Prosthodontics life.

See? I was pushed to my limits (I don't really draw good, but at least I tried, and so I still was graded low).

He was my mom's professor in Endodontics (yes, he did teach Endo back in the days, I confirmed it from him mismo). I was proud enough to be a part of his class back in 2nd year proper because my mom told me he was the best in the area. They referred to him, even back in 1989, as Papa P. He's papable like that.

First day, first week of November 2015, Papa P walks into the room, the rowdy atmosphere became quiet. He introduced himself and then ourselves one by one. First impression: he was funny for he made jokes during each of the introductions. Yep, althroughout the semester he was, and up until now he still is. 

Sometimes, rumors revolve even faster than signals to the brain, "clinicians downstairs" said he was that authoritarian. So even before enrolment, some classmates transferred sections just to avoid him. The rumors gradually turned right as the semester pushed through, but it was not a bad thing - and it was never. He's strict to the point that you'll get quality learning from it. So when I was in my 4th year, I enrolled in his Prosthodontics Special Studies 2 to get me a good grip on that DMD license. Then again, I never felt regret for I think I am all geared up for the boards (at least for Prostho) because of him.

My last subject requirement for his class in Prostho SS2.

I will forever remember his harsh, but motivating comments on my work.

Papa P, as he is often called around the clinics, visited the Oral Medicine Section at around 5:30PM today.

The author with Dr. Carlito D. Paragas, head of the Prosthodontics Section of the UECD.

Taken today when he visited the Oral Medicine Section, while I was packing up.

Today, Dr. Paragas bid goodbye to the UE College of Dentistry where he has been an alumni and a faculty for the past two decades (and probably more). His journey from UERM to UE Gastambide to UE Recto and finally to PRC, is a story dental students should get inspired from. Thank you so much for having me be a part of your wonderful journey and so is you in mine, lakay (when in Manila, as Ilocanos, this is how we refer to each other). 

Congratulations Papa P!

1kg of bagnet and a few cornicks to follow.