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PIA Press Release
Monday, January 16, 2012

 

Feature: Canadian dentists wowed by Dagupenos’ hospitality

by Venus H. Sarmiento

DAGUPAN CITY, Jan. 16 (PIA) -- “We were all taken aback by the kindness and hospitality of the people here.”

Retired Canadian dentist Michael Myer has only nice words to explain why the group Kindness In Action (KIA) is in Dagupan City for the second time in seven years.

“2005 was a really good experience. We felt close to the people here,” Myer said referring to the first time the group went to Dagupan to provide dental services to the students of the University of Luzon and outlying sister -communities in the city.

Myer recalled that the organization’s first mission landed on his lap only a week and half before the 2005 trip. He said he was expecting the worst, anticipating the same problems encountered in Central and South America, but he was wrong.

“I was pleasantly surprised to find so much help here. The work involved was reduced drastically. Everything was easier here,” he gushed.

Myer said he and his group were led away from the airport easily by their contacts. Food was always there for them. “I had very little to do to get the clinic to run because we got a lot of help,” he said.

Myer said the love and fellowship of Filipino people and the instant friendship enticed him to come back.

And come back he did! Now retired, Myer resides in the Philippines, particularly in Bacolod, Negros Occidental.

Many members of KIA also expressed their fondness for Filipinos and Dagupenos. Some had Filipino friends in Canada who are so good to them.

Rianna, who came with her mother and sister said this is her fourth mission and she never experienced such great hospitality. “The volunteers are incredible. A lot of people are wanting to help when we are here to help you,” she said.

Dr. Barry Crowley, the head of the delegation to Philippines for 2012 said there are a lot of generous people around the world which includes the Filipinos. “You people give up a lot and do so much. You make us feel so welcome coming here,” he said.

KIA is a voluntary group composed of Canadian dentists organized in 1994 with just seven medical people. The members now number 250. They are scheduled to do 23 missions this year all over the world.

Their second dental mission in Dagupan City and Sta. Barbara town was held on January 13-15 at the University of Luzon campus. Their next stop in the Philippines is in San Mateo, Rizal before proceeding to other continents.

KIA may have toured the world for their noble mission of promoting dental hygiene but the hospitality, generosity and family values they experienced in the Philippines is something they will never forget. (ANL/VHS-PIA 1 Pangasinan)

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