They sang, they danced to the “Baby Shark” song, and they showed their “petmalu” — that is to say, most winning — smiles. One girl chose to do some ramp modeling, while one boy showed off his skills in spelling.
All in all, 28 ‘pre-K’ learners from the different daycare/child development centers of Bayambang joined “Ngiting Lodi 2018,” the Search for Orally Fit and Healthy Child staged by the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (MSWDO) in celebration of February as Dental Health Month and to promote oral health among the town’s young children.
Organized by the Child Development Workers of Bayambang led by their federation president Marvin P. Bautista and with the support of MSWDO head Lerma Padagas, the contest took the theme, “Ngiting inaruga mula pagkabata, malusog na ngiti baon sa pagtanda.”
Speaking in behalf of Mayor Cezar T. Quiambao, Municipal Chief of Staff and Legal Counsel Atty. Raymundo B. Bautista Jr. stressed the importance of health in the town’s fight against poverty. Bautista then personally lauded this activity for its attempt to inculcate oral care among children at a very young age. “Magandang umpisahan ito sa kabataan upang sila mismo ang mag-aalaga sa kanilang ngipin,” he said, adding that untreated tooth and mouth infections can lead to more serious illnesses.
With Municipal Dentist Dave Francis Junio and Provincial Health Dentist Dr. Araceli Galsim as judges, Ngiting Lodi assessed the contestants based on the following criteria: active/smart child (30%), orally fit child, with healthy smile (35%), and overall healthy child (35%).
The winners were Ariel Louis Garay of Poblacion Sur (for boys) and Verynice DV. Paragas of M.H. Del Pilar (for girls). Garay, whose smile shone the brightest, veered away from the usual talent presentations by giving an impressive lecture on the solar system, coming complete with props. Coming in second were Aronne Delle B. De Vera of Tococ West and Zyra Erich G. Alvarez of Bacnono, while Prince Aeros Rey Soriano of Sanlibo and Brin Trixie Agpoon of Buayaen won the third place.
The first prize winner was handed P1,500 in cash, the second P1,000, and the third P500. The rest were given consolation prizes.