Tzu Chi Foundation continues to dedicate itself in the fields of medicine, education, environmental protection, spiritual, preservation, giving charity, showing compassion and aid to those in need all over the world. For the past years, Tzu Chi remained faithful to its mission in every field, especially in the field of medicine.
Aside from eye operation, Tzu Chi is also giving free Dental Services to those who are in need. Their mission was brought in the different parts of the country—and one of these is the province of Bohol. Since there are only 9 dentists serving 900 public schools in the province, Tzu Chi decided to take an action.
Tzu Chi’s partnership with Bohol Provincial Government Office (BPGO) and Department of Education (DepED) has bloomed on August 15, 2017. Within the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) are two dental buses and dental service practitioners from PGO and DepED. Up until now, this Memorandum is officially carried out to the province.
The partnership of Tzu Chi International Medical Association (TIMA), local dentists, and health workers made the first dental clinic a fruitful endeavor as Tzu Chi launched its first dental clinic at Dr. Cecilio Putong National High School (DCPNHS) on December 7 and 8. Around 800 high school students from different levels availed the dental services like tooth extraction, filling, and dental cleaning for free.
The success of this activity inspired Tzu Chi and its partners to venture outside the city and bring dental services to the remote barangays, and even in the islands of Bohol. Thus, with a great heart, the mission to spread the great love and do good deeds continued up until the present times.
On July 26, 2019, Tzu Chi held its Dental Mission at Cabilao Island, Loon, Bohol. This is the first ever dental mission in the island that is joint with the Coast Guard’s Dental Mission headed by Lieutenant Patrick John Cabasag, PCG.
“Cabilao Island is an isolated place. It is normally an island. People can’t really avail the services here so we tend to, at least, choose Cabilao for them to avail these kinds of services.” Lt. Patrick John narrated.
There are nine (9) Doctors/Dentists, seven (7) Dental Aids, one (1) Technician, thirteen (13) Tzu Chi Scholars (tzu Chings), two (2) Commissioners, three (3) local volunteers, ten (10) Cabilao Teachers, nine (9) Staff, forty-two (42) Philippine Coast Guards, five (5) Philippine Army, eight (8) Maritime Police, fifty (50) Local Government Unit (LGU) Loon and nineteen (19) Philippine Coast Guard Auxilliary—in the said activity. All of them extended their services and time wholeheartedly.
Tzu Chi’s free dental operation gave a mixed feeling of excitement and nervousness to the children at the remote island. There are seventy (70) adults availed on the Coast Guard’s tooth extraction service, forty-six (46) pupils who availed for Tzu Chi’s teeth extraction services and eighty-seven (87) school children who also availed for Tzu Chi’s teeth cleaning services.
One of these students is Leudimar F. Paloso, from Talisay, Cabilao Island, Loon, Bohol. She went all the way to Cabilao Elementary School to grab the free services offered.
“I went here for my teeth to be cleaned. I can feel that it’s easy for me to smile beautifully. My mother and father will be glad for my white teeth, since I’m not used to in brushing my teeth every day. I am really thankful to tzu Chi Foundation for helping me to clean my teeth.” She said sincerely, flashing her newly-cleaned set of teeth.
The activity conducted was also visited by the honorable Loon District Mayor Elvi Peter L. Relampagos. According to him, this activity will help the young school children to realize the importance of having an oral hygiene, which can also support the month of July’s celebration about Nutrition Month.
“These young school children will realize how important it is to have oral hygiene especially in their growing years. This will have a far-reaching impact on their lives, as young individuals/students that will help to shape-up their life for years to come.” Mayor Elvi narrated.
As a mayor, he is also very happy seeing how the children from the remote island smile with their new set of white teeth. He is also hoping that this dental service will continue in their town.
“We appreciate that our town is given the first crack of this Dental Mission. We hope that in the next months or years to come, Tzu Chi again will be back here in Loon.” Mayor Elvi added.
The Dental Mission does not only make the young kids happy; this also made the parents smile, who accompanied them that day.
“I am thankful to Tzu Chi Foundation because my child undergone tooth extraction. Thank you so much!” Garry Arcohos declared happily.
The children are very happy not only with the free dental services they are enjoying, but also with the free toothpaste and toothbrush being given to everyone.
The dental mission will surely be remembered by the residents in the island. Soon, in the right time, the seeds of love and generosity will bloom and will be shared to others as well. A day of sharing the simple act of kindness will surely leave a mark in the hearts of these Cabilao residents.
“Charity is like a well that never dry, but one first has to dig the well.” Jing Si Aphorisms, Master Cheng Yen.