By James Florence, Diamond Certified Program Reporter
HERCULES — While she first began practicing dentistry in her home city of Manila, Philippines, Dr. Lovely Manlapaz later relocated to the California Bay Area, which gave her an opportunity to broaden her professional horizons. “In the Philippines, dentists and other professionals are limited in terms of resources and technology, whereas in the United States, they have access to all of the latest innovations,” she explains. “As someone who’s passionate about science and technology, coming to the U.S. was huge because it enabled me to further my capabilities and stay on the cutting edge of my field.”
Dr. Manlapaz has been in the dental field for the last 20 years, but her initial interest developed out of an early fascination with science. “I’ve always been interested in science and medicine, and I decided early on to pursue a career in the medical field,” she says. “Originally, I thought I’d become a doctor, but my mother advised me to consider dentistry. Looking back, it was some of the best advice I’ve ever received.”
Outside of work, Dr. Manlapaz spends most of her time with her husband, Ted, and their boys, Gabriel and Samuel. “My job keeps me very busy, so whenever I’m not working, my first priority is having quality time with my family,” she affirms. “We like going to the park, watching movies and playing video games together. We also enjoy going to Disneyland when the opportunity arises.”
In her life and career, Dr. Manlapaz espouses the importance of having a sincere motivation. “My professional philosophy is to always do my best and be honest with everybody,” she says. “That way, at the end of the day, I can sleep peacefully knowing I’ve treated my patients and performed my job to the best of my ability.”
When asked the first thing she’d do if she were to retire tomorrow, Dr. Manlapaz says she’d retreat to a more peaceful setting. “I would buy my dream house, where I’d have a large flower garden. When I think of retirement, I envision myself taking care of my orchids and relaxing under a gazebo.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: If you could visit any country, where would you go?
A: China—I’ve always wanted to see the Great Wall.
Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: Happy Sashimi in Pinole.
Q: What’s your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?
A: Cook something good to eat. In the Philippines, there’s a chocolate-flavored porridge called Champorado, which is something I like to make for my family.
Q: If you could live in the city or country, what would you choose?
A: The country, because of the natural beauty—plus, it’s more relaxing.
Q: What’s your favorite movie?
A: “Tears of the Sun” with Bruce Willis.