Our newest ‘Champion of ACCPF’ is Dr. Rochelle Manangkil, a pediatric dentist and owner of American Canyon Pediatric Dentistry. Rochelle grew up in Antioch in the East Bay, graduating from Deer Valley High School in 2002. From there she attended UC-Berkeley and graduated in 2006, majoring in Integrative Biology. Rochelle had been thinking about becoming a dentist ever since speaking with her grandfather, Abel Reynoso, himself a dentist, in the Philippines. According to Rochelle, her grandfather “was encouraging.” “He said, ‘Maybe you should shadow your dentist to see what’s involved in being one, and seeing the day-to-day routine before you decide to become one’.” After thinking more about it and after graduating from Cal, Rochelle made up her mind to become a dentist. She attended the University of Pacific’s School of Dentistry, in San Francisco, receiving her Doctorate in 2010. Her next move was to Golden, Colorado, with her husband, Irwin, where he was getting his master’s in Educational Policy at the University of Colorado.

During that time, Rochelle worked at the Children’s Hospital in Denver and after Irwin graduated, they moved back to Antioch. One day she was talking with an old friend, Kevin Cabuago, who has a dental practice in American Canyon. “Rochelle, you really need to come here. There are so many kids who need dental services,” was his advice. So after visiting American Canyon, Rochelle decided to start her own practice. She and Irwin, who teaches Economics, US History and coaches basketball at Pittsburg High School in the East Bay, bought a house not far from Donaldson Way Elementary School where their daughter is now in 4th grade. And Rochelle is happy they moved to American Canyon. “I love the small community. Everyone knows everyone and is so friendly. People care about each other, here. When I was growing up in Antioch I knew my neighbor, but I did not know anyone else. “It’s amazing. When I’m out and about, I see my patients, my neighbors, other families I know. There was even a block party on my street several years ago.”

Rochelle also feels a special connection with her patients. “When I see them lose their baby teeth, it’s like ‘graduation.’ It’s the same when they go two or three years without a cavity. Again, it’s like they’ve graduated.”

When she’s not taking care of kid’s dental needs, Rochelle likes to read and play golf. “My whole family plays, including my daughter. We make it a family outing.” She’s played at Blue Rock (Vallejo) Eagle Vines (American Canyon) and Silverado (Napa) since taking it up. When asked to recommend a good book, she offered two of her favorites–Where the Crawdads Sing, and A Man Called Ove.

Like virtually everyone else, the pandemic has also changed Rochelle’s family routine. Irwin is teaching at home and their daughter is remote learning also. “On my days off, I can hear Ms. Whitehead (her daughter’s teacher), in one room and my husband in another, teaching his students.”

Rochelle is also a huge fan of ACCPF, having sponsored “Evening at the Ruins,” ACCPF’s annual fundraiser, multiple times. “I think one of the many special things about American Canyon is the amount of preserved natural open spaces we have. The ACCPF not only helps in the preservation of these spaces, but also in bringing our community outside to enjoy them ….connect to them. In a time where screens monopolize our attention, it’s important to encourage each other to enjoy time outdoors. This organization just promotes all the right things! Our office is honored to support its causes.” And we, in turn, are indeed fortunate to have Dr. Manangkil supporting all things American Canyon Community & Parks Foundation!

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