The Autism Society Philippines (ASP) is a national, non-profit organization dedicated to the well-being of persons with autism spectrum disorder. The ASP has been in the forefront of providing services and training to families living with autism.

14 December 2009

Autism Friendly for All Seasons

By Glenn Adviento


To seek continuous support from the local government, last November 23, 2009, ASP’s (5) five active Batangas Chapters, through ASP Lipa Chapter adviser, Mary Ann Magsino Panganiban, set a courtesy call with Batangas Governor Vilma Santos-Recto. With her are Ms. Raceli de Castro, ASP Batangas City Chapter Vice President and Ms. Lea Mayo, administrator of University of Batangas Special Children Foundation.


ASP National and Batangas Leaders during the courtesy call

with Batangas Governor Vilma Santos-Recto


The Batangas Chapter Leaders also requested ASP National Leaders to join the courtesy call in order to invite Gov. Vi to grace ASP’s 2010 Angels Walk for Autism. The Walk next year will be held in SM Mall of Asia’s Music Hall on January 24. For details, email autismphil@pldtdsl.net or autismphils@gmail.com.


The national contingent was composed of ASP National President Erlinda “Dang” Koe, Vice President Mary Grace Adviento, ASP Executive Director Ranil Sorongon, CWA Adrian Adviento and this author.


Avoiding the Monday morning rush hour, our team left on the dawn of November 23, as they would convene at 5:30 am at a fast food in North Avenue, Quezon City. During the entire travel from QC to Batangas, traffic was thankfully light, except for the Calamba-Sto Tomas Highway.


By 7:30 am, our team met with ASP Batangas Chapter representatives. Courteous staff ushered us inside the waiting hall of the Governor’s Palace. While waiting, we were served breakfast sandwiches paired with the famous Kapeng Barako ng Batangas and watched Batangas’ One Town, One Product Program, which aims to promote entrepreneurship and create jobs in localities.


The governor met us after attending the flag ceremonies. Her mere presence sets a 180 degree twist to the somber mood inside the hall. We were then ushered into the Conference Room. After exchanges of pleasantries, the Governor was interested to know about the rising incidence of autism in the country, particularly in Batangas.


The Batangas Governor, or Governor Vi is no stranger to autism. Before becoming a politician, she did a movie about a married couple going through acceptance of their autistic son, “Ipagpatawad MoClick here to watch an excerpt of the film.


As part of the research for her role on the film, she read up on autism and observed the typical behaviors of an autistic child. And to our amazement, she still remembered one of her vital lines from the movie : "Di dapat sila ang pumasok sa mundo natin, kundi tayo dapat ang pumasok sa mundo nila,"she uttered.” That famous line bagged her the 1991 Urian Award for Best Actress Award.


We then extended our invitation to join ASP’s Angels Walk. She obliged to attend, as long as her schedule permits.


My son Adrian, gave a simple token of gratitude to the governor for allowing the showing of Alyana in Batangas City. Click here to know more.


After meeting with the Governor, we proceeded to Lipa City, where Governor Vi served as Mayor from 1998-2007. We made a stop-over at the Rehabilitation Department of the Mary Mediatrix Medical Center, which to our surprise, is at par with the leading hospitals in our country.


We would like to thank Governor Vi and ASP Lipa and ASP Batangas chapters for their continuing efforts in spreading autism awareness and we look forward to fruitful future endeavors, making Batangas “Autism Friendly for all Seasons”.

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