The Autism Society Philippines (ASP) is a national, non-profit organization dedicated to the well-being of persons on the autism spectrum disorder. We envision a society where Filipinos on the spectrum become the best of their potentials -- self-reliant, independent, productive, socially-accepted citizens of an Autism-OK Philippines.

19 July 2010

Need We Say More?

By: Tiffany Tan, ASP Board Secretary

Carmel and her son Mike rose early to join the Indignation Walk. She brought her own baon of pan de sal with ham tucked in with her other belongings in her shoulder bag. “I’m not used to having an early breakfast,” said Carmel.

Other people from the disability sector were already seated inside Jollibee, (a fast food chain) Philcoa Branch, having their coffee and updating one another with current events. Others are out in the parking lot, getting ready with their placards that read “Ipatupad ang karapatan ng may kapansanan.” (Implement the rights of people with disabilities).

“With limited resources, we have to be militant to fight for our own share in the pot,” reminded Tita Carmel. “Kung sino ang makulit, siya ang mapapansin (whoever is insistent, will be given attention). And with the work of the advocates, people will develop the courage to fight,” Tita Carmel said this with all conviction.

Tita Carmel Almendrala is head of ASP’s Advocacy Committee. Her son Mike, a regular employee of Philippine Information Agency, absented himself to join the walk. Both mother and son are no strangers to “walking for autism,” they have been doing it since the early ‘90s.

Father Robert Reyes, the “Running Priest” also came to support the PWD Sector. (Reyes is a Catholic priest known for his social and political activism.) He gave a short prayer for all the PWDs and supporters present, thanking God for the good weather and asking for everyone’s protection.

After assembling, marshals were assigned to assist the crowd walking along the wide stretch of the Commonwealth highway to the Commission on Human Rights. Other autism advocates, Mirana Medina, aimed her video cam at the participants. Her film Alyana, the first Filipino documentary on autism, opened many doors for her to make other films for other disabilities as well.

After less then half an hour, the group approached the CHR building. The PWD Sector submitted a formal complaint to the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) prior to taking the issue to the court. The group was welcomed by Commissioner Cecilia Rachel “Coco” Quisumbing, and three other commissioners, who listened patiently to the impromptu forum while PWD representatives aired their grievances.

PWA Mike (in green shirt) during the Indignation Rally

As the forum was about to end, Mike raised his hand and was handed the microphone. “To the commissioners, please help us fight for our rights!” Need we say more?

ASP continues to advocate for the rights of persons with autism. Keep posted for more updates on ASP programs, services and activities. Watch the news tonight for the coverage of the Indignation Walk at TV 5, GMA 7 and RPN 9.

Acknowledgements: Father Robert Reyes, Life Haven IL Center, Crusader on Wheelchair, New Vois Association, Stac Quezon City, AD/HD Society of the Philippines, PAVIC, CPAP, Philippine Larimgeclomee Club Inc., Sinagtala Boys, KUBKMI, Filipino Deaf Women's Health Crisis Center, KAMPI-NCR, AKBAYAN Party, Volunteers: Teacher My Sorongon, Jojie Magdael, Bernard Cabaddu and Mirana Medina and media TV5, GMA7, RPN9 and UNTV.

Join the NDPR Week celebrations. Register now for July 22 “Special Parenting” Seminar-Workshop by inspirational guru, Francis Kong and Malou Ortiz, author of “Embracing God’s Purpose for My Special Child,”” Click here for more details.


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