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.

06 August 2010

Cong. Tieng invites BOTs to Special Screening of Ocean Heaven

By: Tiffany Tan, ASP Board Secretary

ASP’s Autism Angel in Congress, Irwin Tieng of Buhay Party List invited the ASP National Board of Trustees to a special screening of Ocean Heaven at Solar Entertainment, Makati City last July 29, 2010.. Solar Entertainment is owned by the Tieng Family with prominent position in broadcast and cable television

(from left) ASP Trustees Carmel Almendrala and Ging Viado,
Gigi Daza (wife of Gov. Paul Daza of Northern Samar), ASP Chair Emeritus Dang Koe,
ASP Treasurer Evelyn Go, ASP Vice President Peng So, ASP Secretary Tiffany Tan and Atty. Pia

Ocean Heaven is a story about a father who is diagnosed with terminal liver cancer and his search for a brighter future for his autistic adult son. The father is played by action superstar, Jet Li and was shot on location in China. The movie is in Mandarin with English subtitles. The film is produced by Edko Films.

According Butch Ibañez, head of film acquisitions, Solar Entertainment is working on bringing the film to the Philippines. Butch used to volunteer at camps for special children and was able to mentor a 13 year old boy with autism named Coco. He said after reading about Ocean Heaven in various internet sites, he thought of Coco and contacted ASP about the special screening.

(From Left) Head of film acquisitions, Solar Entertainment Butch Ibañez
ASP’s Autism Angel in Congress, Irwin Tieng of Buhay Party List
and ASP Executive Director Ranilo Sorongon

Sniffles in the Background

The film starts with father Wang (Jet Li) and son Da Fu (Wen Zhang) going on a fishing trip. Both were in their best attire with shinny shoes and coats. Father attempts to drown both of them using a dead weight tied to both their legs. The feat proved unsuccessful as Da Fu, a good swimmer, was able to untie the ropes and save them both from the abyss.

The scenes that followed were not a far cry from some of the obstacles encountered by real parents of children with autism. Jet Li’s Wang was very convincing, as he showed his unconditional love to his son with Da Fu’s simple successes as he utters “Da Fu chen haw ah!” (Da Fu you are really good/terrific). The film also showed desperation when Wang snaps back at Da Fu during his futile attempts to teach his son how to mop the floor, “Can’t you even remember how to do a simple task?!” or frustration in trying to teach Da Fu the concept of money.

In between the scenes, you can hear sniffles from the audience as some frantically search for tissue paper or handkerchief. Congressman Tieng, who was seated in front, watched quietly throughout the film, but didn’t stay for the credits.

Autism Angel in Congress

The youngest congressman of the 14th Congress, BUHAY Party - List Representative, Congressman William Irwin Tieng grew up in the business world, but he decided to take on the concerns of the persons with disabilities as his advocacy. He is no stranger to the ASP, as he is always visible in our activities. He plans to put up his own scholarship foundation giving grants to Special Education Teachers who are willing to serve their country; and also to poor but deserving students with disabilities.

ASP submitted a proposed bill to Congressman Tieng last January 2009 that will institutionalize a Comprehensive, Accessible and Affordable Early Detection and Timely Intervention Services for Children with Disabilities. One of his proposed measures was signed into law, now Republic Act 9504, which increases the personal exemption of taxpayers with PWD dependents from P8,000 to P25,000.

Lights On

Back to Ocean Heaven, audiences expecting kung fu kicks won’t be disappointed either. Jet Li, I think gave one of his best and sincere portrayal of a father’s courage, persistence, creativity and love for his son with autism. Our Facebook posts on the film on June 18 and August 2, elicited several requests for special screening. ASP will be working on this project and will inform readers soon. Click here to watch trailer and read previous thread.

ASP is grateful for Autism Angels like Congressman Irwin Tieng. Be informed. Be pro- active. The time is now. Sign up now to become a member and help spread autism awareness. Email us at or call 7-903-5496. Log on to ASP Community Website.


Anonymous said...

I've heard of this movie but haven't seen a copy yet. When is it showing?

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