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.

07 December 2010

PWA, Living Independently in Dumaguete City

By: Lizetta Manago, President, ASP Dipolog Chapter

“How did you do it?” People often ask me this question. All I can say is that I never experienced the “denial stage,” when he was diagnosed with ten symptoms labeled of him at two years old. I quit my job and guided him.
Clarence Manago Cruz, a 17 year old Person with Autism.

My son is now 17 and a freshman at the Silliman University, Dumaguete City, taking up Bachelor of Science in Performing Arts, Major in Speech and Theater Arts. Academically, he doesn’t have any problem as he passed all his first semester subjects including ROTC (Reserve Officers' Training Corps). He has a special assignment, not because he is a PWA, but because he has asthma. He managed to enroll himself for the second semester.

His obsessions are movies and can memorize dialogues of some of the films of his original movie collections. At 16, he applied for a non-pro driver’s license at LTO-Dumaguete City after attending a seminar and taking the exam. He now owns a motorcycle and drives himself to Robinson’s Mall on Saturdays to unwind. Sundays, he does his chores, cleans his room and brings his laundry to the shop for washing and ironing. He also cooks his own breakfast, like canned goods, noodles or hotdog, using his rice cooker/steamer and buys lunch and dinner at Budget Meal, a fast-food restaurant catering to students.
He dreams to become a famous singer and famous actor as well.

He used to sing in a band with his classmates in high school. Recently, he was invited to render two numbers for the participants of ASP’s 2nd Regional Autism Conference in SM, Cebu City. Every now and then, he is also invited to sing in the activities of GPRehab, an organization supporting persons with disabilities. He can be very ambitious and persistent about his dreams of becoming a famous singer, like Martin Nievera or Gary Valenciano; be a famous actor, like his idol, Actor John Lloyd Cruz and do a film with him.

Clarence Manago Cruz, is living independently in Dumaguete City, and he has autism. He lives in a three-bedroom house together with two other people, but prefers to have his own room. “….In order for me to have privacy,” he would candidly say.

My son wants to finish his studies and pursue his dreams. I will stay by his side to help him achieve his dreams. I also dream of helping other mothers cope with their children with autism. My message to the parents, Teach these children how to be independent, maximize their potentials and enhance their talents – these will help them know that definitely they have a future to look forward to. Teach them skills so that they can be employed in the future. Who knows they can have a business of their own.”

My dream is also to educate schools and society about autism. I hope to help organize in the future, Pagadian and Ipil Chapters. I hope that mothers, teachers and other professionals will collaborate with each other to build the future of our children.

ASP Dipolog Chapter recently conducted a successful ABA Seminar Workshop courtesy of Peace Corps Volunteer David Eisenhart. Click here to read more.



Anonymous said...

Clarence is blessed to have a great mom who helps bring out his maximum potential.

Anonymous said...

i wish i could do the same for my 3yr old daughter........i wish

Mency said...

I wish and pray that my son will achieve or reach what Clarence did too. It's only now that I have proven that a child with autism will go a long way too. Commend you also for being a great mom. Pls. continue inspiring us.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to Clarence, and to his loving parents!

dropLine said...

Hello po! My name is John Hupa, 4th year student nurse of Silliman University... We're really bless about Clarence! Very talented guy... I'm currently doing personal follow up with him... We are LifeBox po, a youth arm of Victory. What we basically do is we prepare students for L.I.F.E. In LifeBox we believe that making an impact in the campus will shape the community and the it's nation and Clarance has been joining our LifeGroup, I am amazed and blessed to get to this blog. We are all excited to see Clarance again po... God bless po! :D

Anonymous said...

i know Clarence. actually he is popular in Silliman for his undeniable good voice.. at first i tot there's nothing wrong with him until someone told me... he is so lucky to have a mother like u guiding him.... two thumbs up for you...some students take advantage at him and laugh about his condition.... theres nothing wring with autism.. u just have to understand them more deeply.. for those who cant, then u have the problem.....
for clarence' mom, continue guiding him to his fullest potentials bcoz theres so much more waiting for him ahead.. :)

Anonymous said...

clarence is one of the best cadets e have in rotc, he always do as what is instructed and never disobeys a command. his a very good friend too, he always makes us laugh(specially when we're really tired and stressed out)he would read lines from movies(his memory is even better than ours!) his a very jolly fellow and we're grateful to have met him. all in all, he really is a normal person(you can actually say his a bit of a geek than an autistic) he'll talk to you basically bout anything, plus he sings very well. and everyday you can always see him in the rotc office hanging out. god bless him always and to his loving parents :)
_SUROTC officer_

Clarence Cruz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Clarence Cruz said...

Hello po. My name is Clarence Cruz, born on December 17, 1992 (age 18). I was born in Zamboanga City, but I'm currently living in Dipolog City. Meron po akong autism. Nangangarap po ako na maging isang singer/actor para makatulong po ako sa aking pamilya at iremind sa lahat ng mga taong may kapansanan, lalo na 'yung mga may autism, na kahit na may mga disabilities po kami, matutupad po namin ang aming mga pangarap at makakatulong po kami sa aming pamilya. I really need to have a showbiz career para makaahon po kami sa kahirapan, at maging proud sa akin ang pamilya at kaibigan ko, lalo na 'yung nanay ko. I also want to be an inspiration to all persons with disabilities, especially the autistic ones. I wish you would give me a chance to be one of ABS-CBN. If you wish to contact me, here's my cellphone number: 09297745672 (SMART). Or, if you wish to e-mail me, here's my e-mail address: Salamat po.

I want to add some information about my background. Currently, I'm studying in Silliman University, Dumaguete City, and I'm taking up Bachelor of Arts Major in Speech and Theatre Arts. Today is our sem break. Like I said before, I want and need to fulfill my showbiz ambitions so that I'll be able to help my family financially, especially my mother, who is the only one who supports my family. I also want to be an inspiration to everyone, especially to persons with autism. I want to remind everyone that even persons with autism have rights and capabilities to fulfill their ambitions, even when it is showbiz related. I also want to work with my celebrity crush, Julia Montes. I started having a crush on her ever since I first saw her in "Mara Clara". She’s a very good actress, really. She is also a beautiful person, inside and out, I feel and believe it. Aside from those, we share a number of things in common: we're both John Lloyd Cruz and Bea Alonzo fans, our favorite color is red and we both love spaghetti. I'm sure we'll get along well and be good friends. By the way, I also express my desire to star in "Growing Up", which stars Julia and a number of teen stars and their fellow veteran stars. It will be a very great opportunity for me to work with Julia, and her co-stars and crew, and to eventually fulfill my ambitions. I always wanted a role on the show, either a major, minor or cameo role. Aside from "Growing Up", I also want to star in "Budoy", since I myself am an autistic person. I also want to be a guest in “Kris TV”, so that I can tell everyone my story and my ambitions. Aside from Julia, I also wanted to be friends with Ma’am Kris Aquino because her son Joshua is a special person, like me. I’m sure we’ll get along well and be friends. I promise to be a good Kapamilya star to everyone, especially to those with autism. I also promise to be a good friend to Julia, and her fellow Kapamilya stars and staff. Promise, I won't disappoint you all. If I finally have a showbiz career and be a part of ABS-CBN, I will do my utmost. I'd be very happy and grateful if ASP and ABS-CBN can help me fulfill my ambitions. I would like to thank you all for appreciating what I did, and for helping and encouraging me fulfill my ambitions. Thank you so much to all of you, especially to ASP and ABS-CBN. Take care everyone.

Anonymous said...

hi clarence. continue to be a blessing and inspiration to others. you've got the potential and so pursue your dreams :)


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