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.

15 June 2011

ASP joins first Freedom Walk of PWDs

By Cathy Genovia, Administrative Assistant

Autism Society Philippines (ASP) joined the first Freedom Walk 2011 of Persons with Disabilities (PWD) last June 11 at the Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City. The theme was “Every Right-full Step We Take, All Barriers We Break”. The event was the prelude to the 113th Philippine Independence Day celebrations and an avenue to advocate for the rights and welfare of PWDs.

ASP Treasurer Evelyn Go and Executive Director Ranil Sorongon led the ASP contingent, coming from the National Office and from its chapters in Commonwealth, Diliman, Munoz, Lagro and Proj 4 Cubao. The chapters came with their respective banners. Pagkakaisa Volunteers Incorporated (PVI) also joined the walk under ASP and helped as marshals at the same time.
PVI Volunteers

The event was also a fund raising project by AKAP PINOY for their Legal Assistance, Leadership Development and Helpline programs for PWD. Friends from the media such as GMA 7, ABC 5, Philippine Daily Inquirer and Manila Bulletin covered the activity to help raise public awareness of the rights and needs of PWD.

While waiting for the program proper to start, Ms. Irene from the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC), along with the staff of Councilor Vargas, led the warm-up exercises. Fr. Robert Reyes gave the invocation and asked the PWDs to go in front of the stage for his blessings.
Fr. Robert Reyes (inset) during the blessing

ASP Executive Director Ranil Sorongon and Ms. Joanna Hizon of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) raised the Philippine Flag while the AFP Band played the Lupang Hinirang. Hon. Alfred Vargas of Quezon City welcomed the participants and guests of the walk on behalf of Mayor Herbert Bautista. This was followed by the opening remarks from Capt. Oscar Taleon, President and CEO of Alyansa ng May Kapansanang Pinoy (AKAPinoy).

Inspirational messages were provided by former Governor of Isabela, Ms. Grace Padaca, a PWD herself; Director General Atty Jose Fabia of the Philippine Information Agency; and Hon. Homer Mercado, Representative of 1-Utak Party List and a staunch supporter of PWD.
(Above pictures, left to right) Councilor Alfred Vargas, Capt. Oscar Taleon and Ms. Grace Padaca. (Bottom pictures, left to right) Atty. Jose Fabia, Hon. Homer Mercado and Mr. Emer Rojas.

The Overall Chair of the event, Mr Emer Rojas, Pres. of New Vois Association of the Philippines, proclaimed the start of the first Freedom Walk of PWD. The walk proceeded from the Liwasang Aurora, headed around Elliptical Road and back again.

Mr. Glenn Adviento, husband of ASP President Grace Adviento, joined the more than 1,500 walkers along with his daughter Macy and his son with autism, Adrian. ASP Treasurer Evelyn Go was present with her son, Gelo, who also has autism. Both Adrian and Gelo received a free jersey and snacks just like the other PWDs who joined the walk.
Mr. Glenn Adviento with daughter Macy and PWA son Adrian

Mr. Manuel Agcaoili, Chairman of AKAP Pinoy, gave the closing remarks. The program was co-emceed by Ms. Veneranda dela Peña and Ms. Joanna Hizon.

The walk’s Working Committee, headed by AKAP Pinoy, would like to express its heartfelt gratitude to all the sponsors, supporters and participants for the event’s success. See you all next year!


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