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.

10 January 2012

Jet Li's Ocean Heaven to be Screened Jan 20-28, 2012

By: Tiffany Tan, ASP Board Secretary

Action star Jet Li sheds his kung fu robe to play father to a 22 year old autistic son in a non-mainstream, low-budget Chinese language production, Ocean Heaven.

father and son (Jet Li and Wen Zhang) are sitting on a dilapidated wooden boat

Jet Li admits to crying a lot after reading the script. He also revealed having a nephew with autism, who withdrew himself for nine months before stepping out of darkness, after constant family support and encouragement. The incident made him realize how important it is to offer attention and care to those who are affected.

from the Chinese drama film "Ocean Heaven", starring Jet Li and Wen Zhang

"This film shows that filmmakers have a responsibility to do something for society. If we can raise people's awareness of the issue of autistic children and their parents, that's enough." said Jet Li. (Sources: China Daily and Press Association).

Jet Li was named TIME magazine’s 2010 Most Influential People. Click here to read more.

In Jul y 29, 2010, 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. 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 to 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

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.

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.

Click here to watch trailer

In line with the 2012 Autism Consciousness Week and in celebration of the 6th Spring Film Festival of Chinese films organized by the Ateneo de Manila University (Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies, Celadon and Confucius Institute) to celebrate the Chinese New Year and to help Filipinos understand China through the popular medium of film. Click here to view other movies lined-up

Screening Schedules below at Shangri-La Cineplex, Cinema 4.

For more information please call, Ateneo Leong Center at 426 6001 local 5208, 5209 and 5280. For tickets, please call Shang Cineplex at 633-2227.


Be an Angel for Autism. Donate generously to ASP Programs and Services. Donate to Autism Society Philippines Metrobank Kamias Branch 047-3-04751874-2. Email us at or call 7-903-5496.


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