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.

26 June 2012

Iconic AutiSM Moments at SM MOA Arena

By Tiffany Tan, ASP Correspondent

The Philippines’ newest ultra-modern sports and entertainment facility, the SM Mall of Asia Arena, rolled out the red carpet, once again, to the Autism Society Philippines. ASP representatives were treated to the grand launch of the SM Arena, dubbed “Icons,” a two-hour concert featuring the Philippines’ top OPM singers, last 16 June 2012 at 08:00 pm.

ASP Family watching Iconic AutiSM Moments

Mr. Henry Sy, founder of SM Group and chairman of SM Prime Holdings, also 2012 Forbes Magazine’s richest Filipino, with US$9.1Billion to his credit, was honored on this special occasion. Mr. Hans Sy, President of SM Prime Holdings, Inc. paid tribute to his father’s legacy during his address.

Filipino artists, who have helped raised funds for ASP and persons with autism in the past, like Lea Salonga, Martin Nievera and Pops Fernandez and Christian Bautista, led other eminent songsters to serenade an audience nearly 20,000 strong.

Days before the launch, ASP Trustee Peng So, gave an Autism Orientation to some 200 new personnel of SM MOA Arena on 14 June 2012. Eng. Bien Mateo, Director of SM Program for Disability Affairs (SM-PDA) ensured that SM-PDA will continue working towards a barrier-free and non-handicapping environment for persons with autism and their families.

Cecile Sicam (Vice President), Evelyn Go (Treasurer), Trustees Grace Adviento with husband Glen; Trustee Gina Bermudo with husband Lito; Trustees Carmel Almendrala and Peng So and former Trustee Barbara Lu and this author; plus ASP UP CAMP Chapter Secretary, Jeng Rodriguez and husband Romeo were joined by their children (both with autism and neuro-typicals) and their care givers. Trustee Ging Viado rubbed elbows with soap opera star and celebrity chefs, Janice de Belen and Marvin Agustin. The evening of music also turned out to be a fitting Fathers' Day celebration for the spouses of Trustees!

Children with autism are said to have sensory issues, but that night was a big surprise to the parents who were amazed at the sight of PWAs waving their lighted multi-colored battery operated torches. Gelo enjoyed waving the glowing torch; Angelo swayed to the infectious music; while Bryan sang-along as the OPM crooners and divas delivered their vocal symphonies.

Indeed it was an Iconic AutiSM moment for all of us and we look forward to more AutiSM partnerships in the future, perhaps the upcoming Cirque the Soliel in July?

ASP thanks SM-PDA's Eng. Bien Mateo for his generous invitation and complimentary tickets and to former Trustee Barbara Lu for kindly providing transportation to the representatives.


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