The Autism Society Philippines (ASP) is a national, non-profit organization dedicated to the well-being of persons with autism spectrum disorder. The ASP has been in the forefront of providing services and training to families living with autism.

31 October 2012

ASP Holds 4th Chapter Leaders’ Conference

By Gerard Joseph Atienza, Volunteer/ASP Bacoor Chapter Secretary



More than 50 parent leaders from all over the country were enlightened and equipped to lead their chapters more effectively and efficiently, as the National Office of Autism Society Philippines successfully held their 4th Chapter Leaders’ Conference on 27-28 October 2012 at The Legend Villas in Mandaluyong City.

Teacher My Sorongon and Tita Bing David ushered in the conference, as they stood as hosts of the conference for Day One and Day Two, respectively. Tita Jan Peña (ASP National President) welcomed the participants, who represented the growing number of ASP’s chapters around the Philippines, while Teacher Ces Sicam (ASP National Vice President) led the get-to-know activity. Tita Dang Koe (ASP Chair Emeritus), on the other hand, discussed the overview of the conference in a relaxed and fun manner, which aimed to prepare the participants for what would be in store for them and at the same time creating a fun atmosphere.

Tita Jan Peña reported the progress of ASP from its inception to the present, through her President’s Report. She discussed the activities and achievements ASP has done and made in the field of autism awareness and support. Tita Evelyn Go (ASP National Treasurer) discussed the financial status of the organization, with the iteration of the financial security of ASP, thanks to their fund-raising engagements, as well as donations and grants from different groups and individuals.

ASP Laguna Chapter was also highlighted in this conference, with Tita Riza Cansanay (ASP Laguna President) discussing their latest project, the Home-Based Program for Children with Autism, in partnership with Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) and the City Government of Los Baños. Tita Cathy Lopez (ASP Laguna Vice President) discussed the mechanics of the SibsCamP, a support activity for siblings of persons with autism (PWA).

Tita Mona Veluz (ASP National Secretary) discussed the presence of ASP on the Internet, highlighting the value of online social-media platforms as Facebook, Twitter, Multiply, and YouTube to the society's awareness and advocacy campaigns, including their latest campaign 1Pangako. In line with this, all the chapter leaders made their promise in this conference to help stop the inappropriate use of "autistic" as a slur in the Filipino vocabulary.

Tito Ranil Sorongon (ASP Executive Director) gave an overview of the United Nations Conventions on the Rights of Children and the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, as well as ASP’s current project with AusAID, titled “Educating Children with Disabilities of Their Rights Using Digital Talking Books.”

In addition to the sumptuous food offered to the delegates at The Legend Villas, everyone was treated to dinner and games at Abelardo’s Diner at the Independent Living Learning Centre, which is headed by their Executive Director, Teacher Archie David, who welcomed and thanked everyone for being part of this endeavor.

The second day of the conference was started by ASP’s perennial Angel, Mr. Wyden King, President of Armadillo Holdings, whose foundation Bahay ni Angelo King, sponsored the conference. Wyden inspired everyone with his testimony on how God had changed him from a decadent businessman to an entrepreneur glorifying the Lord, giving back to the community without fanfare or flair, and inspired everyone to follow suit. At the end of his speech, he supported the 1Pangako campaign with a personal promise.

To invigorate every leader present in the conference with running their respective chapter, different topics were discussed, namely: Sustaining the Fire with Four R’s (Recruitment, Retention, Renewal, and Rewards) by Tita Jan Peña; Outcome Thinking and Project Management by Tita Mona Veluz; and Servant Leaders by Tita Dang Koe. The  current policies of ASP were also reviewed and discussed, including chapters management policies, and the upcoming plans for the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the National Autism Consciousness Week, and the World Autism Awareness Day, among others.

The conference was an undeniable success.  Aside from inspiring and enabling ASP’s chapter leaders with with new skills and knowledge, the opportunity to meet other leaders who share the vision to create an environment where Filipino PWAs reach their full potential, has been a great way to ignite the fire of servant leadership within our advocacy community.   We look forward to seeing each other again at the next life-changing ASP event.

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