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.

27 July 2013

ASP joins Manila Zoo 54th anniversary


The Autism Society Philippines was honored to have been the biggest contingent at the Manila Zoo’s 54th anniversary celebration last July 25, led by Trustees Jan Peña, Grace Adviento and Elizabeth Udquin. Families from ASP chapters from Dasmariñas, Bacoor, Alfonso, and Manila joined, upon the kind invitation of John Chua. Children with autism were treated to a tour of the zoo and a chance to feed Maali with bananas.

The Manila Zoo has hosted many PWD events and has brought happiness to many children with disabilities. Despite the ongoing global campaign to transport Maali, the elephant, back to Sri Lanka by the international organization PETA, the news that “Maali will stay” brought smiles to the children present at the anniversary. Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada reiterated that he will not allow the aging Maali to be transferred to a sanctuary in Thailand. In his speech that was read by Vice Mayor Francisco “Isko” Moreno, Estrada said that “nothing can match the smiles and joys brought to us by animals like lions, tigers, deers, and Maali, the famous elephant.”

Estrada plans to boost the city’s tourism with a P2-Billion modernization project of Manila Zoo as one of the priorities. “I will not let Maali leave the place where she grew up,” he said. One of the plans for zoo rehabilitation is to add two more elephants from Sri Lanka to keep Maali company.


ASP is looking forward to the completion of the Manila Zoo modernization project which promises to provide a humane, happy home to the inhabitants of what is meant to be a metropolitan sanctuary. This project is a fitting “thank you” for the sensory delight the animals have brought to the Filipino children who behold them -- with special needs or no.

Read more about ASPs participation in Manila Zoo’s anniversary here.

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