ASP-Iloilo Chapter was very excited to hold the 2016 Angels Walk and so they did TV guesting on 27 January 2016 at the local station of ABS-CBN’s morning show “Sikat Ka, Iloilo” to promote ASP and the event believing that media is a powerful tool for info dissemination. Represented there were their chapter pres, Mommy Elsie; together with a mom and SPED teacher, Mommy Ai; and Dad Gil with Mavis, his daughter. The chapter also displayed their Angels Walk for Autism streamer in one of the major roads in the city to invite the public.
January 30 was the BIG day for ASP Iloilo. Their goal was to paint SM City Iloilo green, wearing their Angels Walk shirts with pride, with hopes and prayers to promote autism awareness in the community. Different groups of participants were present -- advocates, families with special kids, private and public SPED schools, therapy centers, transition centers, student organizations from universities, government agencies, and representatives from other PWD organizations. More than 300 Angels Walk iconic shirts were ordered so they can wear them on that day.
The walk inside the mall started at exactly 1:30pm. A drum and lyre band led and set the excitement as they walked. Kids and adults held their banners and balloons. The program consisted of a short talk from Chapter President Elsie Viado, encouraging everyone to be part of ASP; special numbers from ASP youth; solo from their talent, Cid Tampo; dance numbers from SPED schools and student orgs; and instrumental numbers from talented ASP family members. Testimonies from two parents, (Mommy Ann Tampo and Daddy Dante Viado) on raising their special children inspired fellow parents. An angelic message given by the Prof. Vidal from UP Diliman encouraged the audience to be an angel to everyone.
Everyone went home filled with joy as they have taken part in this annual advocacy walk and program. Everyone has witnessed the growing number of advocates in the city and with high hopes that they could increase awareness in all parts of the province in the coming years.
To everybody’s surprise, the Angels Walk 2016 was covered in the news of ABS CBN on 02 February 2016, raising a glimmer of hope in spreading further autism awareness in the province as they were now noticed by the media in the province and covered in TV Patrol Panay.
About the contributor. Elsie Y.Relucio-Viado is a pastor's wife and a mother of two boys. She is a licensed pharmacist with a diploma in Early Childhood Education. She is currently taking M.Ed.Sped at Western Visayas State University and serves as the president of ASP Iloilo.