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.

07 June 2016

ASP Sibs Camp Cavite 2016: Give Us More!

The ASP Siblings Camp Cavite, a yearly activity aimed at instilling camaraderie, role acceptance and leadership among siblings of persons with autism, kicked off its fifth season last May 26 and finished off touchingly with a bang on May 28. It was held at the Andrea’s Hidden Villa (a PWD- accessible private resort owned by Mr. Jing D. Caringal, the Head of PDAO of Tagaytay City) in Patutong Malaki North, Tagaytay City. Joined by fourteen ASP brothers and sisters from Carmona, Bacoor, Dasmariñas, Silang, Mendez and Gen. Trias, this year’s Sibs Camp in Cavite also welcomed five other enthusiastic sibs from Manila and Muntinlupa ASP chapters.

The nineteen Sib Campers, 10-23 years old, were quick to lay down the barriers within the hour of signing in. They felt comfortable amidst their peers even before the breaking of ice— they sat in groups, exchanged wits and banter, played and ran around. As one of the Kuya’s declared, he sees ASP Siblings Camp Cavite as his chance to “escape from reality,” a time to put his “responsibilities” in the backburner and have relaxing time with old and new friends. ASP Siblings Camp affords time for both fun and serious matters, with lots of bonding, relationship-building, and playful moments with fellow sibs, as well as time for self-recollection and expression, coming to terms, and looking ahead.

Writing Suggestions to make Sibs Camp More Interesting

Among the siblings’ favourite activities were the “SIB-er Games,” where the sibs were submerged in two hours of physically intoxicating and vocal-chord-wrecking water games, and the “Amazing Sibs Race,” which was not merely a feat of treasure hunting to be enjoyed, but an exploit that challenged the analytic, communication, decision-making and caring skills of the team players. The Race significantly brought home some very valuable lessons on trust, leadership and teamwork and was pegged as the most-liked activity in camp.

Line up with blindfold

Even as they enjoyed the playful hours, the siblings became very dedicated during the more serious and reflective moments, where they were guided to define and process their thoughts and emotions regarding their life’s journey as siblings of PWAs. Being siblings of PWAs, the campers were able to openly share one’s highs and lows in living with someone on the spectrum. It is much like what parents do when they engage in the Family Support Group meetings of ASP.

Sibs Group sharing discussions

One of the siblings remarked later that over all, the camp had a re-charging effect. It was obvious during the closing ceremony that everybody felt an unusual kind of revival, a readiness to face the greater challenges that lie ahead as they “return to reality” once again.

ASP Siblings Camp Cavite hopes to be instrumental in shaping a positive and healthy perspective by which both parents and siblings of persons with autism can manage and balance their roles and responsibilities as care-sharers in the family. As the sibs campers ostensibly voiced out their wish to have “More!” of everything that they experienced in camp, ASP Siblings Camp Cavite will exert every possible effort to sustain a responsive siblings support group to help improve the overall quality of life of our dear families living with autism.

ASP Cavite Chapters would like to thank all the good-hearted organizers of this very successful Camp: Teacher My Sorongon, ever committed and hardworking ASP Sibs Camp Facilitator, together with a dedicated and efficient team of Co-Facilitators – Teacher Eve Perey (Mendez, Cavite), Ate Thea Peña (Dasmariñas), Kuya Paul Valencia (Trece Martires) and Tita Jan Peña (Dasmariñas), Camp Director. Likewise, we are endlessly thankful to our partners who generously supported Sibs Camp 2016: Mr. Jing D. Caringal of Tagaytay City PDAO Office, owner of Andrea’s Hidden Villa; Mrs. Romana Bough of Sacramento, USA; Mr. Marvin Tiania of Jollibee Mendez Crossing –Tagaytay; and PWA Muneer Peña for the sweet cupcake tokens!

Thank you most especially to all the nineteen cooperating siblings from Cavite, Manila and Muntinlupa for whom the ASP Siblings Camp Cavite 2016 is sincerely dedicated, and to their parents and guardians who put their full trust and support in allowing the siblings to partake of this extraordinary experience! God bless you all and Mabuhay!

Cavite Sibs Camp group

The last day was inevitable. The siblings did not want to part, and they constantly joked about extending the camp, or having five times of it a year, or joining the subsequent camps of other chapters. They exchanged numbers, names on Facebook, and promised to keep in touch. They also had plans of reunion and future activities which hopefully would materialize soon.

All in all, the ASP Siblings Camp Cavite was a worthwhile endeavor which perfectly fits into the vacation days, and is a combination of fun and “recollection” moments, it was also a chance to meet new people with similar stories, and reunite with old buddies to catch up and bond. As expected, they were already looking forward to ASP Siblings Camp 2017!

About the contributor: Thea Peña is the elder sister of 20-year old PWA Muneer Peña of Dasmariñas City, Cavite. She is a fresh graduate (Salutatorian) of BS Occupational Therapy from the De La Salle Health Sciences Institute, Dasmariñas, Cavite. Ate Thea is a long-time sibling participant in various Sibs Camps in Laguna and Cavite, consequently developing her skills as a co-faciliator in the recent Sibs Camps held in Cavite. Tita Jan Peña is the mother of Ate Thea Peña, the current President of ASP Dasmariñas Chapter and the untiring steward or “Gobernadora” of ASP chapters in Cavite. She served as the Camp Director and house parent in this year’s Siblings Camp Cavite.


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