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.

13 March 2019

ASP honors achievers on the spectrum anew

The ASP Autism Angel Achievement Awards, nicknamed A5, is an annual recognition of the impact of persons with autism in the community and of their skills and talent that makes them stand out beyond their exceptionality. This year's honors were conferred in behalf of the Autism Society Philippines by ASP Trustee Grace Adviento and National Council on Disability Affairs Acting Executive Director Carmen Zubiaga.

(L-R) Henry Munarriz, Carl Veluz, Pia Cabanero
with ASP's Grace Adviento
Three new achievers were honored with the A5 at the Angels Walk for Autism 2019 pre-walk program.

Samantha Pia Cabanero, A5 2019 for Advocacy. Pia is an energetic young high school senior with big dreams. Writing, appearing in vlogs are only some of her many creative pursuits. She stood out among other aspirants to be crowned Miss Possibilities in 2018. Pia serves as the Vice President for Communications for the ASP Self-Advocates Circle.

Carlo Gregorio Veluz, A5 2019 for Visual Arts. Carl loves to work with his hands, has sold upcycled items he made himself under his web enterprise called Gregarious Gifts and has recently taken up carpentry. In 2018, he bested other Filipino artists with disabilities to become the winner of the Philippine leg of the Paralym Art World Cup — with his work displayed in exhibits in Japan. Carl serves as the Vice President for External for the ASP Self Advocates Circle.

Eduardo Enrique Munarriz, A5 2019 for Athletics. Henry won the top award in the heavyweight class in the Special Category at the 2019 Philippine National Open Powerlifting Championships and was awarded a trophy for Best Lifter in the Special Category. He is part of a 65-man delegation representing Team Pilipinas in the 2019 Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi.
Pia, Carl and Henry join an elite group of individuals on the autism spectrum who have excelled in their own fields.

Charlene Danica Escasinas, A5 2018 for Performing Arts 2018. Danica first joined and won a singing contest at the age 7; and started modelling at the age of 12. Danica were given the opportunity to represent the Philippines to the 1st ASEAN Autism Youth Camp in April 2013 at Brunei Darussalam and in Autism Talent Gala 2017 in Hong Kong.

Vell Baria, A5 2017 for Performing Arts.  Vell has been performing at autism advocacy events for years; and performs regularly at amateur and professional productions. Vell earned a degree in Music Performance, with a major in Voice, and a minor in Piano, at St. Scholastica's College Manila. She won the INAP Award for Performing Arts at the ANCA World Autism Festival in Vancouver, Canada.

Vico Cham, A5 2016 for Visual Arts. Considered a product of ASP showcases of PWA talents in his younger years -- joining on-the-spot painting contests, drawing for the centerfold of a national conference's  souvenir programme, and being featured during an ASP art exhibit -- Vico received in 2015 a special award from the Apolinario Mabini Award for PWDs. He works as PWA employee #1 of Unilab Foundation.

Raymond Macasaet, A5 for Athletics. Raymond is a Special Olympics veteran, having earned medals in Aquatics in competitions in Greece 2011 and Singapore 2013. During the 2015 Special Olympics in Los Angeles, he won gold in the 50 meter and 25 meter dash in the track and field category.

Thara Marie Santiago, A5 for Performing Arts. From 79 candidates, Thara Marie became one of the 19 finalists who received "Excellent Performance Award" during the Autistic Talent Gala held last December 2015 in Hongkong, which was organized by the AnAn International Education Foundation. Her rendition of "All by Myself" earned her one of the 4 major awards in the individual category - "Most Touching Voice."

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