Various organizations and community for autism joined forces in a world record breaking event that was held at the SM MOA ARENA last January 25, 2015. The gathering of people wearing angel wings is for the celebration and awareness of National Autism Consciousness Week.
National Autism Consciousness Week is an annual event that started in January 1996 after the issuance of Presidential Proclamation No.711 signed by Pres.Fidel V. Ramos, its about awareness on autism here in the Philippines and also for the government to provide assistance to those who are in need and tap different local agencies for community driven assistance for families.
According to SM Cares there are similar gatherings happening also in Balyuan Towers in Tacloban City and SM City Cebu. All venues like in SM MOA ARENA have an attendance supported by the Autism Society of the Philippines chapters, families, friends and advocates.
The main objective of this event is to encourage the public and private institutions to spearhead creative activities, events and programs around autism awareness, acceptance, and inclusion
The world record breaking attempt was gathered here in SM MOA ARENA and are filled up with people wearing wings, they say that this is set for a Guinness World of Record for the largest gathering of people wearing angel wings, this is one of the project of the Autism Society of the Philippines for this year, a project that will help boost the awareness of autism in our country and also spread news about the inclusion of people with autism in mainstream society.
According to Mona Magno-Veluz, President of Autism Society of the Phils, the record breaking on the books is 1200 people by another country, but for this time, their event “Angels walk for autism” surpasses the number of the previous record. Although I haven’t seen any rep. from Guinness, I do hope that they update us with the news about the record. The PR that I read is that more than 12,000 people joined in this event.
They announced that they have 25 chapters from all over the metro joined the annual gathering of angels, and team CAVITE won the most winged participant for this year.
Ms. Carmen Reyes Zubiaga, director of NCDA (National Council on Disability Affairs) inducts the advocates, organization leaders, community leaders that supports and help for the awareness of autism in our country.
Accdg to Ms. Mona, every year, advocates starts to increase because they acquired the awareness campaign virus of their organization. They hope in the next coming year that our Philippines is already an AUTISM-OK, it means that the role of the organization wont be needed anymore because there will be autism friendly places to be put up by private and public sectors.
To start this awareness, SM Supermalls joined the campaign and was applaud for being an autism friendly mall, they provide special comfort room for autism people and also for having passionate workers that can assist them.
Ms. Mona shared to us that they still need more transition workers that can help educate the kids and also discover the special talents of these kids that can be showcased to the world. They are also planning to have a livelihood program and opportunities for autism people, it’s a long way to go but to kick start everything,they launched a portal website where people can be informed and also for people who want to get support.
Pls visit: http://www.autismsocietyphilippines.org/ and Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/autismsocietyphilippines
They also launched A-OK Philippines or Autism OK Philippines website.
but the Bit.Ly url is not working. I will update soon with the right url.
Bien Mateo, SM Cares Disability affairs mentioned that 2015 is the 2nd year to hold the activity here in MOA ARENA. SM joined the awareness campaign and also promote the acceptance and inclusion of autism in mainstream society. SM supports people with special needs, and now SM is a mall for all with or without disability.
Congresswoman Em Aglipay was one of the speaker of the day, she shared to us that her sister who is 35 years old today is an autistic person. She learned that people with autism are not a lesser or worse person, not different, not pitiful, because they have fulfilling lives.
Here I also learned from the congresswoman that Pokemon creator, Satoshi Tajiri, is an autistic person. I went to Google to confirm and yes..its true.
People clapped their hands when she shared to us that she already passed a bill to help families with an autism member get tax deduction. She co-authored the bill with her husband Cong. Mark Villar
Lets hope that the bill will be approved.
Next speaker is Mandaluyong Mayor Benhur Abalos.
Here I learned that the city of Mandaluyong is the 1st autism friendly city in the Philippines. Because when the mayor started his political career in Mandaluyong, he added to his priority in helping the residents of the city to be aware and be educated about autism.
He mentioned that he was inspired when he saw an autistic child sleeping outdoors and under the bed, when he asked the parents of the child, he was shocked that the parents were clueless and don’t have an ideas what’s wrong. He then think that the kid is autistic, then he encounters another kid with autism who is successful as a student and living in a nice way, then the mayor thought that there might be a difference for people having a money for the therapy and education for the autistic child VERSUS for people who don’t have money and not aware about autism.
Here he launches a priority program that will investigate all families in the city to check and see if they have autistic member living with them. Because they launched a special center, health and therapy centers and education centers for autism kids in Mandaluyong City….. and its for FREE for a resident of their city.
Here he hopes that other city can do the same.
The Angels walk for autism didn’t started first with a walkathon, there were stage performances by art groups, dance champions and also kids with autism.
I’m very touched when I saw them perform on stage along with the other art group performers
The Kidz Lightning Crew was an electrifying performance, I later learned that they are representative to a world hip hop dance contest. It was like watching a legion of Ariana Grande dancing on stage.
The crowd at SM MOA ARENA
Another performance with hula hoop accessory
Outgoing President of the Autism Society of the Philippines invites everyone to dance with them
Shake it off..dance as they say.
and they danced…
Wave and shake…
Our guest VIP did dance too.
I really loved the National Anthem video.
ASP version includes their kids singing out anthem.
And the walk will start….get ready to assemble
Gymnast ribbon act…to excite everyone.
Our VIP now wearing their own angel wings
The walk will start here in MOA ARENA and it will go around SM MOA complex (mall area only)
Here are the photos of the Angels walk for autism
photo with mommy Peach and mommy Edel
thanks to Rain Ferdinand for this photo with mommy Myrns