Angels Walk for Autism 2016: An Autism-OK Philippines Advocacy

It was another wonderful event and gathering of people who supported people with Autism. It was my first time to attend an event like this and it was very touching to witness that they are truly unique on their own way. 

These people are not just a person with disabilities but instead have their own unique talents that can be shared to others. It was really amazing to see how they proved themselves to others and how they are fabulous in their talents.

Angels Walk for Autism is an annual event which is looking forward to an Autism-OK Philippines. It was held in MOA Arena last January 17, 2016. Today, many people are now gaining awareness to the Autism community led by Autism Society Philippines, supporters and friends. 

The event was full packed, in the morning, the Angels Walk Pre-Show took place followed by the Autism Talents on Parade. There was also a ASEAN Autism Friendship Games Awarding and the awarding of The ASP Autism Angels Achievement Award 2016.

The winners for The ASP Autism Angels Achievement Award 2016 are the following:

- Vico Cham for the Excellence in Visual Arts
- Raymond Macasaet for the Excellence in Athletics
- Thara Santiago for the Excellence in Performance Arts

There was also a short documentary video showed for ASP's Angels Walk for Autism created by PWD advocate and Gat Apolinario Mabini Awardee Mirana Medina entitled When Angels Walk for Autism. It was followed by the AutiZumba headed by Ms. Donna Lim, a TV host and Zumba fitness trainer. The whole MOA Arena was intensified with dancing people over 15,000 who dances in the tune of Fantastic Baby.

After that, the program proper was started with a prayer song from ILLC Heartthrobs and followed by the Philippine National Anthem. Then, the opening salvo of NU Pep Squad, the welcome remarks of Engr. Bien Mateo, Program Director of SM Cares and the State of National Advocacy of National President, Autism Society Philippines Ms. Mona Magno-Velus.

Afterwards, the Turnover of Chairmanship for ASEAN Autism Network and the Angelic Messages of the Executive Director of Asia Pacific Development Center on Disability, Mr. Akiie Ninomiya. Next in line is the short speech of Honorable Senator Sonny Angara and the H.E. Dr. A.K.P. Mochtan, the Deputy Secretary General of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) for Community and Corporate Affairs.

Finally, the much awaited walk proper from MOA Arena to SM Music Hall was started and it was marshaled by the Philippine Navy and Philippine Coast Guard right after honoring the guest and national leaders and announcing the start of walk.

I was touched to see people with autism, their family and supporters on how they really advocate the Angels Walk. They are all full of energy and you will never know what will store for them because I heard that they have so many projects and programs being lined up and it nice to know that the government is starting to notice it and doing something for them.

One by one, I know they will get what they want. The respect, the acceptance and the love from other people whom did not understand them. In our family, we don't have a member who has Autism but I fell these people, especially to their needs and that needs are only simple which I hope they get soon.

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