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Thousands of individuals with autism and advocates came together for the annual Angels Walk for Autism organized by the Autism Society Philippines (ASP) and SM Cares held last January 26 at the Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena, Pasay City.

Families, friends, and even professionals from various walks of life came together to show their support for individuals who have autism and to call for an Autism-OK Philippines. The Angels Walk for Autism started at the MOA Arena and ended at the SM MOA Music Hall. 

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“We are heartened by the strong showing of support for neurodiversity on display here today”, said Ms. Mona Magno-Veluz, National President – Autism Society Philippines. “We are proud that the Angels Walk for Autism has evolved into a multi-sectoral approach to instilling greater inclusivity and acceptance for those with autism in our society.”

Around 25,000 people registered for the event which not only took place in MOA Arena but also in 10 other SM Supermalls around the country. 

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“We are proud to be working with the ASP to promote the welfare, acceptance, and inclusion of people with Autism. As responsible members of the community, we at SM believe that we have a role to play in helping our society become more neurodiverse and appreciative of the abilities, instead of disabilities”, said Engr. Bien C. Mateo, SVP Operations, SM Supermalls, and Head of SM Cares Program on PWDs.

During the event various individuals with autism showed off their skills in singing, dancing, and performing on stage. The audience were thrilled by the breathtaking voices of gifted crooners and divas who showed their vocal prowess. Dancers busted out their moves and impressed the attendees with their slick routine.

 

Several individuals were also recognized during the event. Ron Michael Adea and Keith Rafael Ignacio were given the ASP Autism Angel Achievement Award, 2019 Ms. World Philippines Michelle Dee was also recognized for her contributions as the first Autism Society Philippines Goodwill Ambassador. 

“We’re all part of the same world, of the same nation, we need to change our perception and love the people around us,” Michelle Dee, Ms. World Philippines 2019 and ASP Goodwill Ambassador said. 

Dee also shared several plans that she has in store to promote autism awareness. She said that she is now currently working on a campaign with a notable fashion brand and she is also dedicated to expand the reach of the ASP by actively advocating for the establishment of more ASP chapters across the country. 

Meanwhile, the ASP Autism Works Partners of the Year award was given to Pancake House and Manulife Processing services for providing an inclusive workplace for individuals with autism. Photographers John and Harvey Chua were this year’s recipients of The Hans T. Sy Leadership Award for Autism Inclusion and Welfare.

The Angels Walk for Autism is the culminating activity of this year’s Autism Awareness Week. The event was first staged in 2007 with only 200 participants and now it has grown to be an event attended by tens of thousands of people hailing from different parts of the country and various sectors of society. 

For more information about the ASP and the Angels Walk for Autism, please visit http://www.autismsocietyphilippines.org. To know more about the advocacies of SM Cares, like and follow SM Supermalls on https://www.facebook.com/smsupermalls

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