With the aim of stimulating public awareness on disability and encouraging every citizen to take active responsibility in uplifting the economic and social condition of persons with disabilities (PWDs) here in the Philippines, the government and civil societies involved assigns the commemoration of the National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation (NDPR) Week from July 18 to 23.
SM Cares, the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) arm of the SM Group of Companies under its programs for PWD and Children’s Welfare partners with UNICEF, Tanghalang Pilipino and the Camera Club of the Philippines to launch two month-long activities that focuses on Children with Disabilities.
SEE WHAT I CAN DO
With the aim of raising awareness on creating a more inclusive environment for Children with Disabilities, the group launches last Monday (July 18) at the SM Mall of Asia Music Hall the SEE WHAT I CAN DO Photo Exhibit featuring photos from the Camera Club of the Philippines depicting the everyday lives of Children with Disabilities and their unique talents.
The launch was led by UNICEF Deputy Representative Julia Rees, SM Supermalls President Annie Garcia, representatives from the Camera Club of the Philippines and SM Cares, and her excellency VICE PRESIDENT LENI ROBREDO.
“If I go back in time, I want to know ho these giants of humanities overcame their difficulties, and how they were empowered enough to let their talents shine,” VP Robredo addresses the crowd citing known personalities with disabilities and their impact to the world such as Walt Disney, Albert Einstein, George Washington, Beethoven, Helen Keller, Stephen Hawkings and Tom Cruise. “Imagine what would have happen if somebody failed to notice their brilliance as a child or they were excluded in their communities, can we even imagine the loss we’ll have..” she added.
Here’s part of VP Leni Robredo’s speech:
The exhibit features 10 extremely talented Children with Disabilities: Alexandra Tallod, Arianne David, Elai Tovera, Francis Guangco, Gabriel Vera Querubin, Iana Cadhit, James Malabiga, Marina Villa, Miguel Gabriel Sagle and Ryan Manahan.
Totally blind since birth, Alexandra Margaret Tallod is a brave 10-year old girl who tries to live a regular life. She has a fondness for singing karaoke, especially songs by her idols Nora Aunor and Joey Albert. A dreams of winning the gold in her chosen sport, track n’ field. Her biggest fan, her mother Arlene, brings her to UST to practice with her running coach during weekends. With her unwavering spirit and sheer grit, “A” has all it takes to make her dream come true.
The SEE WHAT I CAN DO photo exhibit will be on display at the SM Mall of Asia until July 23. It will also be shown in SM City Clark from July 18 to 28, SM City Cebu from August 13 to 19 and SM City Davao from August 22 to 29.
Also present during the launch were UNICEF Philippines Chief of Health and Nutrition Dr. Willibald Zeck, SM Supermalls Senior Vice President Steven Tan and SM Cares Program Director for Disability Affairs Engr. Bien Mateo.
Aside from the photo exhibition, the group also commissioned the Tanghalang Pilipino stage musical SANDOSENANG SAPATOS, based on a literary masterpiece written by Dr. Luis Gatmaitan about the love between a shoemaker father and a daughter who was born without legs.
First introduced on stage in July 2013, Sandosenang Sapatos the musical was written by playwright Layeta Bucoy with songs composed by Noel Cabangon and Jed Balsamo.
The musical was staged at the SM Mall of Asia Music Hall right after the official launch and featured most of the original cast like lead actress Trixie Esteban and Tessa Prieto-Valdes, together with Tangahalang Pilipino Artistic Director Tata Nanding Josef and writer Dr. Luis Gatmaitan.
Here is Trixie Esteban singing “Anong Silbi Ng Pagsulat”:
The play will be staged again at the SM Mall of Asia Music Hall on July 23 (Saturday). They’ll have two shows, 11am and 4pm. Also at SM City Clark Event Center on July 24 (11am and 4pm).
Here are some photos of the scenes from the stage musical:
Prior to this activity, SM and UNICEF have worked together in various projects such as the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene or the WASH Project wherein a portion of the sale of SM’s bottled water goes to the organization’s efforts to provide clean drinking water to various provinces in the country. To date, it has already helped more than 113,000 school children across the country.
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