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Women with Disabilities Day

March 25, 2010

I have just returned from SM North Edsa where ALYANA was shown this morning. About 200-300 persons with disabilities, mostly women were present at Cinema 3. What made the showing significant was the fact that PWDs watched the film. It is Women with Disabilities Day afterall. Our usual audience wherever we go for advocacy and awareness purposes are mostly students, and of course, parents and families of persons with autism (PWA). Today, almost all major PWD groups, especially the physically impaired were present. Deaf from Taytay and Cainta, Rizal were also there. My decision to show the fully captioned version was not a mistake.

Seeing and understanding the condition of PWAs from the film Alyana, if I were in their shoes would I assume automatically made me compare my own condition with theirs:  either I would feel more blessed for having a comparatively milder disability, or, I would feel “jealous” of the gifts that some high function PWAs have. But more than that, I would think of my parents for understanding that before my own  suffering from the perceived discrimination of others in our society, parents first undergo conditions which made them feel just as “cursed” or “nakarma.”

It is a two-way process—if parents and their child with special needs are both accepting of their condition, if both are to fight together towards the goal of empowering themselves with other members of the family, then they would in the end be triumphant to face just anybody, and any situation that they may face in the society which tends to discriminate PWDs because of looking at their “disability” and not at their ability. It may take time but I am hopeful that though it may be trickles, minds being changed because of understanding PWAs through the film will soon become aplenty.

From the audience who approached me to say that they were touched by Alyana, and shed tears, I could imagine a multiplication of knowledge that they have learned by sharing them to others. Thanks by the way to Ranil Sorongon, Autism Society Philippines EO who had been so thoughtful to give me water to drink and food as well to eat during lunch time. Only three of us visibly came from ASP (because of our green Walk for Autism TShirt); the third one is Cristy of Pasay DSWD.

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