Posts Tagged ‘Ranil Sorongon’


Hearts Full of Joy and Hope at CBR-SMILE Center, Payatas

September 5, 2016
DMT Session 1starts

Patti Rivera with the participants

Dance dance

Teacher Ana with Bryan Bautista, son of CBR-Smile President Sanny Bautista

DMT Teachers

[L-R]: Teacher Ana Rivera with daughter Patricia

It was quite exciting to see Children with Disabilities gathered together accompanied by their parents/caregivers to undergo sessions in Dance Movement Therapy [DMT] last Saturday, September 3 at the CBR Center. The Heart at Play Foundation led by Teacher Ana Rivera and her daughter Patti were there to train them.We witnessed varied expressions of anticipation from the participants of CBR-SMILE [Samahan ng mga Magulang na Iniingatan ang Lahat ng batang Espesyal Inc.] as they wait for the program to start. Gawad Metronian Educational Foundation, Inc. [GMEFI] is co-sponsoring the project].GroupAs GMEFI’s Community Education Fund Assistance Programs Head, I joined the group led by our president Even Dominguez,  Administrative Staff Nina Padua, and Grace, an MMC student who is about to write a thesis focused on Persons with Disability. When we arrived, Mr. Ranil Sorongon, former ASP Executive Director, and currently the PPCWD Convenor and Norfil Foundation Consultant was giving the group a warm up talk, so to say.

The program started with the singing of the National Anthem led by a low-vision child, Perlyn Brevano followed by a prayer by Renea Leyva, mother of Terrenz Lukas Leyva, a child with cerebral palsy. The opening remarks was delivered by CBR-SMILE coordinator, Nitz Caliwan, in behalf of their president, Mrs. Sanny Bautista who came late because she had to attend another important meeting. GMEFI President Even Dominguez was the Guest speaker while Ranil Sorongon gave an inspirational talk. When Ms. Bautista arrived, she thanked GMEFI and all those who extended their hand to make the project possible like The Heart at Play Foundation, GMEFI and Norfil. Her voice cracked at one point.

An intermission dance was amazingly performed by CBR SMILE KIDS, namely: Bryan Bautista, Levilyn Bendal, Marie Claire Yeong, Teza Carl Cervantes, and Judy Ann Goyala. They danced and swayed their bodies gracefully and with gusto. They visibly enjoyed dancing; their talents, honed by patient teachers, and/or parents evident.

Dance Intermission1Dance Intermission2

Patti Finally, an introductory lecture on what Dance Movement Therapy is – as a combination of science and art — was explained by Patricia “Patti” Rivera who was aiding her mom, Teacher Ana. The Dance Movement Therapy session then started. THP prepared an IEP-Based Movement Teacher A about to beginGrading Sheet to serve as their tool to gauge the development of the individual participating child. Their main criteria, physical baseline has percentage of 40%, while the Elements of Dance were set each at 12%, as follows: Direction, Size, Level, Speed, and Balance.

Indeed, it was “heart at play” [to borrow from THP’s acronym] that we, as outside observers witnessed. For only committed hearts and soul could make such a unique activity happen in the name of love and in embrace of Persons with Disability.

DMT Session 1starts_a

Unfortunately, we had to leave early so we were not able to watch the entire session. Sayang!! Hoping for the success of the project, joy for the participating children and their parents!


[L-R]: Ranil Sorongon, Even Dominguez, Mirana, Nitz Caliwan, Sanny Bautista, Nina Padua

[Reposted from


30 Children with Disabilities from Payatas to Participate in the Dance Therapy Movement

September 1, 2016

Joining the “Dance Movement Therapy for Children with Disabilities [CWDs]” a project initiated by CBR-SMILE under the Gawad Metronian Educational Foundation, Inc [GMEFI] Community Educational Fund Assistance Program are 30 CWDs. Participant’s disabilities are described as follows: Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, Global Delay, Autism, Psychosocial, Dwarfism/Orthopedic, Deaf with CP, Learning Disability [LD], Meningocelle/LD, Intellectual Delay, and Low Vision.


Participants of the Dance Movement Therapy to be conducted by Teacher Ana Rivera of The Heart at Play Foundation. CBR Smile of Payatas, Q.C. headed by Mrs. Sanny Bautista, is the project proponent; Nitz Caliwan is the coordinator

Ten sessions will be held starting this Saturday, September 3 at 10 a.m. Venue will be at the CBR Center located in Payatas, Quezon City. The other sessions are scheduled on September 10, 17; October 1, 15, 29; November 5, 19, December 3, 10. Teacher Ana Rivera, president of The Heart at Play Foundation, and a dance therapy specialist shall be handling the children.

“Teacher Ana, as she is fondly called, belongs to a family of dancers.   In 2000, she opened her own dance studio that catered to students from exclusive schools in Greenhills, San Juan.  Amidst her flourishing private dance studio, she felt a strong urge to act and make things happen on the dance floor for children with special needs. So she completed a diploma course in special education (SpEd) from the College of the Holy Spirit.

In between her SpEd course and current pursuit of a master’s degree in Speech Language Pathology (SLP), Teacher Ana went to Wichita, Kansas, USA for training and immersion programs in dance therapy. During her observation in a dance school that caters to special children, she witnessed a child with autism who was being physically assisted all throughout a session. The CWA and her mother struggled as they tried to follow the teachers’ instructions.  Later, they left the dance floor and never returned.  From this incident, Teacher Ana vowed to promote the “No Child Left Behind Act” where her heart is – on the dance floor.

With her observations from different dance schools (including an intensive training with the American Dance Therapy in New York), her SPED background, and a heart moved by compassion for children with special needs, Teacher Ana designed a unique and innovative Dance Movement Therapy (DMT) that accommodates special needs children of all functioning levels. Cecil Sicam, Vice President of Autism Society Philippines and a seasoned SpEd teacher, observed that “Teacher Ana and her team use task analysis (the process of breaking down complex tasks into smaller chunks used to teach special needs children) in teaching dancing; they modify their teaching strategies based on individual learning styles. The DMT adopted the principles of behavior management and structured teaching that are necessary in teaching children with autism and other special needs.” [Manila Bulletin on May 20, 2013; excerpts from

It was Ranil Sorongon, former Executive Director of Autism Society Philippines who referred CBR-Smile to me when I asked him for a possible project that we could assist. As head of the Community Educational Fund Assistance Program, I found the project quite interesting. I submitted the proposal to the board in May. It was approved, and ready for implementation this Saturday, September 3.

[For the complete list of the participants and their parents/caregivers, click


Sidelights offstage: Angels Walk for Autism 2016

January 21, 2016





GMEFI, my group – a fledgling NGO – Walks for Autism


Met friends from the Hard of Hearing Group [Extreme left: Agnes Dizon, my former FSL classmate beside Rose Panlasigue who also used to teach me FSL, Raph Torralba [center] who works now at DFA, Patrick, former SDEAS student]


ASP_Pasay City Chapter?

July 30, 2012

Last week, Ranil Sorongon, EO of the Autism Society Philippines informed me about the formation of an ASP Chapter in Pasay City. Since I am a Pasay resident, I was excited to know about it. I have been a member of ASP-Main in QC since 2006. If ASP Pasay Chapter really gets to be created … [I say that because well, I just read about the Orientation Ranil conducted over there – asp-conducts-orientation-in-pasay-city.html] … I’ll most probably transfer my membership here in Pasay. Afterall batang-Pasay ako. Haha!


ASEAN Autism Network Support ASP’s 12th and the 2nd SEA National Conference

April 21, 2012

Members of the ASEAN Autism Network support the upcoming 2nd Southeast Asian and 12th National Conference on Autism on April 28 and 29, 2012 Saturday and Sunday witht heme “LIVING WITH AUTISM: Hope@Home” at Crown Plaza Manila Galleria, OrtigasAve. corner ADB Avenue, Quezon City.

ASEAN Autism Network (AAN) serves as a platform for autism-related family support groups of each Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) member country to collaborate, cooperate, coordinate and unite in developing strategies and intervention programs that will be non-discriminatory in support of families, including those economically challenged. More importantly, the extended family structure on which the ASEAN community is based will remain the core of any developmental program and strategies.[To read the full article of ASP Board Secretary Ms. Tiffany Tan, click by-tiffany-tan-aspboard-secretary.html]

For more information re the conference, you may call ASP at telephone numbers (02) 926 6941, (02) 929 8447, mobile numbers (0917) 556 2075, (0923) 638 3771 or email


Walk for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities_December 2

November 22, 2011

IN CELEBRATION OF THE INTERNATIONAL DISABILITY DAY 2011, Ranil Sorongon, Autism Society of the Philippines Executive Officer, and PWD Walk Program and Invitation Committee, Coordinator forwarded this message to all concerned PWD groups, institutions and advocates:

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 15% of the world’s total population are persons with disabilities. Recognizing the needs of this sector, the United Nations declared December 3 of each year as the International Day of Persons with Disabilities to promote the rights and welfare of this marginalized and often neglected members of society. For this year’s celebration the theme “Together for a Better World for All: Including Persons with Disabilities in Development” was adopted to push for the inclusion of persons with disabilities in all development initiatives.

Part of the series of activities of the celebration is a “Walk for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities” with a specific theme “Make the Right Real Together for a Better Asia and the Pacific for All” headed by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA), United Nations Economic and Social Commission in Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), SM Supermalls and Autism Society Philippines (ASP). It will be on December 2 Friday at the Music Hall, SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City. Registration will start at 7:30AM and the Walk at 10:00AM inside the mall.

More than 3,000 participants coming from international agencies and organizations, persons with disabilities, children with disabilities, parents, advocates, representatives of the Local Government Units and special guests are expected to attend. Free t-shirts and simple snacks will be given on a first come first serve basis to the first 3,000 participants courtesy of the organizers and sponsors of the event.

In relation to this, we are inviting you to join the walk. Kindly bring a banner of your institution for identification and send the list of participants to Ranil Sorongon of ASP.


ASP Joins Celebration of Women with Disabilities

April 13, 2010

The following article was reported by Autism Society Philippines Executive Director, Ranil Sorongon dated April 4.  (Source–

ASP joined Women with Disabilities Day Celebrations last March 25, with the theme “Babaeng May Kapansanan, Yaman ng Bayan” (Women with Disabilities, Treasures of the Nation). The celebrations aim to advocate the rights of women with disabilities (WWD), and give more emphasis on the sub-sector of WWD who are marginalized, ignored and deprived.

The day’s activity started with “Hataw Exercise,” headed by Women with Disabilities, National Capital Region (NCR) President, Ms. Maureen Mata, and her Makati City Group. After the lively exercises, participants enjoyed a hearty breakfast, courtesy of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

Miranamedina (wearing ASP green shirt) with the viewers of Alyana

Three hundred (300) viewers packed SM The Block’s Cinema 3 to watch a free showing of Alyana – A Study of Autism in the Philippines. Alyana is the first Filipino digital documentary on autism by award winning film maker, MiranaMedina.Click here to watch the trailer. The film focuses on Alyana, Mirana’s grandniece and other Filipino families as they go through obstacles to overcome the challenges of autism.

Most participants were women with various disabilities blind, deaf, wheel chair bound, with intellectual disabilities and some from the national government agencies. Some audiences were moved to tears as they empathized with the families affected with autism.