Angels Walk for Autism attracts 23,000 participants

Angels Walk for Autism attracts 23,000 participants
VA Angeles

In celebration of Autism Acceptance Month, the Autism Society of the Philippines (ASP) held on Sunday its annual Angels Walk at the Mall of Asia Arena (MOA) in Pasay City.

The event, organized in collaboration with SM Cares, is acknowledged to be the largest autism advocacy event in Asia. It was attended by 23,000 participants, including persons with autism (PWA), their families, and advocates from the public and private sectors.

It started at 8:00 a.m. with a talent showcase and recognition of ASP Autism Angel Achievement Awardees Peggy Geiser and Erin Tejada, who bagged awards from international competitions in performing arts and visual arts, respectively.

The Angels Walk commenced at 10:00 a.m. from MOA Arena and ended in SM MOA Entertainment Hall.

The annual autism advocacy event has been held since 2000, beginning with only 200 participants.

“Today, we have more than 24,000 [participants]. It is a testament to how important the issues for families who live with autism are. It is becoming mainstream as more and more people have awareness, acceptance, accommodation, and appreciation,” ASP former national president Mona Magno Veluz told DAILY TRIBUNE.

“This is really a celebration of one, our partners who helped make the projects, and number two, we also want to honor the families and the individuals on the spectrum who are making a mark on the world,” Veluz added.

“[We have] young adults on the spectrum who are winning international competitions, and you can see from their talent on stage that they should not be underestimated; they are capable, and they are worthy of being part of an inclusive society.”

In conjunction with the Angels Walk for Autism at MOA, simultaneous walks were also commenced at SM Cebu and SM Davao.

Among those who graced the event are ASP goodwill ambassador Miss Universe Philippines 2023 Michelle Dee, her mother, Miss International 1979 Melanie Marquez, and Candy Pangilinan, a mother to Quentin diagnosed with autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Photos by VA Angeles:

Daily Tribune