As a song dedicated to people with Down Syndrome, Ronnie Lee’s “Natatanging Nilalang” highlights all the characteristics that make these individuals special. Composed with a fondness for those who have the condition (he himself has a nephew who has Down Syndrome), Lee’s song is one of empowerment not only for these individuals, but also for their loved ones.
Empowering people with Down Syndrome and their families has been one of the advocacies of the Down Syndrome Association of the Philippines, Inc. (DSAPI). Since its establishment in 1991, the organization has been active in implementing initiatives that cater to these people, one of which is the Happy Walk for Down Syndrome in partnership with SM Cares.
Happy Walk for Down Syndrome is an annual event that gathers persons with Down Syndrome and their loved ones into a day-long family-oriented event filled with fun activities and entertainment. Held every February as part of the celebration of National Down Syndrome Consciousness Month, it aims to promote awareness and better understanding of those living with the condition.
“Happy Walk for Down Syndrome is all about bringing those with the condition and their families together. More importantly, the goal of the event is to give them a platform for their voices to be heard, so that the everyone can know more about them, about the challenges that they encounter every day, and what all of us can do to make life better for them,” said Engr. Bien C. Mateo, SM Supermalls Senior Vice President and SM Cares Program Director for Disability Affairs.
After a three-year break, DSAPI and SM Cares are once again holding a physical version of the long-running event this coming February 26 at the SM Mall of Asia Music Hall in Pasay City. Among the activities that the attendees can expect at this year’s event are the Happy Walk Parade and the ShowDOWN segment, where those with Down Syndrome can show off their talents. They can also expect games and fun activities offered at booths within the venue.
Interested participants may register through DSAPI’s official Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/downsyndromeassociationofthephilippinesinc) or register onsite on the day of the event by visiting the SM Employees Booth at the Mall of Asia Music Hall from 7:30AM.
SM Cares is the Corporate Social Responsibility arm of SM Supermalls, with programs that support communities, promote social inclusion, and care for the environment. Aside from the program on PWDs, its advocacies include Programs for the Environment, Women & Breastfeeding Mothers, Children & Youth, Senior Citizens, and the SM Bike-friendly initiative.
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