Araneta City promotes inclusion on World Autism Awareness Day

Various activities at Araneta City aim to raise awareness and support for people with autism

Persons with autism possess the same potential as any other person. They exhibit talents in various fields such as art, music, and more, showcasing their ability to excel and positively impact society. By supporting their well-being and opportunities, we empower them to lead fulfilling lives as valued members of the community, equal to any other individual.

Raising awareness for individuals with autism is increasingly crucial in our modern society. In an effort to champion this cause, Araneta City partners with J. Amado Araneta Foundation, Gateway Gallery, the Philippine Association for Citizens with Developmental and Learning Disabilities (PACDLD), National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), Autism Partnership, Pasig City Children with Disability under Parent Federation Inc., GS Option House and Learning Center, Association for Adults with Autism, Philippines, Autism Hearts Foundation, and the National Council of Disability Affairs (NCDA) for a series of events to celebrate the 17th U.N. World Autism Awareness Day this year. 

From April 1 to 8, the following events will take place at the City of Firsts under the global theme “Moving from Surviving to Thriving”. 

Showcase of artistry

For World Autism Awareness Day 2024, all four malls of Araneta City will host different inspiring art exhibits featuring the magnificent artworks of individuals with special needs. 

Two malls will showcase one-man art exhibits from exceptionally talented individuals with autism. There’s the “Spectrum, An Art Exhibit by Gabriel Clar San Jose” at Gateway Mall 1 from April 1 to 8, and “Embracing Artism, the Art of Vico Cham” happening at Gateway Mall 2 from April 2 to 8. San Jose is a student of Autism Partnership Manila who has been joining art exhibits to showcase his skills. Meanwhile, Cham is a Filipino Cham is a visual artist who was bestowed the Apolinario Mabini PWD of the Year Award in 2015 and was recognized at the 2019 Paralym Art World Cup in Japan.

On the other hand, two malls will host group exhibits. Playful art pieces from the students of GS Option House and Learning Center take center stage at Ali Mall from April 2 to 8 as creative collages on bottles and tote bag art will be displayed. A different perspective on nature’s beauty will unfold as kids from the Pasig Children with Disability under Parent Federation exhibit their smartphone photos of various flora and fauna at Farmers Plaza from April 1 to 5.

D-Day activities

Other meaningful activities will take place on April 2, the official date set by the United Nations General Assembly for the World Autism Awareness Day celebration.

A special consultative dialogue between partner organizations and parents of children with autism will take place at Gateway Gallery. This event presents a unique opportunity for these individuals to connect, share experiences, and gain valuable insights from experts in the field. Taking part in the dialogue are representatives of PACDLD, Autism Hearts, Angels Learning and Therapy Center, Association for Adults with Autism Philippines, and Autism Partnership.

After the dialogue, the Autism Advocate Awards will be held to honor the remarkable work of advocates who work for the benefit of people with autism. Ten inspiring individuals from different fields will be recognized for their outstanding contributions to the campaign.

Lastly, the iconic Smart Araneta Coliseum will be lit up in blue to mark World Autism Awareness Day at 6PM. The Big Dome will become a symbol of understanding and acceptance for individuals with autism and their families. Through this, the City of Firsts aims to provide a powerful visual reminder of the importance of embracing diversity and creating an inclusive society.

“Through these activities, we hope to spark conversations, break down stereotypes, and foster a more inclusive and supportive society for all,” Marjorie Go, Assistant Vice President for Marketing of Araneta City, said. “Araneta City is a place that welcomes and celebrates everyone, and through these activities, we aim to encourage everyone to be more welcoming to people with autism and aware of the challenges they face and what we can do to help them be integral members of our society.”