Wednesday, December 7, 2022

1000 Wheelchairs roll out in Laguna and Quezon on International Day of Persons With Disabilities

Wheelchairs have been significant to me in the past years. I'm not disabled, nor any of our family, but my father, who suffered a stroke, did use a wheelchair. The wheelchair was a donation at that time.

So, seeing all these Persons With Disabilities (PWD) beneficiaries fills me with so much gratitude. Very thankful that there are people who extend their hand to people in need.

The event coverage I went to was the giving of these wheelchairs to PWDs which was led by the PWD-founded non-profit Alagang AKAY in partnership with the Sol Aragones Foundation. In all, both organizations are to donate 1000 wheelchairs to PWDs and families. Aside from these they were also given other items plus the livelihood showcase.


The event I covered was in Sta. Rosa, Laguna at the Sta. Rosa Sports Complex. It was a jampacked event. There were also an event in Quezon Convention Center in Lucena City in Quezon.

The event were in line with the global commemoration of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities which was set by the United Nations General Assembly 30 years ago in 1992 to be held on the 3rd of December each year.

The initiative was launched in partnership with Sol Aragones Foundation chaired by former news reporter and media personality Sol Aragones who also became Laguna 3rd District Representative for three terms.

According to Aragones: "Napakahalaga ng araw na ito para sa mga PWD at kanilang mga panilya na bahagi ng Alagang Akay community. nais namin ng akay Foundation na tuparin ang pangarap ng mga PWD na magkaroon ng wheelchair at saklay sa abot ng aming makakaya."

"Gusto din namin sila bigyan ng inspirasyon na piliin na maging masaya kaysa malungkot. May pag-asang naghihintay sa PWD - aakayin namin sila," Aragones added.

Alagang AKAY Ambassadors: Quality of Life, Dignity, Passion for Service

The celebrations were led by AKAY Ambassadors Dwight Bayona, a leg amputee and multi-sport athlete who wears a mechanical leg and "Chef with No Hands" Maricel Apatan.

"Alagang AKAY is PWD-led and founded on a mission to uplift the quality of life and uphold the dignity of PWDs through a holistic approach that includes, direct care, education, livelihood, employment as well as opportunities for community service," said Bayona whose leg was crushed in an accident when he was 24 years old. The accident happened when he himself stopped to aid an earlier crash victim.

Chef with no Hands Maricel Apatan meanwhile demonstrated cooking skills via an AVP shown at the program.

According to Apatan: "Nagtapos po ako ng HRM at nagpatuloy sa Culinary Arts. Sinundan ko lang po ang aking puso."

Apatan added: " ang letrang A po sa AKAY ay para sa Aral o Education. Kung susundan po natin ang ating puso o passion sa anumang bagay, kailangan pong aralin natin ang larangan iyon. Nagpapasalamat ako sa pagkakataon na makapag-aral at sundan and puso ko."

We all complain a lot but we often forget that there people who struggles in their life because of their disabilities. Let us be grateful and see the beauty of God's creation and revelations.

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