“WE, THE ONES WHO ARE CHALLENGED NEED TO BE HEARD AND SEEN NOT JUST AS A DISABILITY, BUT AS A PERSON WHO HAS AND WILL CONTINUE TO BLOOM. BE SEEN NOT ONLY AS A HANDICAP, BUT AS A WELL INTACT HUMAN BEING.”

Every after four years, Abilympics International is held in different countries. It is with the initiative of the International Abilympics Federation and in partnership of Rehabilitation International. This was actually started by Japan in celebration for the International Year for Disabled Persons in 1981 which aims to raise awareness on the development of PWDs.

Last December 03, 2010, the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA) conducted a National Skills competition in Manila. This is in line with the 8th International Abilympics in Seoul Korea. Winners will be part of the team who will represent the country in the said abilympics.

There were 13 PWDs from Davao Region who participated the said event and luckily i am one of them. During the skills demo/competition, there were around 50 participants all over the Philippines who competed in different categories. the competition was held simultaneously in 3 different venues: SM north EDSA, NCDA center, and the Commission on Information communication Computer Center – UP Diliman.

The following are the list of the competition in the said event:

Waste re-use, Photography, Website creation, Poster design (this is where i compete), english word processing, english desktop, computer assembly, Autocad architecture, and flower arrangement.

       Erik Papas (in I Heart Tagaytay Shirt) one of our Gold Medalist with the Director of NCDA and his colleague

      Winners for Poster Design making, me in yellow shirt (Davao), center is Leomil (Cotabato), Darlito (Davao)

                                                          Computer skills Participants

It was really a memorable experience for it is my first time to travel with these fellow Physically challenged persons.

We’re 13 in different disabilities and we only had two caregivers but fortunately, we were able to surpass the challenges. People are looking at us everywhere, i know they are amazed of how we managed to travel in our wheelchairs and crutshes.

                 We had the chance also to go to Trinoma in quezon city during our last night in manila.

We went home with 9 medals: 4 Gold Medals, 3 Silver Medals, 2 Bronze Medals and some of these winning group will  represent Philippines in Seoul Korea in the coming year.

As we went home also, we had our courtesy call from Mayor Inday Sarah of Davao.