Saturday, June 04, 2016

Answered Prayer: Free SPED in Makati SPED Center

Gods from all universes must have had a terrible Thursday with all of you making escalations on our behalf. Because --- In 2014, we submitted TLO's enrollment requirements to the Makati SPED Center. They called yesterday. After two years, our little girl is no longer wait listed. She is going to school for zero pesos.

What will happen to the donations we received? Therapy sessions. :)


Heneral Pio Del Pillar Elementary School - Makati Special Education Center was a project of the Makati local government. In 2010, the center was turned over to the Department of Education-Makati. The center accepts special needs children at zero cost for the parents. Based on a news article from 2010, these are the center's facilities and service offerings:

  • "five-storey building with a jacuzzi and therapy room located at the ground floor and 10 classrooms, which include a computer room, multi-purpose hall, clinic and canteen"
  • "Salvacion Calabucal, officer-in-charge of SPED Center, said currently, the Center has 112 enrollees who belong to seven disability groups, which include children with autism, mental retardation (MR), Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD), hearing impaired and visually impaired."
  • "The therapy sessions and classes for children with behavioral problems are being handled by an experienced therapist who applies behavior analysis."
  • "Therapy sessions aim to decrease and, if possible, eliminate undesirable behavior for a special child to become more socially acceptable."

I can understand why we were on a wait list for TWO years. SPED is never affordable in the Philippines. In 2014, TLO went to a big private SPED school in Makati. Her tuition fee for one year was P140,000. After this, she also attended a small SPED school (still in Makati) and monthly fee was P14,000. Aside from funds constraints, we did not see any progress in TLO when she attended these schools so we discontinued her SPED in these private schools. Definitely not worth the expensive tuition fees. Earlier this week, I called another big school in Makati to inquire about their SPED program. I was told that max. annual feel is P150,000. Hence the fundraising campaign.

I was extremely thankful and overwhelmed after I talked to Teacher Lou of Makati SPED Center. Only 17 slots were available for TLO's condition and we got accepted! Our little girl is lucky SPED student #17. On the phone and when I dropped by to submit an updated assessment document, I cried buckets of happy tears. With no tuition fee to worry about, we can allocate all our TLO funds (and your donations) to transportation and therapy expenses.

If you are a Makati resident and someone in your family needs SPED, please reach out to the public SPED centers below. Your eligibility depends on your address so please call/visit first to check if you are qualified for enrollment, be patient (keep the "willing to wait" attitude) and continue to pray for continuous reasonable funding for public schools, teachers and therapists. 

Gen. Pio del Pilar Elementary School (SPED Center)
Address: Santuico St., Brgy. Pio Del Pilar, Makati
Phone Number: (02) 659 8963

Nemesio I. Yabut Elementary School
Address: Escuela Street, Guadalupe Nuevo, Makati City
Phone Number: (02)882 2058

For more public and private SPED school options, please click here.

Friday, June 03, 2016

TLO's Special Adventure Fundraising

With humility and in faith, hope, and love, I launched a fundraising initiative for TLO last Thursday. Within 24 hours, angels came down from heaven, giving us words of encouragement, moral support, prayers and financial assistance. My faith in the power of kindness was renewed.

The thought of depending on others for anything big or small makes me cringe. I work hard. That was the recurring theme of my younger years: work towards greatness in anything and everything, by myself. This changed in my late 20s. I started seeing the value of having life partners and companions. I trained myself to be interested in people. I taught myself to say "help" and share my joys, fears, pains and dreams with others. I built and nurtured loving relationships with friends, coworkers and family. I looked for mentors.

TLO's fundraising is a cry for help. It is a mother's cry for help. It is my exhaustion from having my hands tied with variables that I cannot control. It is my love for my other child who deserves no less than what we have given his Ate. It is an attempt to thrive in the present, to be whole despite being broken by uncertainties and that cruel thing called "the future."

A number of friends, after seeing my solicitation post, commended my courage. I still don't get that despite the comforting explanations offered. Maybe I will understand what they mean when I am older. Right now, I just know that we will not be able to provide for our children's needs on our own.

We have received this much (in PhP) from the time that I asked for help. This will cover two months of therapy sessions (for transparency, I will be posting copies of receipts when we pay for these sessions). Sincerest thanks to all of you. May your days be filled with with random acts of kindness from strangers and everyone you hold dear.

*First two lines came from a writing gig that The Hubby and I did back in January 2015. Hurray for untouched Paypal payments


Please continue to help us send TLO to Occupational and Speech Therapy sessions. 

You also may send your love through: 

BPI Express Savings
Account# 1739164997
Account Name: Maria Rominda R Baniqued

Thursday, June 02, 2016

Our Daughter's Future On A Scale (Fundraising for TLO's Special Adventure)

Memories from Friday, May 27 2PM, will be deeply engraved in our hearts and souls. On this date, TLO (The Little One)'s Developmental Pediatrician, with so much hesitation and care, finally called IT. TLO's assessment confirmed that she has, what we have feared for the past seven years: a Cognitive Disability. In the olden days, the clinical term for this condition was Mental Retardation.
Mental retardation is a developmental disability that first appears in children under the age of 18. It is defined as an intellectual functioning level (as measured by standard tests for intelligence quotient) that is well below average and significant limitations in daily living skills (adaptive functioning).
~Medical Dictionary
It took days before I was able to deliver this shocking (although somewhat expected) news to my husband and a few dear friends. I did not have the courage to tell my parents and sisters... they will find out when I post this in Facebook in a while. So here is photo of our little girl's assessment results. The numbers in parentheses represent her "age level" in the different developmental domains. It breaks my heart to say that this is my daughter's future on a scale.

TLO's doctor is still optimistic despite it all. She said that the severity of TLO's condition will need to be assessed in time but NOT for another year. Sometimes, psychologists are too quick to declare "profound intellectual disability" and she said that it looks like "something" is starting in TLO... something that may be worth the wait. Honestly, I don't even know what we are waiting for. I just want TLO to have a happier and comfortable life despite her unique needs.

That being said, we want to take the doctor's recommendations seriously. TLO needs to go to SPED school while going through occupational and speech therapy sessions. With years of juggling funds for TLO's developmental interventions, we have a  rough estimate on overall expense for her education and development for one year. P350,000.00

We don't have that money right now. We can work a hundred times harder than we already do but we will not be able to raise this much in the next 18 months. We won't make it to the end of the month even if we sell our internal organs.The government does not exist in the lives of Filipino parents with special needs kids. So really, we can only count on the kindness of friends, family and strangers.

I don't know how to do solicitations so please forgive the wobbly appeal. If you have extra funds to spare, please donate to TLO's Special Adventure Fund. The link accepts donations by credit card but if you don't have a credit card, you may also send your love through my BPI account (see account details on the right tab).

Our dream is to be able to say that your donations will ensure that TLO will be able to speak or sprint her way towards supposedly "age-appropriate" milestones. But we cannot promise anything. We can only hope against hope that a year will do wonders for our little one. More than monetary assistance, your prayers and well wishes are important. Please see us through this special adventure, wherever you are and in any way that you can.

When our financial capacity improves, we commit to return the favor through Operation Smile Philippines* and/or Autism Society Philippines.

*TLO was born with a cleft palate. She went through two cleft repair surgeries at 6 and 9 months old.

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

The Rings

Mahilig ako sa mga eksenadorang singsing. As in. Kaya lang, hindi ako bumibili. Minsan kasi, walang lukso ng dugo sa mga designs kaya ayoko. O kaya, may lukso nga ng dugo kaso mahal. Kaya kagabi, nung tawagin ako ni AC sa office niya para maging recipient ng kanyang maagang Pamaskong Handog Program, halos maglulundag ako sa tuwa nung nakita ko ang mga ito. At... akin na raw L A H A T! Salamat (sabay pahid ng isang patak ng luha mula sa kanang mata).

Therefore, pagbigyan niyo na ang naganap na photo op with the rings. Ang saya saya!

Arte arteng caption: If you love me, you will feel, smell and taste every word I say...

 Arte arteng caption (continued): Even when my rings are too loud.

Ganda no? Ang gustong mag-regalo pa sa akin ay hindi ko pipigilan. :)

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Artificial Incrimation

Artificial light
Crawling over artificial homes
With artificial stairs
No one looks for the moon

Monday, May 30, 2016

Tatlong Bibe Virus

Wala kaming mapanood sa TV sa bahay namin (walang cable, walang antenna, wala, wala, wala) kaya akala ko, bunga ng pasukan sa pre-school ang pagkalat ng "Tatlong Bibe" videos. Mali pala, galing pala ito sa isang eksena sa "Be My Bibe" ay mali, "Be My Lady" sa Channel 2.

Wala akong panahon para mag-review kung tungkol saan ba ang teleserye. Siguro magandang babae sa di kapani-paniwalang kalagayan sa buhay na may something sa isang magandang lalake sa equally unbelievable situation in life yan. Hindi ako nagrereklamo, bet ko yang mga di kapani-paniwala. Pero, may panahon ako para hanapin ang mahusay na Becky na hunyango ang boses. Gusto ko siyang maging kaibigan.

Tatlong Bibe by Vina Morales

Tatlong Bibe by Regine Velasquez

Tatlong Bibe by JAYA 

Pero ito ang pasabog. Bago mo ito maintindihan, pakinggan mo muna ang Justify My Love and/or S.E.X. Ngayon, presenting...

Tatlong Bibe by Madonna

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Anger Management

A not-so-distant memory.

If you're pissed off and you know it, ORGANIZE! ORGANIZE!
If you're pissed off and you know it, ORGANIZE! ORGANIZE!
If you're pissed off and you know it and you feel like punching people
If you're pissed off and you know it, ORGANIZE!
MTRCB Voice Over: Fucking organize your fucking lives so you're not fucking causing a fucking disorder in fucking mine.

Oh... thanks for the candies, Ati E! I didn't know they wrapped Kisses in different colors. Cute!!!