Japan Rewards Cash to Philippine Team

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The Japanese International Abilympics Organization, the group in charge of holding worldwide skills competition, recently gave cash grants amounting to ¥480,000 equally distributed to participants of the 7th International Skills Competition held at Shizuoka, Japan last November 2007.

In a simple ceremony and reunion that took place at TESDA Women\’s Center last October 9, the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA) led by its chairperson Ms. Rosie Lovely Romulo awarded the cash grant to the delegates in behalf of the Japanese organization. The awardees include MCCID team composed of Aldrin Gabriel (English Desktop Processing and Pottery competitor), Dianne Barcelona (English Text Processing Competitor) and Glenn Ortega (Web Page Design competitor).

Other participants who received the cash rewards are Amelito Regalado (Painting competitor), John Lester Belicano (Floral Arrangement competitor), Minerva Cuevas (Dressmaking competitor), Alnoe Paler (Photography competitor) and Cristina Ignacio (Embroidery competitor). Two competitors from Baguio City and Mindanao were not able to attend because of lack of funds to support their travel expenses in going to Manila. Among the group, only Minerva and the two absentees are non-deaf. All the competitors received Php17,900 each.

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Other official who graced the affair and gave their congratulatory messages are Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Region III Director Marta Hernandez and one of the pioneers in advancing the cause of PWD in skills training, TESDA Deputy Director-General Pastor Z. Guiao, NCDA Assistant Secretary and Abilympics Philippines Representative Nora C. Salazar and a representative of Gokongwei Brothers Foundation Director Philip Torres.

Aside from the participants, other members of Philippine team who congratulated the group include Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Region IV-A Director Honorita Bayudan (Dressmaking coach), Ms. Floree Bisco and Ruth Tacujan of NCDA (Pottery and Other Trade Coaches), Ms. Edna Paraiso of Philippine School for the Deaf (Floral and Embroidery Coach), Mr. Philip Torres (Photography Coach) and MCCID Training Director Jojo Esposa (Web Page, English Text and English Desktop processing coach). They also received certificates of recognition for coaching the competitors. Ma\’am Edna and Sir Jojo were the event\’s sign language interpreters.
Dir Guiao gives his inspirational speech.

The result of the competition were dismal based on previous competitions with only Aldrin Gabriel of English Desktop Processing managed to receive a 4th place standing. Philippine organizers and participants commented that the main causes of the poor showing of the Philippines were: (1) preparation was too short and (2) much needed support especially from TESDA, the government agency tasked to provide adequate training for the participants were not given. They hoped that these problems be ironed out in time for the 8th International Abilympics Skills Competition which will be held in 2011 in South Korea.

Alnoe Paler gave his response to the presenting of grant. He prepared a special Powerpoint presentation of the Japan activity. He said,

\”We showed the world that we Filipino Persons with Disabilities are talented, plays fair and have the spirit of sportsmanship. Yes I believe we brought pride to our country. Not winning any medal doesn\’t mean we weren\’t successful in what we were tasked to do. We brought home with us many memorable experiences, rich friendship, among us Filipinos and people from abroad. We earned the respect from other countries.

Ms. Cecille Olfindo of TESDA emceed the activity. The event was capped by free lunch and Reunion Chikahan. Ma\’am Nelia De Jesus, NCDA Technical Cooperation Chief was the overall coordinator. She is also the organizing official of the Abilympics Philippines and in charge of the whole staging of the activity from preparation to Japan up to the requesting and acceptance of cash grant. The whole Philippine delegation congratulated her and appreciated her efforts for a job well done. The event also coincided with her birthday so she treated all the competitors in a nearby fastfood chain after the activity.

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