More independent and non-government organizations advocating the welfare of persons with disabilities (PWD) joined this year’s benefit concert dubbed “Pamaskong Handog for PWDs” organized by the Philippine Foundation for the Rehabilitation of the Disabled (PFRD). This annual event is a project coordinated with SM Cares, which is SM Supermalls’ corporate social responsibility arm.
Held for the 3rd year in a row at the Samsung Hall of SM Aura, this year’s concert saw participation from more organizations that include Alyansa ng May Kapansanang Pinoy (Akap-Pinoy), Autism Society of the Philippines (ASP), Down Syndrome Association of the Philippines (DSAPI), ADHD Society of the Philippines, Physicians for Peace, Tahanang Walang Hagdanan, among others. The concert is held every year to coincide not only with the celebration of Christmas, but of the International Day of Persons With Disabilities recognized by the United Nations.
The 2016 Pamaskong Handog for PWDs gave holiday cheer through live performances by Jose Mari Chan, Jun Polistico, Jun “Mr. Shooli” Urbano, and the Rockin’ 60s Band.
“Most of the PWDs who saw the show come from the under-privileged sector of society. They do not regularly experience concerts like this, and this is an opportunity for them to feel the true meaning of sharing this Christmas – and on the International Day of PWDs at that,” said Manuel Agcaoili, president of PFRD.
Mr. Agcaoili also shared that there was a bigger audience this year because of the participation of more NGOs. PWD members came to enjoy the concert all the way from Cebu, Davao, Iloilo, Pangasinan and Bicol.
SM has been known to give full support to various PWD groups in the Philippines. Aside from its annual Christmas presentation for PWDs, the mall company has been hosting events such as the Freedom Walk with Akap-Pinoy, Angels Walk with ASP, and Happy Walk with DSAPI.