About Me

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I am a special educator who has recently relocated to Manila. One of my goals for this year is learn more about early childhood education and special education in the Philippines. I have been visiting schools and therapy centers (among others) and providing info here about them. I do not aim to endorse these different centers/schools, but my intention is to provide information in case some people are interested in learning more about them.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Independent Living Learning Centre (ILLC)

      I got to visit Independent Living Learning Centre (ILLC) last week. It is very close to Explorations and right in front of the entrance to Wack Wack Country Club.

     ILLC was established by Professor Archie David (who is also the Executive Director) as a center that caters to the needs of children, adolescents and young adults with special needs. They have SPED tutorials, Early intervention services, peer group, transition, and work training/placement program.  Although they do have young children who come for OT, PT and speech, the center has more older students. This is probably because they have programs that really encourage young adults and adolescents to be more productive and to learn more functional skills. 
   They have a laundromat and a cafe (which becomes an all you can eat buffet called Abelardo's on Friday nights from 6 - 9 pm) where the students work, as part of their program.  They are compensated for their work and regularly receive a paycheck :).

   ILLC also has programs in Cebu and Davao.  

One of the classrooms.
 Students learning how to fold laundry.
This terrace becomes a stage during special occasions.

Abelardo's - eat all you can on Fridays from 6 - 9 pm for P120!

Resource Center for all their materials
 Another classroom.

Kitchen/dining area.

 Lots of space to run around :).

Teacher Archie also has an outreach in Mandaluyong for families of kids with special needs.  If I am not mistaken, families who cannot pay for services receive therapy for free once a week. This was established in collaboration with the local government of Mandaluyong. Read more about it below:

If you would like to find out more about ILLC,
 please contact Teacher Archie David below:

The Laren School

Two weeks ago I got to visit The Laren School in Makati with one of the owners of my school, Beni Ancheta-Veloso.  The purpose of the visit was to see if it would be appropriate to refer some of our students with special needs to the school after leaving Explorations.  

We were promptly and warmly welcomed by Amanda Lim, Head of School for Laren and allowed to observe the elementary program as well as the CASA (preschool) class.

I could not take pictures since classes were ongoing, but here are pictures from their Facebook page :):

The CASA classroom

The entrance from the street.  On the white shelf are materials and beside the shelf is a standing rack for the dressing frames.

dramatic play area and toys

There are a lot of small tables to facilitate individual or small group activity among the children.

Independence is very much emphasized, both in learning and in self help and activities of daily living.

Montessori bells below.

Montessori bead materials

 Banker game materials on the rugs. On the other side of the fence is the high school classroom. 

Restrooms are easy to get to for the children.

Elementary classroom 

The arrangement of some of the furniture are a bit different when I visited, but the areas are probably the same. 

teacher's table

Computer and individual work table

Again, as in the preschool classroom, there are different tables in the different areas that facilitate individual and small group work.

Since they don't have their own yard, their students go to the San Lorenzo Village park during the week.  

While we were talking to Amanda Lim, she also told us about a program they have for the HS students where they get to stay on a coffee farm in Baguio for two weeks. While there they apply concepts they are learning in school and work on the farm at the same time :). 
Sure sounds like fun!

For more information, feel free to contact them using the information below.

Thanks again Ms. Lim and thanks to the teachers at Laren for letting us visit :).

Contact Information

Unit 313, 3rd Floor, La Fuerza Plaza I
2241 Don Chino Roces Avenue
1231 Makati City



(02) 893-7046

Friday, February 24, 2012

A Child's D.R.E.A.M. Foundation, Inc.

I went to a talk by Dr. Francis Xavier Dimalanta on "Picky Eaters" today at Sanctuario de San Antonio in Forbes.  I was there early and ended up talking at length with the speaker himself 
(there are advantages to being an early bird after all :P).

In the course of our conversation, I learned about a pediatric therapy center he had put up in Baguio "A Child's Dream (Developmental Rehabilitative Early Assessment and Management) Foundation, Inc.".  They offer PT, OT and speech therapy as well as special education services.

If you would like to learn more about them, do check out their website:

Contact Info is as follows:

Pines City Lion's Club, Governor Pack Road, Baguio City
Tel. No: (074) 446-6121
Mobile: (0917) 811-9032/ (0916) -587-8674
Open Mondays to Saturdays
8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Monday, February 20, 2012

Some inspiring evening: Reception launch for A Special Place - the Philippines first residential community for adults with autism

I was invited by my mom's friends to go to the launch of A Special Place at the Filipinas Heritage Library in Makati.  A Special Place aims to build the first residential community in the Philippines for adults with autism in Batangas.

Some of the investors/ contributors towards building A Special Place.

Karen Davila came to talk about her experience as a parent with a child on the spectrum.  Even if I am not a parent, I was moved by her words and concerns that she voiced for her child (who is actually an adolescent now, I think). 

Cathy Cham, mother to two very talented young men.

Tweetie de Leon showed her support too.

Lirio Covey, who started this project and is the president of AAAP, talks about her own journey from living in New York and finding that her heart is really here in the Philippines.  She also talked about her own son who lives in a residential community.  Dr. Covey introduced A Special Place to the group.

Patricia Licuanan and Vicky Garchitorena came, although I wasn't able to take a picture of them.  Gloria Diaz was there as well.

A bird's eye view of the community.

List of activities, both recreational and income-producing.

Carlos Cham talks about his design for A Special Place.  He made this design as a 'dream' home for his brother Vico and as part of his thesis (which he defended recently).  He never thought that it could become a reality :).

Macky played the music for the reception as well as the "Lupang Hinirang" at the beginning of the event.

Vico created some art work on the computer during the break.

He also had some artwork on display for the silent art auction.

Here is a link to a video of Vico Cham in action :).

The place where the event was held was the old airport /tower.  Maybe I will try to translate this one of these days.  It shall take a lot of effort.  Maybe an english translation is available...anyone? 

Some inspiring evening :).  Galing ng pinoy!

For more information: