Monday, August 27, 2007

The SPED Center in Kalibo, Aklan


Comes September marks the 107th Anniversary of the Civil Service Commission. One of the highlights in the affair is the awarding ceremony for exemplary accomplishment of individuals and groups for the innovations or advocacies they introduced in the service, which touches the lives of many. The Commission chooses officials to go out in the field to verify and evaluate the accomplishments of these individuals or groups. We are not allowed to choose our place of assignment, but were informed only three (3) days prior to our departure. The Honor Awards Program is under the Public Assistance and Information Office of the Commission headed by Dir. IV Maria Luisa Salonga-Agamata, with Jacinto Mateo as the focal person.


Director Evelyn Ejar of the CSC Field Office helped me conduct the investigaiton while Governor Carlito S. Marquez lend us his vehicle for our mobility. What a gesture by Gov. Marquez. It was also providential that I was assigned in Kalibo, Aklan as I shall have time to visit my Aunt, Tiya'y Elpha, after work. Many of us lived with them in Quezon City while we were still studying. Tiya’y Elpha and her husband, Tiyo’y Poling, a lawyer who was then the Personnel Manager of the GSIS, has long retired from the service. They now live in Libacao, Aklan. It is them and my mother that inspires me to indulge on other projects for others to benefit out of my talent. I was just a medium tapped by God to continue their deeds. For it is from them that I learned the true meaning of giving.


The Special Education Center of Kalibo Elementary School II was established in 1997 by a teacher, who after graduating his first training in special education for the visually impaired leading to a degree of Masters of Arts in Special Education was tasked to establish a Special Education Class for the visually impaired pupils. The enrollment started with only about five pupils. With the meager budget allocated by the government for the program, the teacher took the initiative to solicit funds from donors through the Kapisanan ng Mga may Kapansanan sa Pilipinas Region VI Chapter. In coordination with the local government of Aklan and Mayor Raymar A. Rebaldo, the incumbent Mayor of Kalibo for three term and the President of Aklan Mayors League, the Federation of the Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Aklan constructed a two-room building for SPED pupils. The Resources for the Blind Inc. donated a brailler, textbooks and materials for the visually impaired pupils. Today, Kalibo Elementary School II SPED Center has a total of 156 Braille reading materials and 24 volumes of Braille textbooks from grades 1-2. 10 Students are now able to read and write in Braille.

Kalibo Elementary School SPED Center has now an enrollment of 48 students with five teachers teaching 10 visually impaired and 38 (hearing impaired) pupils from grades 1 to 6. Seven students already graduated in elementary and now enrolled in secondary level. The Center now also caters to 57 mentally retarded pupils and 18 learning disabled children not only in Aklan, but from nearby provinces as well.

The Center continues to spread its advocacies by venturing into Community Outreach Program and now explores to embark into livelihood projects for the disabled to contribute to the economy of our country. The Center depends practically from donations and sponsorships for its activities, which now spreads to its neighboring provinces. Your donations to support Kalibo Elementary School II SPED Center's programs and projects are welcome. You may contact the Regional Office of the Kapisanan ng may Mga Kapansanan sa Pilipinas in Kalibo, Aklan or the SPED Center c/o JOHANN CAWALING, Head, Kalibo Elementary School II SPED Center, Kalibo, Aklan. email address: "Johann Cawaling" at


There are other deserving individuals and groups from among the candidates whose accomplishment equal or even surpasses the Kalibo Elementary School SPED Center. I'm sure that most if not all of them does not even expect to be recognized like what Tiya’y Elpha or my mother has done. God, however, has His own way of letting things happen. It was not planned. It was providential. Let us not wait for people to realize how we appreciate the good deeds they have done before it might be late for them to know that we appreciated the things they have done.

The Kalibo Elementary School II SPED Center in You Tube. An AVP production inspired by Elpha Rodrigazo Arrieta and Zenaida Rodrigazo Luga: