This whole pandemic has made it more difficult for Filipinos to survive their everyday lives. Many jobs were lost, many lost their livelihoods. But how hard has it been for our fellow Filipinos who have already been experiencing difficulties because of their disabilities? So Iba ‘Yan gave us a glimpse of their plight in its episode last Sunday, October 18, through host Angel Locsin’s immersion with them.
One of them is Willy Ogaro, a PWD street vendor for 12 years already. During his first and last medical checkup, he was told that he was diagnosed to have a spinal cord injury. He assumes that he lost his capacity to use his lower limbs because he would always take a bath after playing basketball before. He didn’t get to undergo surgery because they didn’t have enough money for that. Now, Willy continues to work despite his disability and the presence of the pandemic in order to provide for him and for his father.
Ramon Apilado, the administrative manager of Tahanang Walang Hagdanan, shared that their organization aims to help the PWDs how to be productive and independent without needing assistance from other people, as well as to fulfill their vision of making them feel empowered in spite of their situation. Their rehabilitation program for the disabled includes providing jobs for them under these divisions: metalcraft (manufacturing of mobility aids like wheelchairs and walkers), woodcraft (creating various kinds of educational toys), tertiary medicine packaging (repacking medicines for their clients), and sewing (making eco bags, sling bags, backpacks, and coin purses).
Aside from working in the organization, Ramon is also a para-athlete who’s into boccia, a sport similar to bowling. When he was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, Ramon’s life was filled with negativities. But he found a second chance to be happy and fulfilled in life again with the help of Tahanang Walang Hagdanan. Iba ‘Yan gave him health cards so he can have medical checkups whenever he needs to, a 1-year personal accident cover from FPG Insurance, and maintenance medicines.
Another inspiring person with disability is Ericka Mae Joy Villaflores, a SPED (Special Education) teacher. She recounted that her walking disability began when she felt pain on her right ankle, which was later on discovered as Pott’s Disease. Her life instantly turned dull when got diagnosed with the disease, but she found a new home in Tahanang Walang Hagdanan, where she also serves as the Packaging Department Supervisor and a teacher for her fellow PWDs. Thus, Angel told her the good news that she will be given free medical checkups and 30,000 pesos worth of beauty products which she can sell online. Besides, she also received health cards and personal accident cover from FPG insurance.
One of the hardworking people in the metalcraft division of Tahanang Walang Hagdanan is Joeldhard Padilla. His situation is the same with Willy as he also has spinal cord injury due to an accident he got involved in many years ago. Even though he’s away from his family, he continues to work hard and sacrifice for them. Iba ‘Yan gave him financial assistance, cellphone and pocket WIFI, health cards, and personal accident cover from FPG insurance. Angel asked Joel to make a wheelchair for Willy, to which he didn’t think twice and immediately did it.
The Iba ‘Yan team also gave the whole Tahanang Walang Hagdanan 210 relief packs and hygiene kits, five sets of automatic hand sanitizers, a 3-faucet customized hand washing facility from Manila Water Foundation, and new tires for the organization’s delivery truck.
At the end of the episode, the new wheelchair specially made by Joel was also given to Willy. He also received relief packs for him and his father, additional goods that he can sell, health cards and personal accident cover from FPG insurance, and a brand-new e-bike for him.
Click on this video to listen to the heartwarming and inspiring conversations of Angel Locsin with our PWD Kapamilyas in the latest episode of Iba ‘Yan.