One World One Voice
It was advocacy par excellence.
The audience was swept away into a world of music, dance and poetry as members of SIMON Children’s Theater Arts Group regaled them with heart-warming productions aimed at generating disability awareness and promoting children’s rights.
Top billed by children and youth with and without disabilities, the two-hour show dubbed as “ONE WORLD. ONE VOICE” was staged at the Legazpi City Convention Center on December 8, 2017. Guest performers included band members of the Visually Impaired Voice in Albay (VIVA) and Sing-out Legazpi.
Disability took a backseat as the young ensemble conquered the stage. They exuded grace and confidence. The audience sat enthralled as different acts unfolded right before their eyes.
Dancers with hearing impairment were in perfect synchrony as they moved to the rhythm and beat of a symphony they never heard...Musically gifted children with visual impairment serenaded the crowd with their angelic voices...A child with autism played the beat box and turned percussionist to everyone’s delight!... Children with physical impairment kept in step with the rigorous dance routines.
Each performance struck a chord – from love of God, country and environment to the simple joys of being a child, upholding the rights of children and overcoming stigma and discrimination.
There was not a dry eye in sight as Angelo, 19, delivered his first ever spoken word poetry entitled “Mahal na Mahal Kita”. He poured his heart out as he chronicled his life as a young boy grappling with meromelia, a rare congenital condition characterized by partial absence of a limb or part of the limb. He shared the burden of having a disability and his struggles to overcome it. Through it all, he was sustained by God’s love and faithfulness.
Never did his hope and courage falter as he was buoyed by the support of family and friends who he loves…and who in no uncertain terms loved him.
The show celebrated the triumph of the human spirit – how the children continue to defy odds and limitations. It embraced the concepts of differences and equal opportunities. It advocated for the rights of children with and without disabilities. Ultimately, it laid the groundwork towards acceptance, understanding and eventual inclusion of persons with disabilities in the community.
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