#AlagangAkay #AlagangSol Foundation Give Hope to PWDs from Quezon Province thru their Advocacy

The Quezon Convention Center in Lucena City, Province of Quezon had turned red as more or less 5,000 Quezonians in their red shirts troop to the venue for the #AlagangAKAY #AlagangSOL event, last Dec. 6, 2022. 

PWDs from all over Quezon Province with their families

It was a day filled with laughter, tears and hopes as AKAY Foundation together with Former Laguna Congresswoman Sol Aragones distributed a total of 500 wheelchairs and 500 Kabuhayan Packages to qualified PWD beneficiaries. Apart from an early Christmas gift-giving, the said gathering was also in line with the celebration of International Disability Day, an international observance promoted by the United Nations since 1992. 

The event was well-attended by the Local Government Unit of Lucena City headed by City Mayor Mark Alcala, represented by his Administrator Anacleto Alcala, Jr.; as well as the Governor herself, Honorable Dra. Helen Tan. 

Gov. Tan is a very close friend of Sol when they were still in the lower house. She believes that Sol has a heart for the PWDs that even if she is no longer in power, she still continues her advocacy to help them thru her foundation.

AKAY Ambassadors

Sean Lester Beltran

Sean was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma Stage 4 cancer when he was only 19. It was just last year, during the peak of his career as an artist for Star Image and a rising Tiktoker in the Philippines when he discovered his illness. He lost his left arm after the series of treatments and operation but he never lost his faith in God. He learned to fight the pain and the depression of that very unfortunate event in his life and he continues to entertain his fans thru dancing. He inspires PWDs like him to never stop fighting in life and to continue believing in God's plan for them. You may check out his Facebook and Tiktok accounts for more inspiring contents.

AKAY Ambassadors with Sol Aragones and Gov. Helen Tan

Chef Maricel Apatan

Maricel was born in Zamboanga, in 1989. She was 11 years old when she encountered a horrible experience that resulted in losing her hands. But that traumatic experience never stopped her determination to finish her studies and to reach her dream of becoming a Chef. People call her "The Amazing Chef" or "Chef with No Hands." She finished Hotel and Restaurant management in 2008. She pursued her love and passion for cooking until she became a Chef in a Five-star Hotel in Metro Manila. Chef Maricel always reminds her fellow PWDs to always value education and that disability is never a hindrance to pursue your dreams and follow what your heart desires.

Dwight Bayona 

Dwight lost his leg from an unfateful accident in 2009, when he tried to rescue another person. He was 24 - very young, energetic, hopeful - when the accident happened. Despite what has happened, Dwight continued living his life and doing what he loves as a multi-sport athlete. He wears a mechanical leg but he never feels different. He inspires other PWDs to go out of their comfort zones and he keep on telling them to never be afraid because now, there is a foundation that will uplift the quality of their life and will promote their dignity thru Alagang AKAY.

Sol Aragones Foundation

This initiative was made possible in partnership with Sol Aragones Foundation chaired by Sol Aragones, former news reporter of ABS-CBN, media personality and Laguna 3rd District Representative for 3 terms. 

Kabuhayan Package (Siomai and Samalamig) from Sol Aragones

"This is a very important day for the PWDs and their families who are now part of Alagang Akay Community. Together with Akay Foundation, we would like to make your dream of having a wheelchair and crutches come true to the best of our ability. We are here to inspire you to be happy because there is hope for the PWDs - aakayin namin sila," Aragones said in her speech.

Apart from the wheelchairs and kabuhayan packages for the PWDs and their families, Sol Aragones Foundation also raffled off kabuhayan packages as prizes to random attendees. Every participant also went home with a grocery bag filled with rice and other basic needs. 

The event was indeed a day filled with HOPE as the PWDs from Quezon Province somehow felt that there are people who are willing to stay by their side to be their strength as they go thru with life.

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