Last Sunday, we attended the Happy Walk event held at the SMX Convention Center. It was our first time to attend the event so I didn’t exactly know what to expect. Last year, I wanted to join, but given the logistics that Z and I had that time, we weren’t able to attend.
Happy Walk is an event of Down Syndrome Association of the Philippines, Inc (DSAPI) in partnership with SM Cares, the corporate social responsibility arm of SM Prime Holdings, Inc (SMPHI). This is to raise awareness and promote inclusion for people with Down syndrome. This is held every February, during the Down Syndrome Consciousness Month.
We woke up early to prepare since registration starts at 7am. We got there at around 9am. Good thing there was no heavy traffic that morning.
I was surprised to see the huge crowd inside the hall. It was not so easy finding people I know. Also, I’ve seen families wearing team shirts in support of their family member with Ds.
Z was overwhelmed with the crowd and he didn’t want to be put down. I had to carry him most of the time we were there. He also didn’t warm up to the people who said hi to him, much less play with the other kids in one corner. I, myself, was overwhelmed, too. I didn’t expect that big of a crowd.
It was actually a fun event. I witnessed kids doing a whole lot more than what was “expected” of them. I’ve seen a lot of kids jumping and running around, playing and socializing like typical kids do, dancing and performing on stage without hesitation. They were just enjoying the moment. And I realized, there is so much potential in our kids with Ds only if we let them bloom.
There is still a lot of work to be done to bring awareness about Down syndrome. But the fact that there is a community out there that is getting bigger by the day, I know one day, our kids will be treated no differently than the next person.
We were not able to stay until the end of the event. At around lunch time, we had lunch at the mall then dropped by the supermarket to pick up a few things before heading home.
We will definitely prepare for next year’s event. I was not able to take a lot of photos because my phone was busted (and I still don’t have a camera). But for sure, I will take a lot of photos next year. Hopefully, our family and friends would be able to join us by then. 😁