Wonderful songs for autism

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014


IF YOU will search the Internet, there are hundreds of songs dedicated to persons with autism, but have you heard about one album entitled “Mga Awiting Alay sa Autismo”? The songs in the album are written by Ms. Gina Luna Bermudo, a mother and a Board of Trustee of the Autism Society Philippines. No, she is not a professional song writer and she claims she is not even a singer, but because she writes from the heart of a mother, the lyrics of her songs are definitely moving and inspiring for parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Popular titles of her songs include “Misteryo” and “Kaya Ko Rin”, so now you can just imagine the type of songs she writes that move parents, teachers and advocates to become more passionate about their love and support for persons with ASD.

One song she wrote is entitled “Isang Pangako” which is the theme song of the ASP’s campaign against the use of the word “autistic” in a derogatory manner. With Ms. Bermudo’s permission, I am sharing the lyrics of the song which is so much in tune with the theme of this year’s National Autism Consciousness Week: “Katuparan ng Karapatan ng Pilipinong may Autismo: Isulong mo, Ngayon Na!” The melody of the song is credited to Mr. Toto Sorioso while its music video was created by ASP Cavite Gerard Atienza. The song also has an English version.

“Isang Pangako”
Lyrics ni Gina Luna Bermudo

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Isang pangako ang bibitawan ko,
Hindi na ako magbibiro
gamit ang salitang "autismo".
Pangako, tutulong ako
Sa pagtuwid ng di wasto.
Kung dati'y walangkibo
Ngayon kikilos na ako.

Ngayon na! Ngayon na!
Ang bagong umpisa!
Paggalang at respeto
Sa kanila'y ipadama!

Isang pangako ang bibitawan ko
Hinding-hindi na ako magbibiro
Gamit ang salitang "autismo"
Nang huwag silang masaktan.

(Sipol) OoOOoo ...

Lahat tayo'y magtulungan
Mangako't manindigan.
Pagkutya ay tigilan.
Tulong-tulong ipaalam.

Ngayon na! Ngayon na!
Ang bagong umpisa!
Paggalang at respeto
Sa kanila'y ipadama!

Isang pangako ang bibitawan ko.

If only our children with ASD can fully understand the words of “Isang Pangako”, I am sure they will feel loved and respected in every way. If I were to think of a response that our children with ASD would like to sing and dedicate to all the parents, relatives, teachers and the community, I choose the song that made me teary-eyed when it was shared by a priest in church one Sunday. The song is entitled “I am a Child of God” and I believe that it contains the exact message for all of us:

“I am a Child of God”
Words: Naomi Ward Randall, 1908-2001
(c) 1957 IRI. Fourth verse (c) 1978 IRI

1. I am a child of God,
And He has sent me here,
Has given me an earthly home
With parents kind and dear.

2. I am a child of God,
And so my needs are great;
Help me to understand his words
Before it grows too late.

3. I am a child of God.
Rich blessings are in store;
If I but learn to do his will,
I'll live with him once more.

4. I am a child of God.
His promises are sure;
Celestial glory shall be mine
If I can but endure.

5.Chorus:
Lead me, guide me, walk beside me,
Help me find the way.
Teach me all that I must do
To live with him someday.

Music: Mildred Tanner Pettit, 1895-1977. (c) 1957 IRI.
Arr. by Darwin Wolford, b. 1936. Arr. (c) 1989 IRI

*****

Jane Ann S. Gonzales is a mother of a youth with autism. She is an advocate/core member of the Autism Society Philippines and Directress of the Independent Living Learning Centre (ILLC) Davao, a centre for teenagers and adults with special needs. For comments or questions, please email janeanngonzales@yahoo.com).

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 29, 2014.

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