Last June 17, the DLSU College Government of Education (CGE), in partnership with the Down Syndrome Association of the Philippines, Inc. (DSAPI), conducted its annual promenade for children with special needs with the theme, “Enchanted: The Teenage Dream”. For this year, the event placed a spotlight among children with Down Syndrome. It was held at the fourth-floor multipurpose room of the Henry Sy Sr. Hall and was participated in by DLSU students and the children’s parents.
The main event
The flow of the program was modeled like any other promenade. Long tables were set out with seats that encouraged the children to face each other. Students were also partnered with the children. During the program, artists from the College of Education provided the entertainment while some children from DSAPI accompanied them in singing onstage.
After the meal, attendees had the chance to dance with whomever they wished. Awards were also handed out to the deserving children. The awards included ‘Most Photogenic’, ‘Best Couple’, ‘Best Dressed’, ‘Best Dancers’, ‘Mr. and Ms. Head Turner’, ‘Prom Prince and Princess’, and ‘Prom King and Queen’.
Objectives of the promenade
The promenade is an event annually spearheaded by the CGE for the past few years, and has always been administered for associations that cater to children with special needs. This is the second time that the children from DSAPI were invited. EDGE2015 Batch President and Event Organizer Alex Penales shares that the goal of the program is for students to recognize the significance of these children.
“We wanted to provide them an experience that will touch their hearts and make them feel loved,” she emphasizes. As this year’s Enchanted highlights the children’s teenage dream, she shares that their aim is to provide the “night of their dreams”.
Penales adds that more participants were encouraged to attend this year. “We are to make a change in service and utilize our own potentials to take a step in service,” she cites.
The CGE plans to continue conducting Enchanted annually. Penales, however, wishes that they will be given the opportunity to partner with more organizations so that they can administer more attendees and make the event bigger. “What we want everybody to remember [by the end of the event] is more than just having a prom and gathering as one, but rather [that] Enchanted is all about empowerment and contributing to society as Lasallians,” she concludes.
Down Syndrome is a type of mental retardation that is caused by the formation of an extra genetic material in chromosome 21. This additional material causes a different state of development as the child grows up. According to the World Health Organization, the estimated incidence of Down Syndrome is between one in 1,000 to one in 1,100 live births worldwide. Every year, around 3,000 to 5,000 children are born with the chromosome disorder.