The Celebration of Eunice Kennedy Shriver Day in the Philippines

Connecting people with intellectual disabilities through Special Olympics

Ms Eunice Kennedy Shriver was the founder of the Special Olympics movement which is known worldwide. She championed the rights of people with intellectual disabilities. Every 26th of September her memory is remembered thru a global celebration of Eunice Kennedy Shriver (EKS) Day.


Do the best you can, and then to hell with it!

— Eunice Kennedy Shriver

Why celebrate EKS Day?

Ms. Janet Froetscher, CEO of Special Olympics gave us a glimpse of how significant an annual global celebration of EKS Day really is:

  • It is a special event to celebrate the legacy of an exceptional and a remarkable woman leader who championed the cause for people with intellectual disabilities globally.
  • More than five decades ago, EKS had envisioned that sports could build confidence and skills especially so for people with intellectual disabilities since they abound with talents and skills that can be honed and developed.
  • Sports can connect people with intellectual disabilities among themselves and with others and therefore can integrate them into society.
  • Special Olympics was borne out of EKS' vision, inspiration, conviction, commitment and hardwork. The rest was history. She made it happen through sports, leadership education, health services, behavioral and policy changes through various formal and informal training.
  • Her legacy lives on everyday through each one of those who remember, honor and celebrate the spirit.

Thus, Ms. Froetscher urged everyone to honor such legacy by joining together in sports, in communities across nations by playing unified- people with and without intellectual disabilities playing on teams together.

Philippines Celebrates EKS Day via Friendship Walk

The SPECIAL OLYMPICS PHILIPPINES NCR SOUTH celebrated the 7TH GLOBAL EUNICE KENNEDY SHRIVER DAY on October 1, 2016 through a half-day long program of fun-filled activities. More than 500 people participated in the event which almost doubled the size of attendees from previous year. Everyone had a wonderful time.

ALPs athletes assisted in organizing the Eunice Kennedy Shriver (EKS) Day celebration hosted by Special Olympics Philippines NCR South Chapter. They helped in organizing the Unified Friendship Walk that was participated in by special athletes and their families, special guests, sponsors and coaches. Student volunteers from the Psychology Department of Adamson University likewise assisted in ensuring the success of the event.

This year's long list of generous sponsors includes: SM Southmall, Jollibee, Nestle Chuckie, Gardenia, Business Innovative Gateway(BIG ), San Miguel Corporation, COMFOODS, InterMed Marketing Phils, Manila Bulletin, Philippine Daily Inquirer, IQ Capture, The Library, Palanca Tours SM Supermarket, Burger King, Domino’s Pizza,KFC, Pancake House, SM Foodcourt, GoNuts Donuts,Chowking,Toho Antigua. Solma’s Canteen,Seafood Grill ,Kipp’s Chicken, SM Home, The SM Store,Kenny Rodger’s Roaster’s & Ted’s La Paz Batchoy , athlete’s families and Unified partners.

The day was highlighted by a unified (involving persons with disabilities and those without disabilities) activity capped by the following events Friendship Walk, Dance Wellness Exercise, photo booth, signing at the friendship wall and a talent portion to showcase the versatile talents of special athletes other than sports.


EKS Day Celebration in Photos - Philippines 2016

Warming up to zumba.
Warming up to zumba.
   Special Olympics Philippines Athlete leaders Alissandra Pascua and Barwin Igot  hosting the program together with Unified Partner Johnsep Abode.
Special Olympics Philippines Athlete leaders Alissandra Pascua and Barwin Igot hosting the program together with Unified Partner Johnsep Abode.
  SOP Athlete leaders  Allisandra of OLPM and Barwin of MIPSS together with Unified Partner Jonhsep of OLPM interviewing Rio Olympics Silver Medalist Ms. Hidilyn Diaz on her journey as an athlete and her message to the athletes.
SOP Athlete leaders Allisandra of OLPM and Barwin of MIPSS together with Unified Partner Jonhsep of OLPM interviewing Rio Olympics Silver Medalist Ms. Hidilyn Diaz on her journey as an athlete and her message to the athletes.
SOP Athlete Leaders Alissandra Pascua, Barwin Igot and Unified Partner Johnsep Abode with SOP Board of Directors and Healthy Athlete Director Dr Carmen Abesamis Dichoso & SOP NCR South President Cristy Canizares awarding the plaque to Ms. Diaz.
SOP Athlete Leaders Alissandra Pascua, Barwin Igot and Unified Partner Johnsep Abode with SOP Board of Directors and Healthy Athlete Director Dr Carmen Abesamis Dichoso & SOP NCR South President Cristy Canizares awarding the plaque to Ms. Diaz.
Athletes and volunteers at the EKS Unified  Friendship Walk.
Athletes and volunteers at the EKS Unified Friendship Walk.
Participants enjoying the Friendship Walk
Participants enjoying the Friendship Walk
 Beaming with joy as athletes wave their  #EKSDay flaglets
Beaming with joy as athletes wave their #EKSDay flaglets
 Friendship walk participants with their banner
Friendship walk participants with their banner
EKS Friendship Wall
EKS Friendship Wall
Athletes and guests writing message on the EKS Friendship Wall
Athletes and guests writing message on the EKS Friendship Wall
Enjoying the dance during the talent portion.
Enjoying the dance during the talent portion.
Singer Lance entertains and interacts with the crowd as Athlete leaders  Danielle  & Cyril joined in the singing
Singer Lance entertains and interacts with the crowd as Athlete leaders Danielle & Cyril joined in the singing
Cherifer Mascot and student volunteers leading the exercise
Cherifer Mascot and student volunteers leading the exercise
 Group photo  with guests and athletes, families, unified partners
Group photo with guests and athletes, families, unified partners
Thanks to ALPs Athlete Leaders ,Sponsors, Special Guests Ms. Hidilyn Diaz and NLEX Road Warriors  Mark Pangilinan & AJ Vitug and Singer Lance Raymundo  and to the  committee volunteers.
Thanks to ALPs Athlete Leaders ,Sponsors, Special Guests Ms. Hidilyn Diaz and NLEX Road Warriors Mark Pangilinan & AJ Vitug and Singer Lance Raymundo and to the committee volunteers.
Thanks to SM SouthMall thru Ms. Bambi Santayana who received the plaque and certificate from SOP NCR South President Ms. Cristy
Thanks to SM SouthMall thru Ms. Bambi Santayana who received the plaque and certificate from SOP NCR South President Ms. Cristy
 Recognition of female unified silver medalist and male unified  bronze medalist that represented SOP NCR South at the 1stSOP 5-aside football National Games in La Union.
Recognition of female unified silver medalist and male unified bronze medalist that represented SOP NCR South at the 1stSOP 5-aside football National Games in La Union.
Recognition: 2016 Athlete Leaders of the ALPs Input Council
Recognition: 2016 Athlete Leaders of the ALPs Input Council
 ALPs leaders Mark Inductivo, Ali  , Bardwin  and Unified Partner Johnsep of OLPM awarding the certificates and tokens to the guests
ALPs leaders Mark Inductivo, Ali , Bardwin and Unified Partner Johnsep of OLPM awarding the certificates and tokens to the guests
Unified partners leading the athletes
Unified partners leading the athletes
Group singing of "We are the World" from Our Lady of Pilar Montessori
Group singing of "We are the World" from Our Lady of Pilar Montessori

Photo credits: roldan r. roldan.

Knowledge expands and empowers.

Persons with intellectual disabilities are special and are integral part of our society. Ms. Cristy Canizares, a psychologist and the EKS Day celebration point person for the Philippines cannot overemphasize enough the importance of self-education on the matter. Being a certified bookworm that she is, Ms. Cristy encourages everyone who may be interested to know more about such conditions to source more info thru relevant books such as- Demystifying Syndromes II.

In your opinion, which part of the EKS program did the attendees enjoy the most?

  • The Friendship Walk
  • The finger printing portion
  • The zoomba dance
  • The special number by various schools
  • All of the above
See results without voting

How do you wish to participate in the next EKS celebration in your area?

EKS Day is remembered and celebrated all over the world. Yet. it goes beyond the one day celebration. It could be everyday and any day every time you choose to reach out out and give love. Persons with disabilities matter as they bring pure happiness to this world. And, hopefully, they matter to you. How do you wish to make your noble intention of spreading the EKS spirit become real and more tangible in your own unique way? Make suggestions and make them count in the comments field below.

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3 comments

soulfairy profile image

soulfairy 13 months ago from Paranaque City

Hi Lory!! Firstly, thank you so much for sharing and putting this all together .Your commitment to create this inspiring article on SOP NCR South’s celebration of EKS Day speaks volumes about your true nature and contribution to make a better world and better life for everyone.

One Person Can Make A Difference in Life! Our Actions Can Have A Huge Impact on People`s Lives! We are not defined by just our words, but most importantly our Actions. It’s action that makes the shift. With Mrs. Shriver pioneering spirit, she made a difference in the lives of the athletes, their families, volunteers .She was a mover and shaker. Athletes are lucky and blessed to have a platform such as Special Olympics to shine.

Thank-you, Mrs. Eunice Shriver for your life’s work, you have changed the lives of so many athletes and their families thru the power of sports. Your light will continue to shine in the athletes. Special Olympics athletes are ambassadors for peace and love.

Lastly, get involved, Volunteer and Be a fan of unity, inclusion,, acceptance, empowerment and let’s keep EKS Legacy alive . Come and pledge this anti-bullying movement to eliminate the use of the r-word! Let’s all shine together!!

Again,Lory, thank –you for making a difference and to the athletes who continue to inspire me …


LoryRich profile image

LoryRich 13 months ago Author

You are welcome soulfairy. Let the legacy of EKS go on and on.


soulfairy profile image

soulfairy 7 weeks ago from Paranaque City

Bless you for all that you share, Loryrich ! I enjoy your articles. You have a talented way of communicating with such love , it is truly a magical gift. God bless you abundantly always !

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