City Mall Anabu: PWD-friendly Mall

I’ve recently visited City Mall Anabu and I have discovered that it must be one of the most PWD-friendly malls in Cavite or anywhere south of Manila.  Many of our Pinoys with Disabilities are prevented from going around, especially wheelchair users, because of the unavailability of proper wheelchair ramps and the failure of mall owners to eliminate small steps which prevents, even endangers, the wheelchair user from navigating throughout the mall without the need for an assistant. Even the most sophisticated malls are not without such hindrances.

From image borrowed from http://saansacavite.com

The National Building Code of the Philippines states that the walkways must have plants or railings that line a walkway that goes all the way to the end. The plants and the railings are necessary to guide white cane users (the blind or low vision) as to where the walkway ends and to indicate that they are traveling in a straight line. As for wheelchair users, the National Building Code is clear, the width of a walkway or the door to a lavatory designed for a PWD should be no less than 1.2 meters.

From image borrowed from http://saansacavite.com

Also the National Building Code imposes that a specially extra wide parking slot be dedicated for the use of the PWD. There should be one out of every 50 slots in every mall, office, hotel or residential building.

From image borrowed from http://saansacavite.com

I want to mention that the Manila Ocean Park has no parking slot for a PWD. Their management assumes that the PWD has a driver and would require PWDs to park in the farther parking lot rather than in the lot behind the main building where the hotel guests are parked. I hope they change this soon.

In searching for a mall, our team has come across the City Mall in Anabu, Cavite as what could be one of the best malls that is friendliest to the PWD. Our  team visited the place while I took the pictures but my phone went into reset because of what seemed like a virus attack, and I lost all the photos. Thank goodness for www.saansacavite.com and Chase Gorospe.

After a long search, City Mall in Anabu has proven to be the most PWD-friendly of them all. We are not declaring this just because we had an event or was sponsored. In fact, our team went here on our time and money as part of our research to inform you, our PWD readers where to go to best enjoy your shopping time. City Mall made it to the top of our list for the following reasons:

Parking

City Mall is one large, spread-out mall and parking is so conveniently located in and around the mall where large windows will allow you to easily see your vehicle and has PWD parking that allows easy access getting and out of your car or van. Even for the non-disabled, parking was very easy to find there was always an entrance near the mall.

Wheelchair-friendly

City Mall deserves an award as the most wheelchair-friendly mall our team has ever visited. From the car to the food court, the activity center and the grocery, there are no bumps and humps that will impede the ability of the wheelchair user from going around on his own without the assistance of a non-disabled. An added bonus was that City Mall has wide entrance and exit doors with shallow and smoothened curb ramps for easier access. At both the entrance of the mall and at the entrance of the Save More grocery, there are wheelchairs that a senior citizen or PWD can borrow during their visit.

From image borrowed from http://saansacavite.com

Clean restrooms

Of all the malls, City Mall has  the cleanest toilets! It was a wonderful surprise to see a community mall with a restroom so clean they can rival Rockwell’s Power Plant Mall. Even the one for the non-disabled, all stalls had tissue rolls and hooks for your bags, jackets and umbrellas, just don’t forget them on your way out. There are hand dryers, hand soaps and hand napkins, all the conveniences of the big premium commercial malls in Metro Manila. The toilet for the PWD has a very wide door, with handle bars in the right places and a properly placed wash basin within arm’s reach from the lavatory. Their restrooms are constantly cleaned and meticulously maintained.

There are not many stores yet but soon we have already seen notices of soon-to-open stores. Surely a PWD will not be bored at the City Mall in Anabu. Every day of the week there are enjoyable activities that people can join in. Choose the one you like most and visit as often as you like. It will feel like a second home for the PWD shopper.

PwdPhil.com on CNN Philippines

On the UN International Day of Persons With Disabilities, we were fortunate to have guested on the CNN Philippines show Serbisyo All Access. It is the public service show of CNN Philippines where they answer questions from the viewers. As a founder of the PWDPhil, I was more than eager to answer questions many of us are not aware about. The Pinoy with Disability is not a special Pinoy who wants to be treated differently. Like you and me, the PWD wants to be treated equally, fairly and to be included in all activities of nation-building.

From pwdphil

Serbisyo All Access gave me and Ruthesia Cuaresma (who we fondly call Mommy Ruth), the opportunity to help educate the people about how PWDs should be treated. As mentioned in a previous article, PWDs need not be treated like they are idiots, they are people like you and me that need to be treated no differently.

One of the questions asked was the statistics on the number of PWDs in the Philippines. The basic determinant of that number is usually the PWD ID. This ID card is considered to be a government-issued ID and is usually for life, unless the disability ceases to be, for some reason. It has been known to happen.

According to the Philippine National Statistics Office, 1.6% of the country’s ppopulation are PWDs. However, there is no breakdown of that number, meaning it cannot be determined what kind of disability ranks as the most number of afflicted people and there is also no record of multiple disabilities, as there are people who suffer from more than one disability. Neither does the number give information on persons whose disabilities were inborn and who acquired their disability from a disease or accident.

Hosts Amelyn Veloso and Gani Oro asked about the importance of having the right statistics on PWDs. This is crucial so the national government can properly and effectively plan and budget for the various programs that, by law, must include PWDs such as housing, medical care and education.

One of Mommy Ruth’s disappointments about the system is the attitude towards PWDs. And I agree. It is the general public’s attitude and treatment of PWDs that make it increasingly difficult for them to be included in all our activities. So much so that some families of PWDs deny the existence of a disability if it is something that doesn’t manifest in appearance, such as Lupus, ADHD and mental problems. Recognizing the problem is the first step to its solution.

Again thank you very much to CNN Philippines for having us today.

From pwdphil

US Embassy Manila sponsors sports clinic for Pinoys With Disabilities

Last Wednesday July 1, the US Embassy Manila sponsored a sports clinic for Pinoys With Disabilities. This event was an echo of a similar celebration for the US Americans with Disabilities Act. This event saw some of the PBA’s popular basketball guys from the Alaska Aces coaching and mentoring PWD athletes on how to shoot hoops. US Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg himself shot some hoops with the PWD athletes. Continue reading

Kcat Yarza joins PwdPhil.com

Kcat Yarza thanks Cignal for the gift certificate and the Royce chocolate!

Kcat Yarza thanks Cignal for the gift certificate and the Royce chocolate!

Writer and PWD rights advocate Kcat Yarza has decided to join PWDPhil as founding member and consultant. Kcat was not born with the disability, she has neurofibromatosis type 2. It is a condition where tumors grow in various parts of her nervous system leading to permanent deafness and paralysis of certain part of her body and facial muscles. While in the last semester of college, the tumors had spread so badly that she had to drop out of college and begin what would be the most painful and challenging crisis of her life.

However, through the years, Kcat decided to fight her condition and than be defeated by it. As her condition worsened, Kcat grew stronger and fought ever more fiercely. Learning from her example, we must never give in to self-pity, no matter how strong the urge may be. In her fight against her disabilities, she also had to fight the social stigma of her condition. Being born as a child with clear hearing and healthy limbs, Kcat’s resolve was tested to its maximum when slowly she could no longer hear and move around as usual.

The social stigma of a disability, especially when the disability comes when you are the peak of your youth is painful and debilitating in itself. There are many ways of coping with the stigma of a physical disability. One is avoidance of meeting new people. Because people who do not know of a disability tend to react rather awkwardly or even sometimes with apathy, still others with hate and ridicule, there are PWDs who would rather avoid meeting people entirely and stick with family and friends. Although the isolation protects PWDs from embarrassment and emotional hurt, it is also caps their experiences and precludes them from opportunities that could bolster their livelihood, personal growth or even receive treatments for their conditions. Another way of coping is for PWDs to barricade themselves with exclusively friends and family, as many PWDs have been known to do. However, this also precludes them from opportunities and personal growth advancement. The most recommended coping technique is for PWDs to make others comfortable with their disability. Such is Kcat Yarza. When this writer first met her, it was pleasant and light. No sob stories, no wallowing in pity, no tears about her condition. We were talking shop mostly on what she can do for the group and possible projects we can all do for the good of the PWDs in general. Kcat even made a joke (which I found so funny) about her disability. The conversation went like this:

Madge (her mom): Kcat lip reads very well so even if she can’t hear you she can still understand you.
Me: I know of a fellow writer who lip reads very well that’s why I never he is hearing-impaired until he told me.
Kcat: Magaling ba sya mag-lip read? Sabihin mo kontes kami kung sino mas magaling sa min. If he can lip-read me then magaling nga sya. (Kcat Yarza’s facial muscles are paralyzed and her lips don’t move when she speaks, only her teeth, jaw and tongue.)

I was surprised at her sense of humor. Yes, she has made me feel comfortable with her disability. She is an amazing woman indeed. Kcat Yarza blogs at www.kcatyarza.com

PWD Job Fair by Taguig City Government

In celebration of the National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week, the city government of Taguig held a PWD job fair, Pinoys with disabilities, at the City Hall grounds. Recruiters setup booths that offered job placements for PWD applicants as well as the non-PWD jobseekers. Recruiters will be there at the Taguig City Hall grounds from July 17 to 22, 2013.

pwd job fair taguig 2013

Speaking with one of the recruiters, Ms. Richelle Mesa informed this writer that most of the companies that have requested for new recruits give priority to PWDs. These companies are mostly in the manufacturing industry, such as toothpaste making, food packaging and corrugated box manufacturing.  90% of the PWDs hired tend to stay longer in employment that their non-PWD counterpart. Pinoys with disabilities who do get jobs tend to be more loyal to  their employer, assuming that these employers treat their employees well and in a professional manner. PWD job fairs may be few and far in between but it is worthwhile for a PWD job seeker to visit one.

pwd job fair taguig 2013

Mesa reiterated that in their experience, PWDs are better workers, spending less time on trivial pursuits and are more focused with the task at hand. They are not sickly nor any more prone to accidents as everybody else. PWD workers are efficient and have a high regard for their work. There are less impudence, sass and behavioral issues with PWDs as there are with non-PWD experienced applicants and sometimes with fresh graduates.

Here are the openings for PWDs and non-PWD job seekers:

  • therapist (massage)
  • nail technician
  • waiters
  • line cooks
  • managers and assistant managers
  • pastry chef
  • service crew
  • pit crew
  • cashier
  • receptionist
  • pantry staff

Mesa reiterated that PWDs who want to apply after the job fair may still do so by email or visiting their office. Lakshmi Staff Assistance Services is located at Unit 427, Building L, One Oasis Condominium, Ortigas Avenue Extension, Brgy Sta Lucia, Pasig City. Open from Monday to Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Landline: (02) 379-3324
Mobile:0915-4082340/ 0909-7564372
Email: lakshmirecruitment@yahoo.com.ph