My biography made for ANCA Newsworld.
“La parfaite valeur est de faire sans témoin ce qu’on serait capable de faire devant tout le monde”
[True valour is to do in secrecy what you could just have easily done before others.]
– La Rochefoucauld.
I’m Vell Baria, I am new here in ANCA community circle. I’m here to share my journey as a person with Autism-Aspergers from my struggles to riches to triumphant achievements. I’m the eldest of the 4 siblings and my parents are self employed. Dealing with autism is the most challenging of all. However, I stayed focus inspite of the judgements and misunderstandings in which Autistic people experienced.
Living with the spectrum, I don’t know what to do… until there is this moment that I am into a Christmas theater every December while studying in a special school as a kid it inspired me to pursue in theater acting however, there’s another talent that I have in which was singing. Singing popular songs in different types of forms-ballads to RnB to soul to novelty dance pop music prior to classical singing.
During my years in a special school at the Behavioral Management for Autistic Children (from 2001-2005), I have trained in such normal activities such as going to the grocery (in which was my favorite), preparing for meals and learning kinds of art like making a paper mache to collage. Apart from these, I was also trained in personality development from how to calm down after an episode of meltdown and to communicate out of the “Why-Because” situational photos.
Graduated both Grade school (2008) and High school (2012) in St. Mary’s Academy Sta. Ana-a Catholic school in the Philippines, I suffer such different forms of discriminations such as being backstubbed and ostracized because of having autism in which is uncommon to the school’s public eye although in the peak of my destiny in God’s provisions, I was able to surpass the standards of the school by being a graduate of that school.
Entering college is so far the most challenging part of every special needs person, especially to a PWA like me whose proof is more than a yes. I enrolled in St. Scholastica’s College of Manila where I took up Diploma in Music Performance Major in Voice where I am under the tutelage of Prof. Rica L. Nepomuceno. Being unknown to the college environment, I was able to adjust well with other of my batch mates even if I experience mild bullying from them. After my 3rd year college, I decided to put my studies into end because of too much demands from the guidance counselor for semestral assessments on my special cases in which is a bit crucial in our part due to a high cost of such Psychologist fee. Now being a non-regular student in St. Scho, I am now a Continuing Education in Music Performance student in waiting for having a recital currently continuing taking vocal lessons without any academics.
To hear my classical singing click here:
[Kundiman ng Luha (The song of tears) by Nicanor Abelardo]
[Una volta che in Bastiano – from Bastian e Bastianna by W.A. Mozart]
I am a seasoned chorister in two chuch choirs (Apostleship of Prayer Youth Choir and Union Church of Manila Chancel choir) and an academic choir (SSC Chamber Chorale) where I became a frequent soloist when in need.
[O Divine Redeemer (Charles Gounod)]
[The Holy City (Stephen Adams)]
Outside academics, I performed for concerts, seminars and fundraising concert mainly related to Autism awareness since 2001. I became more recognizable in 2009 where I was one of the performers for the “Echoes of Dreams” at the prestigious Araneta Coliseum. I am also a semi-regular performer for events organized by Autism Society of the Philippines since 2005 in which they supported me andother talents with autism as well. As a competitive singer, I’ve won top prizes three times – two straight wins in 2014 (Paligisining Ng Mga Batang May K and Kundiman Sa Makati) and a single win in 2015 (Search for Talentadong PWD sa Makati).
Speaking of Autism advoacy, I ventured myself to another field in pageantry. I joined Miss Possibilities 2015 where I am one of the pioneer candidates in which I’ve won Miss Congeniality for being friendly to my fellow contestants and staff alike. Even if I didn’t win the title, I was given much national recognition after my classical singing and being interviewed instantly by CNN Philippines. Hoping this will be my stepping stone to my self-advocacy career.
Hoping to be part of ANCA stage where I can share my talents, time and volunteerism to make every people with autism around the world more couragious with my optimism and positivity no matter how hard it is especially to win such respect, support and acceptance for us autisically-superstars in which was one of my goals this coming 2016. Being an ANCA member is twice the future leader and a strong willed person with autism because this will help built our lives to inspire more and give importance to our efforts in making a world a better place for us PWAs. Thanks ANCA for caring about us Autistic people with honor and will.
Please feel free to like my official facebook fan page as a sign of support where I mainly post videos of my singing.
Special Thanks: Leonora Gregory-Collura
To read more of the news from me an other ANCA members (especially delegates for this years's ANCA Autism Festival 2016) click here: http://www.naturallyautistic.com/anca-newsworld-2016/
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