On November 13, 2018, Communication Arts alumna Erlinda Uy-Koe won the inaugural ASEAN prize for her advocacy for autism inclusion. The award was conferred upon Uy-Koe, who bested 49 others, during the opening ceremony of the 33rd ASEAN Summit and Related Summits in Singapore, by Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Long, witnessed by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and ASEAN leaders.
Fondly known as “Dang,” Uy-Koe was the first-ever three-term President of the Autism Society Philippines (ASP), of which she is now Chairman Emeritus. From the Philippines, she actively involved herself with ASEAN Autism Network. In an interview with the ASEAN Secretariat, Uy-Koe expressed her prayer that people with autism will not only be accepted, but appreciated for their contributions to society.
Uy-Koe graduated from the Faculty of Arts and Letters in 1977. In 2009, she received The Outstanding Thomasian ALumni (TOTAL) Award for Humanitarian Service.
The ASEAN Prize is a tribute to an individual or group’s achievements and contributions towards a “rules-based, people-oriented, people-centered ASEAN Community.”
Credits to ASEAN Secretariat YouTube Channel, GMA News, Rappler.com, and Pia Rañada