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MRP Building, Mola Corner Pasong Tirad Streets, Brgy La Paz, Makati City

Girl in a jacket

It’s a Beautiful World

A green sanctuary was recreated in the middle of the BGC concrete jungle to feature artwork by artists with autism.   

Autism Speaks defines autism as having a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech, and nonverbal communication. 

While this condition is marked by a number of challenges, Arte Autismo Filipino chooses rather celebrate the strengths of its featured artists, allowing them to shine. The exhibit opened last June 3 at The Globe Tower, Basement 1, The Globe Art Gallery in BGC.

Opening Day Ribbon Cutting: L-R Rachel Harrison, Susan Afan, Keith Harrison, Nina Bantoto, Julyan Harrison, Vico Cham, Atty. Didi Javier, and Yoly Crisanto of Globe.
Underwater Party Mosaic (2017) and Tickle Me (2017) by Julyan Harrison
Professional photographers Ric Cortez, Dale Pagkalinawan, Rey Cardinal, and
Chris Lacson are also featured.

Rachel Harrison, an architect and social entrepreneur, is one of the staunchest advocates for persons with autism and disability. She owns Zambawood, a luxury resort in San Narciso, Zambales. And in order to provide an opportunity for employment to PWDs, Harrison put up  Julyan Coffee Spot in a more accessible location near the school and public market in the same city. Julyan Coffee Spot is a café that serves delicious meals and snacks, hot coffee, frappes, and lattes. Its namesake is Harrison’s son, who was diagnosed with autism at the tender age of 2. Julyan is now 26 and his artworks are also on display at the exhibit. The works of Nina Bantoto, Vico Cham, Chico Joaquin, Samantha Kaspar, and Daniel Sanchez are also featured at the event. 

L-R: Julyan Harrison with mom Rachel Harrison

The exhibit is an auspicious moment for Harrison, who also plans to have multiple locations of Julyan Coffee Spot in order to provide a source of livelihood for PWDs. They’re already opening three branches in Metro Manila branches this year:  8/F The Globe Tower BGC (June), Palma Street in Poblacion, Makati (July), and Maysilo Circle, Mandaluyong City (later this year). The baristas are trained by Aida Sotto and Joahana Pimentel from Rotary Mandaluyong Uptown and San Juan Central.

ulyan Coffee Spot proud to employ PWD Baristas during the exhibit at The Globe Art Gallery.

It may be an ambitious plan, but it is something that Harrison believes is possible. She abides by these words:

“Choose Love. Choose Kindness. Choose Fun and Purpose.”

When everyone is working for what’s right and what’s good, the wonderful energy keeps flowing,” she says, a fierce believer in giving equal opportunity for everyone, including those with disabilities, to pursue livelihood. “We are absolutely delighted to find allies in our cause, which immensely helps raise awareness,” she adds.

One of these allies is Globe, the country’s number 1 telecommunications company. “Children with autism are indeed special. Look at all the artwork on display! This goes to show that love and support goes a long way in dealing with the disorder. Julyan and all the artists here are living examples of life’s beauty. We’re proud to host their work here at the Globe art gallery,” says Yoly Crisanto, Head of Corporate Communications and Chief Sustainability Officer of Globe. 

L-R: Cloyd Masaudling of Globe, Yoly Crisanto of Globe, Keith Harrison, Julyan Harrison and Rachel Harrison.

The Arte Autismo Filipino Art & Photo Exhibit’s major sponsors are Globe, Estate Wine, Fuji Film and supported by OLOF Plant-Based food, Bravo!, Wrapsha and L’Entrecote.  It will run until June 26. 

 Julyan Coffee Spot is currently located in 8 Foton Street, Baranggay San Pascual, San Narciso, Zambales. Like and follow their Facebook Page @julyancoffeespot. For inquiries, contact 0917 705 4740. For more information, visit https://julyans-coffee-spot-by-zambawood-cafe.business.site


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