To speak of the ROW, one has to start with the birth of “Bahay Mapagmahal”, a temporary abode for physically – challenged children and youth, an extension home project of the Philippine Society for Crippled Children, Inc. (PSCC, INC.), which is a private non – profit organization.

Bahay mapagmahal logo master

The Home is located at the Philippine Orthopedic Center Compound in Quezon City. The residents enjoy special education in the Elementary and High School Levels at the National Orthopedic Hospital School for Crippled Children within the compound. They come from different parts of the country. The majority of them suffers from polio-myelitis, amputation, pott’s disease and other physical disabilities.

The ROW started in February 08, 1978 as a dream of Sister Roos Catry, ICM, a Belgian Missionary, and Professor Antonio A. Tallada, a graduate and former UP Band Officer. It is a small orchestra with instruments like Bandurias, Octavinas, Laud, Guitars and Contra – Bass, as well as Drums for rhythm. The music serves as therapy, creative and spiritual formation for the children with disability outside their schooling in Elementary and High School levels. The ROW has performed for various occasions in Metro Manila as well as in Northern and Southern Philippines. They have also played in Europe and Japan.

On August 16, 1997, Prof. Antonio A. Tallada passed away and the group was left on their own for two years until Prof. Enrico P. de R. Toledo took over the baton on February 1999. The new repertoire of the ROW is now more on Filipino classical pieces. He manages to keep the bacon light shining and leads the ROW to continuing performances with much success.

Last 2005, Apolinario Mabini Awards Committee of the Philippine Foundation for the Rehabilitation of the Disabled (PFRD) has deemed fit to award the ROW as the 2005 APOLINARIO MABINI Award for the “DISABLED GROUP OF THE YEAR.” This distinction has surely done much to heighten the spirit and enthusiasm of these young handicapped performers whose efforts they feel rewarded and honored.

Since its inception, the ROW, as AMBASSADORS of GOODWILL from the Philippines, continues its mission of using music as therapy in the development of children with Abilities despite their Disabilities, as their motto goes: 

“IT IS ABILITY THAT COUNTS, NOT DISABILITY.”


This site is supported by Chang Kai Shek College High School Batch '88.


© Rondalla on Wheels 2012