[Reposting a Report from the website of the Department of Foreign Affairs]
13 November 2013 – The Philippine Embassy in Ankara led by Charge d’ Affaires, a.i. Leilani S. Feliciano participated and lent moral support to the holding of the Second Universal Kids Film Festival (2nd Evrensel Cocuk Film Festivali, UKFF) in Istanbul during its Opening Gala on November 01 at the Tuzla Cultural Center on the Asian side of Istanbul, and during the Philippine Gala on November 03 at the Church of the Holy Spirit Function Hall in Harbiye on the European side of Istanbul, respectively.
The Festival is an international annual non-competitive film event. It provides children the opportunity to understand different cultures from around the world and enhance international communication and cooperation for children’s films as well as promote worldwide development of children’s cinema. This is done by screenings of a selection of feature length and short films, such as the UNICEF Top 10 Cartoons on Children’s Rights, the winning films from the Plural Plus Contest of the United Nations Alliance on Civilizations (UNAoC) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), selected children’s films from Norway, Australia, Iran, the Netherlands, Japan, Azerbaijan, and Turkey, and a special section on films for Children with Special Needs from the Philippines.
The festival’s main feature is “Mi Ultimo Adios” from the Philippines, a short-film and the first-ever interpretation in Filipino Sign Language with English subtitles, of Dr. Jose Rizal’s last poem written before he was executed in Bagumbayan in 1896. The film was made by independent and advocacy filmmaker Mirana Medina who is a University of the Philippines (UP) Film Center scholar to the Film and Television Institute of India where she obtained a post-graduate Diploma in Cinema. She has produced and directed educational films on special children and persons with disability that advocate for their rights and inclusion in society. Among her films featured in the festival include “Mi Ultimo Adios” and “Kids Three 21” (her latest film that focuses on Down Syndrome in the Philippines).
Following the success of last year’s First Universal Kids Film Festival, the Second Universal Kids Film Festival is organized by renowned Istanbul-based Filipina Painter Mrs. Rowena Ulayan-Tuzcuoglu, Festival Directress, Children’s Film & Art Association (CFAA) & President of the International Filipino Friendship Society (IFFS) and Mrs. Sevin Kakalicoglu. It ran from November 01 to 08 in Istanbul.
[Click to read the whole article: Ph Embassy Participation]
From a predominantly Catholic country in the East [Philippines] to a predominantly Muslim Country [Turkey], it was indeed a total change in perspective for me, well, geographically that is. Anyhow, I quite enjoyed every new sights that I have seen, and every little new sounds that I heard, especially the Turkish language of course. It was also a joy to meet new people, and to meet old friends. Below are some shots taken from the bus as we head for Tuzla District when I arrived in Turkey on October 29. Friend Rowena Ulayan, now a resident of the place fetched me from Ataturk International Airport.
But of all the changes that I have seen, the magnificent and gigantic mosques are what really amazed me, particularly The Blue Mosque or Sultanahmet [click to see night shots of the mosque] and Hagia Sophia. The latter was special to me somehow because when I was in college, I wrote a term paper in my Humanities subject about it. Seeing it in reality was dream come true.
I was still in Istanbul when Typhoon Yolanda [Haiyan] struck our country with a storm surge that devastated almost everything in its path and killed thousands [over 4,000 as of press time] which up to now are counting. The day before I left Turkey for home members of the Filipino community were at the peak of discussion re sending relief to our people. That goes true worldwide. The outpouring of help and sympathy came in all forms. Ambassador Irakli of Georgia whom Rowena and I met in the art exhibit of Edward Munch and Andy Warhol at Ankara, in his email said: “…Let me express my condolences with regards to the destruction of the Philippine city of Tacloban by the typhoon “Haiyan”, which took the lives of hundreds of peaceful citizens. I was at the Philippine’s Embassy and expressed the condolences on behalf of the people and government of Georgia. Let me wish you and your country all the best!!!” The destruction of Tacloban City itself has brought a lot of changes — physically as many villages were swept away, emotionally and psychologically to the victims who survived, and to politicians who did not expect the extent of the damage as power and communications broke down and relief trickled slowly down to the people in the hinterlands. There will definitely be a change of perspective for all of us who never imagined the power of a typhoon such as this. [Click to watch recent scene from the aftermath]
Today, I joined the meeting of the organizing members of the committee of the Philippine High School for the Arts [PHSA] Committee headed by Vim Nadera, school director. I’ll be documenting their activities next week in connection with the Sesquicentennial Birth Anniversary, this time  of Andres Bonifacio. [In 2011, I produced "Ultimo Adios in Filipino Sign Language" in celebration of Rizal's 150th Anniversary.]
De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies (SDEAS) invites you to the 19th Deaf Festival from November 18 to 23, 2013 at De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde Taft Campus.
With this year’s theme, “Beyond Extraordinary,” the Deaf Festival has always been a major celebration for Benilde. One of the objectives of the celebration is to show an interconnected Deaf community by means of festive activities which will be participated by different Deaf schools. Please see attached schedule for activities that are open to the public and the whole Benildean community including:
- Deaf Festival Bazaar (Greenway)
- Free Filipino Sign Language Class on November 20, 1-2:30pm (Room M510)
- Free screenings of the following films which are all CSBLIFE accredited in the Taft Auditorium: Temple Grandin (November 18, 7:30-9:00pm), Sweet Nothing in My Ear (November 19, 3:00-5:00pm), Black (November 20, 7:30-9:00pm), and Signs of Love (November 21, 3:00-5:00pm)
- Cultural Show (November 23, 5:30-8:30pm, ARG Theater)
Silent Steps, Dulaang Tahimik ng Pilipinas and Saint Benilde Romançon Dance Company will be performing on the Cultural Show during the Festival’s last day on November 23, 2013. Tickets priced at 50 pesos each are available at the Deaf Festival Bazaar in the Taft Campus Greenway. For more details, you may contact SDEAS Center for Deaf Esteem and Formation, 526-7441 loc 131, 0917-8698224 or email email@example.com
Thank you and join us!
It was last November 2 when I got a chance to visit for the first time The Blue Mosque - SULTANAHMET CAMII [Turkish] or Sultan Ahmed Mosque (click to read more). Friend from UP Film Center days, Rowena Martinez Ulayan-Tuzcuoglu, Istanbul resident and known visual artist in Turkey brought us to the site I never imagined I would one day be. Despite coming from a country majority of whom are Catholics, I found the place simply marvelous!
Kids Three 21, a docu on Down Syndrome and Ultimo Adios / Last Farewell in FSL were shown to the Filipino community in Istanbul last Sunday, November 3. Philippine Consul based in Ankara, Turkey Leilani Feliciano opened the event with her opening remarks.
Am now at the Philippine Embassy in Ankara, Turkey. Went to Ataturk Museum yesterday and the Ankara Castle.