h1

At Gallaudet University on October 25: DDW’s “Signs of Change…”

October 12, 2017

The Department of History, Philosophy, Religion, and Sociology of Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. has scheduled to show my latest documentary produced by Discovering Deaf Worlds USA and USAID on October 25, 2017 at 6:30-8:30 p.m. [Details below]

Signs of Change at Gallaudet

Photo above shows Yvette, one of the 10 Deaf leaders featured in the film

Source: https://my.gallaudet.edu/intranet/announcements-archive/discovering-deaf-words-to-show-signs-of-change-deaf-campaign-for-equality-film-on-october-25

Advertisements
h1

The Preservation of the Sign Language by George Veditz

October 9, 2017

As early as 1913, American Deaf Veditz espoused on the importance of preserving sign language using film. Though I am a hearing person, it it his thoughts that inspire me in fact to do the same in our country for our Deaf sector, especially since the clamor to recognize Filipino Sign Language as their national sign language is still on-going.

Below is a translation by Carol A. Padden, Professor of the University of California – San Diego of Veditz message taken from the film produced by the National Association of the Deaf, in 1913.

Friends and fellow deaf-mutes:

The French deaf people loved de l’Epee. Every year on the occasion of his birthday, they gather together at banquets and festivities to show their appreciation that this man was born on this earth. They journey to his gravesite in Versailles and place flowers and green wreaths on his grave to show their respect for his memory. They loved him because he was their first teacher. But they loved him more for being the father and inventor of their beautiful sign language.

For the last 33 years, with eyes filled with tears and hearts broken, the French deaf people have watched this beautiful language of signs snatched away from their schools.

For the last 33 years, they have strived and fought for the restitution of signs in the schools but for 33 years their teachers have cast them aside and refused to listen to their pleas. But their teachers would much rather listen to the worthless, cruel-hearted demands of people that think they know all about educating the deaf but know nothing about their thoughts and souls, their feelings, desires and needs.

It is like this in Germany also. The German deaf people and the French deaf people look up at us American deaf people with eyes of jealousy. They look upon us Americans as a jailed man chained at the legs might look upon a man free to wander at will. They freely admit that the American deaf people are superior to them in matters of intelligence and spirituality, in their success in the world, in happiness. And they admit that this superiority can be credited to – what? To one thing, that we permit the use of signs in our schools.

The French deaf people base their inferiority on one thing, the fact oralism must be taught in their schools. They have eliminated fingerspelling; they have eliminated signs. But we American deaf are rapidly approaching some bad times for our schools. False prophets are now appearing with news to the people that our American means of teaching the deaf are all wrong. These men have tried to educate people and make people believe that the oral method is really the one best means of educating the deaf.

But we American deaf know, the French deaf know, the German deaf know that in truth, the oral method is the worst. Our beautiful sign language is now beginning to show the results of their attempts. They have tried to banish signs from the schoolroom, from the churches and from the earth. Yes, they have tried, so our sign language is deteriorating. From olden years, the masters of this sign language, the Peets, the Dudleys, the Elys, the Ballards, are rapidly disappearing. And we, in past years, loved these men. They had a precise command of sign language. They could communicate to us using only signs and we could understand them.

But fortunately, we have several masters of our sign language still with us. Edward Miner Gallaudet learned this sign language from his father, Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet. There are several others, like Dr. John B. Hotchkiss, Dr. Edward Allen Fay, Robert P. MacGregor who are still with us. And we want to preserve the signs as these men now use them, to keep and pass on to coming generations. There are many men now alive who have learned their signs from men like these. Many have tried to preserve and pass on their signs. But there is one known means of passing this on, through the use of moving picture films.

Indeed, our National Association of the Deaf has raised a fund of $5000 for this purpose. We have made a number of films. We have films of Edward Miner Gallaudet, of Edward Allen Fay, of John B. Hotchkiss and Robert MacGregor and many others. I regret that we do not have $20,000, for we could have used it all. If we had this amount of money, we could have performances in sign language, sermons in sign language, lectures in sign language. And not only would we American deaf enjoy the benefits of this, but no — deaf people in Germany, in England, in France, in Italy would also see these moving picture films. Fifty years from now, these moving picture films will be priceless.

“A new race of pharaohs that knew not Joseph” are taking over the land and many of our American schools. They do not understand signs for they cannot sign. They proclaim that signs are worthless and of no help to the deaf. Enemies of the sign language, they are enemies of the true welfare of the deaf. As long as we have deaf people on earth, we will have signs. It is my hope that we all will love and guard our beautiful sign language as the noblest gift God has given to deaf people.

Source: http://aum.dartmouth.edu/~larry/cc2_2011/readings/veditz/veditz.pdf

h1

For Bringing Issues and Concerns of PWDs to Light through the Medium of Film

September 10, 2017

dsc_0087-e1504584195787.jpgThat’s what’s etched on the plaque of appreciation handed by De La Salle-College of St. Benilde’s School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies last August 30 when I attended their lunch treat supposedly meant for their partners during their 25 years of existence.

21192603_1118457871620688_7695196229421772197_n

Me [second from right] in between Febe Sevilla who received the award for TV5 interpreting and Dean Veronica “Nicky” Templo of SDEAS who gave a touching closing remark.

21314661_1118457154954093_6851569083315017632_n

Quite unexpected from an institution whose people I have worked with for 11 years now — from the time I studied Filipino Sign Language to learn and understand their concerns. I also met Yeye Dominguez, wife of my grandnephew, Mayor Angelo Dominguez of Castillejos, Zambales for supporting annual Deaf seminars led by SDEAS staff — both hearing and Deaf. It is usually being held during their school break, an activity we actually started some years back with Giselle Montero, and when Mackie Calbay was still around and connected with SDEAS.

h1

Conference on 100 Years of Philippine Cinema

September 5, 2017

The two-day Philippine Cinema Centennial Conference will be held next week on September 14 and 15 at the UP Film Center and CSB School of Design and Arts respectively in celebration of 100 Years of Philippine Cinema. The affair is sponsored by UPFI, Film Development of the Philippines, National Commission for Culture and the Arts and DLS-College of St. Benilde. Below is the schedule of activities. Entrance is free.

h1

Power of Play

September 1, 2017

As always…wonderful photos and theme from one of my favorite photographers, Steve McCurry.

Steve McCurry's Blog

Mobile Mini Circus for Children, Kabul, Afghanistan

Life is playfulness.
We need to play so that we can
rediscover the magic all around us.
– Flora Colao

Forte Di Bard, Italy

We are never more fully alive,
more completely ourselves,
or more deeply engrossed in anything,
than when we are at play.
– Charles Schaefer

La Fortuna, Honduras

Afghanistan

Creative people are curious,
flexible, persistent, and independent with a
tremendous spirit of adventure and a love of play.
– Henri Matisse

Mexico

Men do not quit playing because they grow old;
they grow old because they quit playing.
– Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

Paris, France

Play energizes us and enlivens us.
It eases our burdens.
It renews our natural sense of optimism
and opens us up to new possibilities.
– Stuart Brown

Umbria, Italy

As we play, we open ourselves
to the exploration of our edges, always
creating new adventures…

View original post 218 more words

h1

Through the Eyes of my Deaf Teacher

August 31, 2017

UP Advoc4

Foreground: my Deaf teacher Rey Alfred Lee. Behind him are members of the Silent Steps, Faculty staff of DLS-CSB School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies, as well as GMEFI and UPSEC officers. Also in the photo is PULE film scorer Tumtum Mendoza [in white t-shirt with eyeglasses], a Person with Autism, standing between GMEFI President and me. 

Last August 25, PULE: UTAK ng REBOLUSYON, a documentary on our hero, APOLINARIO MABINI was shown for the benefit of the scholars of Gawad Metronian Educational Foundation, Inc. [GMEFI]. The film participants include Deaf students and members of the Deaf playgroup, SILENT STEPS. They interpreted in Filipino Sign Language for the first time after 1898, one of the popular writings of the docu’s subject entitled El Verdadero Decalogo/The True Decalogue.  It was voiced by a man paralyzed by Guillain-Barre Syndrome who read Mabini’s writings. The film was scored by a twice-exceptional Person with Autism, his first time to do  so.

The screening was held at the UP Film Center in Diliman, Quezon City. Members of the Deaf community from DLS-CSB School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies where I studied Filipino Sign Language came to attend the screening. One of them was my Deaf teachers, Rey Alfred Lee, former President of the Philippine Federation of the Deaf. Below are some of the photos he took.

h1

Photos from UPSEC: Screening of PULE, August 25

August 29, 2017

Photos courtesy of UP Special Education Council on the showing of PULE: Utak ng Rebolusyon, UP Film Center, UP Diliman, Q.C., a benefit film screening of a historical documentary about one of our great heroes, Apolinario Mabini sponsored by Gawad Metronian Educational Foundation, Inc. and UPSEC, August 25, 2017 in connection with the Celebration of the National Heroes Day, History Month and National Language Month

Here are some of the reactions to the film:

“Dahil sa “Pule,” mas nauunawaan ko na ang “big picture” ng pakikipaglaban ng ating mga bayani para sa kalayaan at kasarinlan. Napagtagni-tagni nito ang dati’y magkakahiwalay at kinakabisado lamang na kaalaman ukol sa ating kasaysayan.” — Neil Penullar, De La Salle University

“… an innovative and engaging way to present Mabini’s biography and the country’s history.” — Cecille Sicam, Autism Society Philippines Board of Trustees

“It was an eye-opening experience for me. There is no such thing as “dis-ability.’ I realized how big your advocacy is and how it truly makes a difference in the lives of the Deaf and the PWDs.” –— [emailed to me]

SS

The SILENT STEPS started the program with a Prayer and interpretation of the Philippine National Anthem in Filipino Sign Language

[R to L]: Guest Speaker Myra Medrana [Deaf], GMEFI President Evelyne Dominguez, Historian Dr. Bernardita Churchill and Mirana Medina, PULE filmmaker