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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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…

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Through the Eyes of my Deaf Teacher

August 31, 2017

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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.

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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]

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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

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GMEFI presents PULE

August 17, 2017

PULE, an educational docu on APOLINARIO MABINI is the first fund raising project of GAWAD METRONIAN EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION [GMEFI] to be shown in time with the celebration this August of the History Month, National Heroes Day and the National Language Month. Film scored by a Person with Autism, Mabini’s El VERDADERO DECALOGO [1898] interpretation in Filipino Sign Language by Deaf performers — the first after more than 100 years.

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In Preparation for the 2017 National Heroes Day

August 16, 2017

In August we celebrate the National Language Month, the History Month and the National Heroes Day.

We are all celebrating the three—in one film. I wasn’t thinking of showing it this month for all three reasons but for the last. However, when I come to think of it, in this educational documentary, I used Filipino, our National Language for the narration. And as the film promotes the use and recognition of the Filipino Sign Language as the National Sign Language of Deaf Filipinos, the timing is just perfect. They too have the right to celebrate the National Language Month afterall. Most fittingly, the subject is a historical figure and is considered one of our greatest heroes; paying him a tribute within the History Month, and as part of the celebration of the National Heroes Day [though days ahead because August 28 is a legal holiday] is seemingly pre-arranged.

Above is a grabbed frame from the one minute trailer that I have just finished now. The film is about Apolinario Mabini, the Brains of the Revolution. This is in preparation for the screening that we are going to hold on August 25 at the UP Film Center in UP Diliman, Q.C.