“Of signs and wonders: Jesus made the lame walk and the blind see. At the 22nd Deaf Festival, in His Name and for His Glory he made the Deaf dance! And that is truly a miracle…” – Susan Abad, a relative I tagged along with to watch the show texted this to me, a day after witnessing for the first time the culmination of the 22nd Deaf Festival held at the ARG, CSB Theater in Taft Avenue, Manila.
Last Saturday, November 19, I managed to find time to attend the 22nd SDEAS Deaf Cultural Show. I met old friends — both Deaf and Hearing. Many of them were members of the Silent Steps, the All-Deaf playgroup with whom I have worked with in several of my Deaf films, and the current faculty staff of the DLS-CSB School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies [SDEAS]. I have seen Deaf theater presentation for the first time a decade ago in 2017 when I first enrolled as FSL student of SDEAS’ Filipino Sign Language Learning Program [FSLLP], a module intended for hearing persons.This year is, I would consider the best Deaf Fest presentation amongst several other cultural shows that I’ve seen in the past. All the participating performers were highly charged, energetic and were visibly enjoying their performances. The only thing they should consider next time when presenting is the pace with which they change from one performance to the other. There should be no long breaks in between presentation. In film, it is called transition. There should be fast but smooth transition flow. Myra Medrana’s choreography was great! The integration of film and theater which is something that I’ve done in several of my films for the Deaf was quite impressive, and really wonderful. A memorable performance that really touches the heart, and must have made some Deaf in the audience cried was the one that tackles Deaf issues on discrimination.
Even the video presentations highly leveled up in quality and form. Congratulations to SDEAS for the continuous support that they are providing their students!