Best SDEAS Deaf Cultural Show that I’ve Seen

November 21, 2016

“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.


From Facebook – photo from CJ Patriarca of the Silent Steps

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.


Me [3rd from right] in between hearing interpreter Febe Sevilla [4th from R] and Susan Abad [in dark glasses]. The rest are Deaf Faculty Staff of SDEAS. Jenn Balan on the extreme right and Anna Arce [2nd from left]

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.


The Silent Steps with Myra Medrana, their choreographer on the extreme left [with eyeglasses]. Photo from her fb post. I recognize Mary Rose Gozon and Marvin [extreme right]

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!

Visit: https://www.facebook.com/22ndeaffestival2016/



November 13, 2016

Sharing with you an invitation to the 2016 Universal Kids Film Festival to be held in Istanbul, Turkey from its Festival Founder and Directress herself, Rowena Martinez Ulayan, a friend and colleague from the UP Film Center in the Philippines. For inquiries, call Tel: 90-535-820-0733.



It is a pleasure to present to you the 4th edition of the Universal Kids Film Festival which will be held from the 26th – 30th  of November 2016 at the Akatlar Kültür Merkezi and Ortakoy Kültür Merkezi in Beşiktaş, Istanbul.

With the support of the Beşiktaş City Government this event features not only films made by adults for children, but also, films made by children for children.  A special selection from the UNICEF Top Ten Cartoons on Children’s Rights and Videos from The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations will also be shown.  The opening film on the Gala Night, ‘The Pearl’ is an award winning Iranian Movie by Sirous Hasan Pour.  The corollary activities include filmmaking and acting workshops seminars and talks on children’s media and cultural events focusing on selected countries.

The theme of the festival is ‘PEACE’.  Following Mahatma Gandhi’s words, ‘If you want lasting peace start with the Children’.  This festival is our offering to the young and the young at heart and our way of saying:


May we count on your continued support!

[Click to see the program, 1-program-table-2016]




A Touching Adoption Story of a Child with Special Needs

November 3, 2016

Sharing with you a video that made me teary-eyed but happy. This is about a child with no limbs adopted by an American family who came all the way to the Philippines to fetch her. For the first time ever, I clicked “like” on youtube.

A story of love, yes!!!…unconditional love! I am sooooo happy for this girl, and very grateful to the family who adopted her.

May she grow up to be like Nicholas James Vujicic, a very inspiring person, without limbs like this girl, but who can easily put to shame those who call themselves abled for being courageous in overcoming his difficulties, living a wonderful life as a great inspiration to Persons with Disability and non-PWDs alike.


Manuel Conde’s VENGANZA on October 8 at the CCP

October 5, 2016

Courtesy of Video48.blogspot.com

This is the revised schedule of the film screening of VENGANZA [1958]. The program in celebration of Manuel Conde’s Centennial Birth Anniversary will be held at Tanghalang Manuel Conde on Saturday, October 8 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. The program will start at 2pm. instead of 3 p.m. Dr. Nicanor Tiongson will give a talk after the screening. Dr. Tiongson is the author of “The Cinema of Manuel Conde.”

Below is the program:

2:00 P.M. – 3:45 P.M. – Screening of VENGANZA [TRT: 101 mins.]

3:45 P.M. – 5:30 P.M. – Introduction of Venganza by Dr. Nicanor G. Tiongson with short Q & A

5:30 P.M. – Welcome Remarks: CCP; Speech: NCCA Chairman; Speech: Postmaster General; Handover of Commemorative Stamp to Urbano Family; Response: Urbano Family representative; Photo Op

6:00 P.M. – Cocktails (to be hosted by NCCA)

[For more information about Manuel Conde, click the following link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manuel_Conde%5D


Remembering the UP Film Center

September 30, 2016

Tree planting ritual was part and parcel of celebrating important events at the UP Film Center, then headed by its co-founder, first Director, and my Humanities Professor, Ms. Virginia R. Moreno. I worked there as an artist-researcher, and was later sent as scholar to the Film and Television Institute of India.

Now, as Board Member and Gawad Metronian Educational Foundation Inc.’s [GMEFI] Community and Educational Fund Assistance Program Head, I thought of adopting the tree planting idea for GMEFI as part of Metro Manila College Foundation Day Celebrations. GMEFI is MMC’s Community Social Responsibility arm. Since a tree is one of the major design elements of GMEFI’s logo, it has become more than just replicating the UP Film Center’s activity. GMEFI scholars, I thought could be likened to a young plant which has to be nurtured to be able grow properly, and become productive in the future.


The mango seed that I planted and tended was sent to MMC to grow within the compound where the centennial-old Katipunan tree is located. Above are some of the Gawad Metronian scholars. The activity was held last September 27.



Table Tennis – Therapy of Polio Victim 2016 Paralympics Bronze Medalist

September 14, 2016

A P1-MILLION cash incentive awaits Josephine Medina who gave the Philippines a bronze medal in women’s class 8 table tennis competition of the ongoing Rio 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Her feat ended the 16-year drought of the country in the Games.


Josephine Medina [Photo from http://new.ittf.com/2016/09/12/%5D

This was bared by Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Chairman William “Butch” Ramirez to SunStar Davao in a text message Tuesday, September 13.

“We are happy of Josephine winning a bronze. The signs of the time for Philippine sports and the momentum is good. She will receive P1 million and we plan to give allowances to all the Paralympics delegates during our board meeting tomorrow,” Ramirez said, adding that from Hidilyn Diaz, a Rio Olympics silver medalist, to Medina and preparation for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics seem encouraging with the support of President Rodrigo Duterte and his administration.

Medina scored an 11-5, 11-6, 11-7 upset victory over Germany’s Juliane Wolf, a 2015 European Para Championships silver medalist, to improve her fourth finish in the 2012 London Olympics.

Medina, in an International Table Tennis Federation report on its website, said table tennis became her therapy as a polio victim. She used to compete with able-bodied athletes and qualified to the national team but she was then rejected having been told that she was disabled, thus, could not be part of the national team. [This reminds me of our hero, Apolinario Mabini who could have been the First Chief Justice of the Supreme Court but was similarly rejected because of an article in the Law dated  1899 disbarring a person with disability to hold the office – an important segment in my documentaries “The Sublime Paralytic” and “Pule: Utak ng Rebolusyon”]

“The rejection has become my inspiration and I train hard and I just want to prove that disability is not a hindrance in achieving your goal. It’s just an instrument in reaching success in your life,” Medina told ITTF.

[For the full article, click, http://www.sunstar.com.ph/davao/sports/2016/09/14/p1m-awaits-paralympics-bronze-medalist-medina-497572%5D


Special Screening of MANUEL CONDE FILMS

September 11, 2016

From Wikipedia

In celebration of the Centennial Birth Anniversary of the National Artist for Film Manuel Conde [b. October 9, 1915; d. August 11, 1985], the Cultural Center of the Philippines Arthouse Cinema, in cooperation with
Society of Filipino Archivists for Film (SOFIA), the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and the UP Los Baños Foundation Inc, will screen three of his films produced in the 50’s. The event — dubbed as *MANUEL CONDE@100* will be held at Tanghalang Manuel Conde, Cultural Center of the Philippines on Sept. 24, October 1 and 8.

I remember interviewing him as then researcher of the UP Film Center in the late 70’s in connection with my research about Vicente Salumbides, somewhere in Sampaloc area near Espana in Manila.The latter talked about Manuel Conde who worked with him in his film Ibong Adarna. Unfortunately, when our house burned in 1998, all my materials — photos, and tape interviews with Salumbides turned into ashes as well.

Luckily, I found my taped interview with Conde among the tape collection of my historian-brother who lived in J.P.Laurel St., Area II inside the UP Campus in Diliman. That was sometime in 2004; the year my brother passed away. I had to gather all his things in order to move out. But moving in and out of a house to transfer materials eventually made searching later for that tape quite difficult, since there were tons of important research materials in his house.

I remember asking him about his Juan Tamad series, Conde’s satirical but socially relevant movies.  I am still hoping that I would find the copy…


Source: Video48.blogspot.com

To be presented by the CCP Arthouse Cinema are the following:

GENGHIS KHAN [1950], September 24 at 3 p.m.
genghis-khan-picThe first Filipino film to compete at the Venice Film Festival in 1952, Genghis Khan starred Manuel Conde and Elvira Reyes. Produced by MC Productions, it is the saga of how the young but wily Temujin rose to become the overlord of the Mongol Empire. The version will have the original Tagalog soundtrack, unhampered by James Agee’s poetic narration in the re-edited international edition which was restored in 2012. [Teddy Co, board member of the Society of Filipino Archivists for Film] will discuss for the first time some confounding and overlooked facets about the film].

KRUS NA KAWAYAN [1956], October 1, 2016 at 3 p.m.
krus-na-kEntirely filmed in Vietnam with Filipino actors in Vietnamese roles, the film tackeles the refugee crisis at the onset of the Vietnam War. The United States Information Service [USIS] funded the film as propaganda material to portray the evils of Communism during the Cold War. [Jun Urbano, who was a young boy in the film, will talk about his experiences working with his father]

VENGANZA [1958], October 8, 2016 at 3 p.m.
Produced by LVN Pictures, the action-thriller starred Mario Montenegro, Carmencita Abad, Perla Bautista, and Carlos Padilla, Jr. The screening will be preceded by the launch of the Manuel Conde. Centennial stamp by the Philippine Postal Authority and NCCA. [Film  scholar Nicanor Tiongson, author of The Cinema of Manuel Conde will give a talk after thevenganza screening, emphasizing Conde’s delicacy and care in depicting the indigenous Igorot people shown in the film. A rare bonus clip of an interview with Conde before he died will also be shown.]

[Source: CCP Calendar of Events, September-October 2016]

Photos courtesy of Video48.blogspot.com