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Water – The Essence of Life

November 14, 2017

Another series of great and admirable photos from Mr. Steve!

Steve McCurry's Blog

Water does not resist. Water flows. When you plunge your hand into it, all you feel is a caress. Water is not a solid wall, it will not stop you. But water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing in the end can stand against it. Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone. Remember that, my child. Remember you are half water. If you can’t go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does.
Margaret Atwood

Weligama, Sri Lanka

Rovinj, Croatia, Yugoslavia

Cochin/Kochi, Kerala, South India

Thousands have lived without love, not one without water.
W. H. Auden

Bencota, Sri Lanka

Nepal

Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Queenstown, New Zealand

Water is fluid, soft, and yielding. But water will wear away rock, which is rigid and cannot yield. As a rule, whatever is fluid, soft, and yielding will overcome whatever is rigid…

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2018 Angels Walk for Autism

November 10, 2017

Already got my ticket!!!! Join us!

AW2018

My nth year to join Autism Society Philippines’ annual event! Similarly, I shall be joining DLS-CSB SDEAS’ Celebration of their 23rd Deaf Fest’s Cultural Show next week. Happy to celebrate with these groups a special event they annually hold to raise awareness to the public re their respective advocacies.

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Celebrate the 2017 Deaf Festival at DLS-CSB SDEAS!

November 5, 2017

De La Salle – College of St. Benilde School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies will celebrate starting November 7 this year’s Deaf Festival. This is part of the annual celebration of Deaf Awareness Week. As always, I am looking forward to their Cultural Show scheduled after the ASEAN Summit on November 18. The show will start at 5.30 pm.

It was exactly 10 years ago when I first witnessed a Deaf Cultural Show. I was amazed watching them dance to the tune and in sync with the beat of the music. As students of Filipino Sign Language under the FSL Learning Program [FSLLP], we were encouraged to watch it. No regrets!!! In fact, that was the time when I got inspired to include Deaf performers, specifically the SILENT STEPS in my films. FSLLP by the way is intended for hearing students.

Below is the program. Please double click to enlarge.

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Ferry Boat Ride in Historic Pasig River

November 4, 2017

I accidentally found the photo files of my very first  boat ride in Pasig River via the ferry boat then newly introduced to the people due to mass transit and traffic problems in Metro-Manila. The photos were taken after my research on Apolinario Mabini at the Mabini Shrine in PUP Sta. Mesa in 2014. I didn’t know that the terminal was right inside the campus of the university. I felt both lucky and excited to try it. I am used to plying from Manila to Corregidor Island via a ferry boat. I then wanted to know the difference.

And what a difference! Just a handful — not more than four people including me who was the first to arrive at the station — took the ride. We joined some few others who were fetched from the previous terminal. I bought a ticket from Sta. Mesa to Guadalupe in Makati. We were to pass through the Pasig River alongside which industrial buildings and residential houses are built. Pasig River used to be very popular in the past when industrialization has not yet polluted the place and fishes were said to be abundant in the place. It was immortalized in songs, even in novels. It used to be a center of economic activity during the Spanish period, and an important transport route.

Then and now, the change is undoubtedly quite great. Industrialization has changed its face altogether. The price of industrial development and population explosion???

Anyway, it was for me an experience to have seen and watched the way of life of people living near the river. I saw ordinary boats loading and unloading people, especially students to take them to destinations or points not under the watch of the Metro-Manila Development Authority [MMDA], the government agency handling the ferry transport. They must have been the inspiration of MMDA. People surely would reach their destination faster than if they take ordinary buses or jeepneys — the most popular mass transport modes.

FerryBoat Ride to Guada7

FerryBoat Ride to Guada5

And despite murky waters, and water lilies floating on the river, children enjoyed swimming by the riverside. FerryBoat Ride to Guada3

Approaching Guadalupe Bridge

FerryBoat Ride to Guada12IMG_6953FerryBoat Ride to Guada11

I would have wanted to go up to Escolta in Manila but I was in a hurry to get back home. Indeed, it did not take me long to reach my destination – Guadalupe Station in Makati City. It was a good ride but for people who need to take another ride or transfer in EDSA, a boat station near the main road or closer to the station would be great. As per my experience, it was walking to MRT station that took me more time. Nevertheless, I just enjoyed walking around, learning the curves of Guadalupe area after taking a short ride to get near the train station.

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Up North in Aparri Where Cagayan River Meets South China Sea

October 26, 2017

AparriAparri5For four days — from October 18-21, we were away from the madding Manila crowd. Up North of the Philippines, we attended the 38th National Conference on Local and National  History held at the Audiovisual room of the Lyceum of Aparri. Philippine National Historical Society President Bernardita Churchill invited us via Metro Manila College. The group was welcomed by no less than the Most Rev. Sergio Utleg, Archbishop of Tuguegarao and President of Lyceum of Aparri, their EVP Rev. Fr. Joel Reyes, and the Governor of Cagayan himself, Hon. Manuel Mamba, brother of Pat, my co-teacher at Don Bosco Technical Institute who became a close friend. We joined the school almost at the time. Sad to know that she died two years ago of breast cancer according to the Governor.

38th-national-conference-history

Anyway, it was good to learn a lot of things about Northern Luzon in particular. Experts from different fields and discipline delivered their papers with enthusiasm including two foreigners. Papers on precolonial matters interest me the most and the one about the contemporary literature of Sulu. Papers supplemented with visuals proved to be interesting unlike those that are purely textual. Hopefully, video documentation would be in the future used as supplement to their lectures.

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Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba welcomes the group

It was my first time to be in Aparri and my first time as well to  join the PNHS conference. My brother, a historian, friend and colleague of Dr. Churchill used to speak in the said conference. It was through him that I became familiar with it. I went there with my niece, Oying Villafuerte as an observer. And since I am into making historical video documentaries, I immediately acceded to MMC’s invitation to join it in their behalf. Dr. Churchill by the way was my guest speaker when PULE was shown in UP Film Center last August.

Group

[L-R]: Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba, Lyceum of Aparri EVP Rev. Fr. Joel Reyes, PNHS President Bernardita Churchill, Archbishop of Tuguegarao Archdiocese Most Rev. Sergio Utleg and NCCA Plan/Policy Formulation and Programming Division Head Mr. Bernan Joseph Corpuz who delivered the message in behalf of NCCA Chair National Artist Virgilio Almario

On our first day in Aparri, or the day before the conference we visited the Archdiocesan Shrine of the Lady of the Rosary. I was quite happy to know that Mama Mary is their patron saint. Day after finding a chance to go to the place they say is “where Cagayan River meets South China Sea or West Philippine Sea” we hurriedly went to take a peek at the place.

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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

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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