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Sino si Alyana?

December 20, 2008

As part of reconstructing my thoughts to trace the trail “from Diliman to Silliman” of my film Alyana—A Study of Autism in the Philippines, covering the period from July 2006 to December 2007, I dug up my files—of virtual memories and actual materials on it. A message entitled “Sino si Alyana?” by Dang Koe, Autism Society Philippines (ASP) President, which was published and distributed by ASP-Bacoor Chapter is hereby reproduced for those who are curious to know who Alyana is.

Sino si Alyana?

Yan ang tanong ng mga kaibigang inimbitahang manood ng kauna-unahang Filipino documentary film sa autismo sa Pilipinas.

Ang sabi ng filmmaker na si Miranamedina, ang Alyana ay dapat mapanood ng mga taong walang alam at walang pakialam sa mga taong me autismo. Ang sabi ko naman sa kanya, dapat ring ipalabas ang Alyana sa mga taong gusto nating makialam, ngunit kulang pa lang sa alam.

Isa sa mga maling paniwala tungkol sa autismo na tinalakay sa nasabing dokyu ay ang paniniwalang ang isang taong me autismo ay “gagaling.” “Walang himala”… walang himala na isang araw ang isang taong me autismo ay magiging normal.

Ngunit gaya rin ng sinabi sa pelikulang “Himala,” ang himala ay nasa puso ng bawa’t nilalang.” Sa bawa’t Alyana, ang himala ay nasa pag-unawa, pagtanggap at pag-aaruga ng mga taong nakapaligid sa kanya upang siya ay matulungang maging isang kapaki-pakinabang na myembro ng ating lipunan….Sa mga tulong ng mga pamilyang “nakikialam.” makikilala ng lahat ng ating mga kababayan kung sino si Alyana at ang mga gaya niya.

(Click below to see excerpts from the film)
watch?v=tk_cDBq8F9Q

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Who is Alyana?

That was the question posed by friends who were invited to watch the first [feature-length] Filipino documentary on autism in the Philippines.

Filmmaker Miranamedina said that Alyana must be seen by people who do not know anything about autism and who do not care at all about persons with autism (pwa). I told her that it should also be shown to people who care but lack knowledge.

One of the myths on autism that the documentary tackled is the notion that a person with autism can be cured. “Walang himala.” [There is no miracle]…no miracle that one day a person with autism will become normal.

However, like what was said in the film Himala “miracle is in the heart of each person.” In every Alyana [person with autism], the miracle is in inderstanding, acceptance and caring for pwa’s by the people around her so that she will become a useful member of our society.

…with the help of families who care, people will recognize who Alyana is and many others like her.

Note: Before one of the screenings of Alyana in Mindanao, I was asked by one of the organizers whether Alyana is a real person. [Surprisingly, no one among them had seen the film yet! Banking on word of mouth that the film is worth seeing, they got enough courage to schedule and show it. The screening turned out to be one of the most successful movie roadshows that we had].

Anyhow, I told that organizer that Alyana is real! And Alyana, the real Alyana (photo above) is my grandniece. — MM)

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