Noy’s SONA Interpreted in Sign Language

July 29, 2010

Mixed emotions! I was thrilled, happy and quite surprised to see Dr. Marie Therese Bustos of UP Sped Area interpreting the  State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Aquino for the Deaf community  last Monday, July 26 for ABC 5.  Kind of historic for that was the first time a President’s SONA was interpreted for them. The first time I ever saw sign language interpretation insets was when the TV program Kapwa Ko, Mahal Ko was still around. If my reaction last Monday was elation, it must have been hundred fold feeling of joy for our Deaf friends. Finally! They are “included” in this society!!!

Dr. Marie Therese Bustos interprets using Filipino Sign Language

ABC 5’s inset was quite small and badly placed— the safety mark area for TV was disregarded—it thus appeared to me then based on the composition of the design elements that the inset was not originally a part of the presentation at all.  Mukhang isiningit lang ang dating. Malaglag na nga si Dok Bustos di ba?  Nevertheless, it served the purpose of providing for the communication accessibility needs of the Deaf. GMA7 I only came to know through the report of Mel Chanco the following day [I did not check Channel 7s SONA coverage on the day itself] that they also aired simultaneously the event with Jojo Esposa as interpreter. Their inset looked bigger and rightly or aptly placed than ABC 5. The Deaf obviously were given the importance they deserve as citizens of this country.

Click the following link:


During the PWD Indignation rally last July 19, absence of inset interpretations or the need for closed captions for important events had been among the complaints aired by the representatives of the Deaf sector before the Commission of Human Rights commissioners. The inaugural address last June 30 was the concrete example given. By disregarding live and simultaneous interpretation for them, the Deaf were automatically excluded.

Seeing advocates of the Filipino Sign Language advance the cause in this manner will surely and eventually lead to its official recognition by the Department of Education sooner than any of their detractors think of.

Hopefully more TV programs in the future, especially news programs will be interpreted  for all Deaf Filipinos as they without question form part of the Philippine citizenry.


Came to learn just now that John Baliza did interpret too last Monday for ANC Channel. (Click the link below to watch). John is connected with CSB School of Deaf Education and Deaf Studies. (Obviously huli ako sa balita mula nang matapos ko ang pag aaral ng Filipino Sign Language under the FSLLP ng SDEAS. Bakit ako nag-aral? Para sa dokyu ko tungkol sa Deaf Pinoy, ang Silent O).


(The word HEARING IMPAIRED should not be used anymore! Use Deaf with a capital D!)


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