Disability Week 2010 at the UP CAMP

August 6, 2010

Last July 29, 2010, I attended the UP CAMP Volunteer Corps’ Disability Week Culminating Night held at the UP College of Allied Medical Professions – UP Manila AVR Room. Songs and dances were performed by students of the Philippine National School for the Blind [I was in awe to see them dancing the tinikling at fast tempo knowing how difficult it is to do that especially if your timing is wrong. And to think that they are blind??? Galing talaga!].

In between their performances, I showed A Blind Architect—The Vision of a Non-Handicapping Environment produced by APCD and JICA which jibed well with this year’s theme, “Sa istrukturang accessible, lahat ay able.” I managed to squeeze in as well the showing of my little over 6 minute coverage of the PWD Indignation Rally last July 19 to update the audience on the current affairs involving the PWD sector. (To watch, click watch?v=E2qR38Lq1cA )

Showing of "A Blind Architect"

When I asked why only the blind sector was represented, Gabrielle Tungcul, third year student of the College of Speech Pathology informed me that they have just started with their initiatives to connect with the disability sector and they do not have any network as yet with them. In fact, the first time she wrote to me via this blogsite was to ask for people in the sector that  she could contact in connection with their celebration of Disability Week. She said that they realize the need for them to really connect and involve themselves with the people that they are meant to serve after studying. Hence next year the hope is there that their invitations will be extended to more disability group members. I myself believe that reading books and theories on disabilities against the reality of being with PWDs are quite different. When I make my films on them, I do read some backgrounders about the disability in focus but not that much. More often I go straight to my target subjects and their families  to directly learn from them their experiences regarding their disability. I follow it up by interviewing doctors or experts on the subject for medical explanations. That way, I find it easier to understand their condition rather than reading in-depth and learning the medical explanations first. But that is my style. To some others, it could be the other way around.

Anyhow, I just advised Gabrielle to get involved with the sector of interest to her by becoming a member or a volunteer, or joining mass actions as awareness campaigns, for ex., the Autism Walk of ASP; or join and observe the PWDs celebration of the International Day of the Disabled in December, etc.

The event organizers on the first two rows; ako sa extreme left together with the students of Philippine National School for the Blind on the 3rd row

But I was so happy that small initiatives such as the one they have undertaken happened. Concern and interest for PWDs are really slowly increasing… Incidentally, I met Architect Jaime Silva, the blind architect this morning. He told me that he want to watch ALYANA and SILENT ODYSSEY.


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